The Eileen Illtyd Memorial Lecture on Human Rights takes place on an annual basis. This year’s lecture was presented by Jeremy Miles AM, Counsel General for Wales, who gave a speech entitled ‘A Human Rights Act for Wales?’ which looked at whether new legislation is needed to protect human rights in Wales.
The Counsel General has a background in Law, as a graduate of Oxford, he has practised as a solicitor and has been instrumental in reforming the law in his home country, improving accessibility for both lawyers and the general population.
He began his speech by looking at the history of the law, human rights and devolution in Wales and explained how the Welsh attitude to human rights: “Reflects our history as a nation. One where community has traditionally been fostered and celebrated.”
The Counsel General then moved on to speak about the history of children’s rights, mentioning the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which links closely to the work of the Observatory on Human Rights of Children, here at the School of Law.
Later, he spoke about how the UK government may well repeal the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights, but said that despite the complications that may arise through Brexit, "We are determined to ensure Wales remains a modern and inclusive place to live and work".
The Counsel General then finished by looking at the future of Human Rights in Wales. He spoke about how strengthening rights and protections in Wales is major priority. He said that broader public conversation is needed to fully understand the changes that need to be made, which will allow the Welsh Government to strengthen and build on the existing rights frameworks.
Download the transcript of the Eileen Illtyd Memorial Lecture.