Experts Warn That the Cost-of-Living Crisis Calls for Greater Protection in Law

June 5, 2022

Recent research by Professor Katie Boyle and The Nuffield Foundation has shown that enforcement of social rights through adequate access to justice is far less common than it should be in the UK. While international human rights laws have been enshrined in the UK, domestic practice, policy, and legal frameworks fall short of what they promise on the global stage. With ever-growing fuel, food, and housing insecurities, it is no surprise that experts are calling for more to be done to protect those most affected by the crisis.

Professor Boyle highlights that there is no overall strategy or plans to ensure, at the very least, a minimal or adequate standard of living. This is just one of the ways the UK is falling short to protect social rights. While Scotland and Wales have already made progress in implementing some of the recommendations of Boyle’s research, concerns have been raised that the proposed reform of the Human Rights Act (HRA) could add additional barriers to accessing justice and protecting social rights. Yet, Ash Patel, Justice Programme Head at the Nuffield Foundation, highlights that the proposed reform of the HRA could instead “provide an opportunity to make the state’s responsibility for meeting society’s most basic needs more explicit and to develop efficient mechanisms to hold it to account if it fails in that role.”

Some of the solutions proposed by researchers include ensuring that citizens have access to appropriate advice, representation, and advocacy to enable them to enforce their rights, developing judicial and non-judicial routes to effective solutions and remedies, and converting social rights into legal rights, following the examples set by Scotland and Wales. Whilst the idea of social rights being fundamental human rights remains controversial for some, the lack of legal protection from inadequate living standards is starting to be challenged, and as the cost-of-living crisis continues, this is something that will be welcomed by many.


 Author: Joy Elson

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!

Subscribe Now