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Michael Lane

Law and Legal Studies, Birmingham City University

Thesis title:

The United Kingdom and the Universal Periodic Review: An Analysis of the Translation of Multilateral Recommendations into Domestic Legal Change

This thesis would be the first comprehensive investigation into the extent to which the UN Human Rights Council’s (HRC) ‘Universal Periodic Review’ (UPR) provides an effective mechanism for informing human rights protection in the United Kingdom. The UK has participated in three UPR cycles (2006, 2012, and 2017), and in the HRC Working Group report in 2017, the Council argued that the British Government has a poor record concerning the translation of UPR recommendations into domestic legal change. The Council’s claim will, therefore, provide the foundational point of critical enquiry, and the research will reveal to what extent the Council’s observation is accurate, and reveal the subsequent political and legal consequences and opportunities for the UK. This research will therefore be an invaluable resource for enhancing the contexts, values, and cultures, concerning the UK parliamentary process for protecting human rights.

The UPR is the HRC’s mechanism for reviewing the human rights records of all UN states. The UN General Assembly Resolution, ‘Contribution of Parliaments to the Work of the Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodic Review’ (23 June 2017), affirmed the ‘crucial role that Parliaments play in translating international commitments into national policies and laws’. However the UK, having undertaken three UPRs, have only accepted 51% of UPR recommendations, and the HRC have observed that few of these recommendations are then translated into domestic legal change.

This research will provide greater transparency of the acceptance or curtailing of human rights standards in the formation of UK law. This emphasis on creating transparency will engender an enhanced understanding of the working of the parliamentary process and the extent to which parliamentarians engage and interact with UK civil society on these issues. An ultimate aim of the research will be to uncover the evolving nature of UK sovereignty as a process of political and civil society dialogue. It will enhance the role of the UN-All Party Parliamentary Group for engaging the UK parliamentarians and further equip the Joint Committee on Human Rights in their scrutiny of the human rights standards in UK legislation.

Research Area

  • Law and Legal Studies


  • Lane M, 'Cherry V AG For Scotland, Part II: "No Justification" For Prorogation? | Keep Calm Talk Law' (2019) <http://www.keepcalmtalklaw.co.uk/cherry-v-ag-for-scotland-part-ii-no-justification-for-prorogation/> accessed 15 October 2019
  • Lane M, 'Cherry v AG For Scotland, Part I: Is A No-Deal Brexit Necessarily Implied?' (Keep Calm Talk Law, 2019) <http://www.keepcalmtalklaw.co.uk/cherry-v-ag-for-scotland-part-i-is-a-no-deal-brexit-necessarily-implied/> accessed 25 September 2019
  • Lane M, 'May's Draft Brexit Deal: A True Challenge To UK Sovereignty?' (Keep Calm Talk Law, 2018) <http://www.keepcalmtalklaw.co.uk/mays-draft-brexit-deal-a-true-challenge-to-uk-sovereignty/> accessed 25 September 2019

Public Engagement & Impact

 - December 2020 (upcoming) - Speaker at Cadbury College, UK on careers in law.

- September 2018 - Speaker at UNAUK meeting, Birmingham. Spoke about the UPR mechanism, my research interests, and the possibility of volunteering with the UNAUK.

Other Research Interests

- Human Rights

 - Sovereignty

 - UK Constitutional Law

 - the UN's Universal Periodic Review

 - Legal Theory

 - International Law


Student Member of the UNAUK

Previous Studies

- Law LLB (2015-2018) - First Class Hons.

- Law LLM (2018-2019) - With Distinction.


Visiting Lecturer at Birmingham City University