When our founding members came together in 1973, they were inspired by a shared concern about the mistreatment of individuals within our criminal justice system and the risk of wrongful conviction. Improving the criminal justice system remains a core part of our work.
Today, ensuring that our justice system is capable of providing effective protection for individual rights is at the core of our mission. We ground our work in the key standards recognised by the common law and the Human Rights Act 1998, in the European Convention on Human Rights, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the international human rights treaties which bind the UK.
From early work to secure due process rights to protect against miscarriages of justice; to integrating respect for privacy into the development of new technology, in Privacy and the Law. We were one of the earliest organisations to intervene before the European Court of Human Rights and the first to intervene in a human rights case before the UK Supreme Court. We have previously worked to inform the debate on a possible Bill of Rights for the United Kingdom and preserve the protections in the Human Rights Act 1998.
Equality before the law is one of the cornerstones of the rule of law, long recognised by the common law. Equality and non-discrimination are core human rights principles, recognised in the law of the ECHR, the EU and the UN International Treaty framework. JUSTICE has a long track record on working to secure respect for equality in UK law. Projects in 2017 looked at the lack of diversity of our judiciary and inadequate treatment of people with mental health difficulties accused of crime.
We supported the development of a single equality act for the UK, in the Equality Act 2010, together with the development of positive duties for public authorities, including those within the justice system, to promote equality. JUSTICE worked to secure express recognition of the protection for equality in Europe, promoting a free-standing equality right in the European Convention on Human Rights in Protocol 12 and supporting the full implementation of Article 13 of the EU Treaty and respect for the EU anti-discrimination framework in the UK.
In our most recent work, we are seeking to address inequalities in the UK justice system. These inequalities are increasingly exacerbated by budgetary pressures and limited investment in access to justice within the civil, criminal and administrative courts.