Daily Express forced to make huge correction to human rights story, again

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By Katie King on

Yet the tabloid newspaper has just released a slideshow explainer about the ECHR…

A tabloid newspaper recently forced to make a whole host of corrections to a story it published about the Human Rights Act has this week released a pictorial explainer about the rights the statute protects.

The Daily Express’s new ‘European Human Rights: How well do you know them?’ slideshow explores fifteen of the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights. Each right is accompanied by a picture, e.g. a photo of a baby for the right to life and a man holding a hammer standing next to a clock for the prohibition of retrospective criminalisation.

While the Express continues to flaunt its human rights explainer, the legal Twitterati couldn’t help but giggle this week at a correction the newspaper was forced to make about an article it published in February.

Littered with errors that would make a first year law student cringe, the article is about the British Bill of Rights and news its implementation would be shelved while parliament busies itself with Brexit.

The lengthy (and frankly embarrassing) correction about the piece has to be seen to be believed, so Legal Cheek has reproduced here:

This article was amended on 27 February 2017. It was originally headlined “Human Rights Act to remain in PLACE after Brexit as British equivalent ‘shelved'” and contained a number of factual inaccuracies about the European Union and the Human Rights Act. The European Convention on Human Rights and the European Union are two separate entities, and the article wrongly conflated them. Contrary to what the article originally stated, the Human Rights Act is not an EU directive. Neither the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) nor the Human Rights Act are European Union law. As the Human Rights Act is British law, it was inaccurate to refer to having a ‘British equivalent’ to it. Additionally the article said that David Cameron first floated the idea of a British Bill of Rights in 2010; this was incorrect, he first floated the idea in 2006. The article also stated that David Cameron referred to EU human rights law as a “mess”. This was also incorrect; he was not referring to the EU in his comments.

This isn’t the first time the newspaper has been forced to issue a humbling human rights correction. In 2015, we reported that red-faced Express journalists had backtracked on a number of claims it made in an article entitled ‘Look at the people who benefit from human rights law’. Among other things, the newspaper admitted it had exaggerated the number of cases brought before the European Court of Human Rights and the amount of compensation the UK government had been ordered to pay by the court.

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