Liberty is an independent membership organisation that has challenged injustice, defended freedom and campaigned for a fairer Britain since 1934.
Liberty’s Accountability campaign – funded by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery – ensures people understand how their rights are being affected and what they can do to retain them. The funding also supports the organisation’s Advice and Information Service. This dedicated helpline for human rights advice helps thousands of people each year who do not have anywhere else to turn.
The Human Rights Act protects all of us. It enables us to challenge public authorities when they get things wrong and it embodies the key values in our society; fairness, dignity, equality and respect. It also places all public authorities under a duty to respect human rights in all they do. Public authorities are any organisation operating in the public sector – from the NHS to police and local authorities.
Over the past 20 years, the Human Rights Act has made a huge difference for many different people. Funds from the Postcode Justice Trust have enabled Liberty to take landmark cases that have been life-changing for ordinary people. One such case taken by Liberty involved Falklands veteran Joe Ousalice who had his medals stripped away in 1993 by the Ministry of Defence after he was forced out of the Royal Navy due to discriminatory attitudes to his sexuality. Not only did Joe lose his medals, but he could also not claim over 10 years’ worth of pension earned through military service. Following Liberty’s intervention, the MOD later admitted the policy was wrong and Joe got his medals back, but it was only due to the Human Rights Act.
The Act also covers a broad array of rights and freedoms, from the prohibition of torture to the right to a fair trial. Any changes to such a comprehensive piece of legislation should be viewed with suspicion because tinkering with such a finely balanced framework inevitably undermines the foundations on which our basic rights and freedoms are secured. This is why maintaining the integrity of the Act is the major focus of Liberty.
£1.6 million has been raised for Liberty thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery.