Crowdfunded campaign to save Human Rights Act hits London Underground

A crowdfunded campaign highlighting ordinary people who needed the Human Rights Act (HRA) has hit the Underground network and stations around the UK.

In its manifesto, the Conservative Party pledged to scrap the Act if it won the general election earlier this year.

The posters tell the story of real people who have been helped by the HRA to right a serious wrong in their lives (see below).

The campaign was organised by Act for the Act, a group of volunteers founded by barristers Caoilfhionn Gallagher and Martha Spurri and journalist Fiona Bawdon, and including human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith OBE, founder of Reprieve, the not-for-proft organisation which works against the death penalty, as well as other campaigners and members of the public who had made use of the HRA.

Act for the Act set an initial target of crowdfunding target of £50,000, which it raised in under a month. This is enough to fund posters on the London Underground and across the National Rail network. A further £50,000 could cover bus or tram networks in two other cities in England.

Prominent human rights set Doughty Street Chambers pledged £10,000 to the cause, while Garden Court Chambers pledged £5,000. Among the solicitors’ firms that donated money were Bindmans, Bhatt Murphy, Deighton Pierce Glynn and Hodge Jones & Allen.

Some of the posters

Hughes Cousins-Chang employed Article 8 of the HRA (the right to a family life) to challenge the law which treats 17-year-olds in police custody as adults. not children. He was held for 11 hours and strip-searched as a 17-year-old, and his mother had no right to know where he was.

Hughes Cousins-Chang. Photo: @Lawyer2Bmag on Instagram

Mark Neary employed Articles 5 and 8 of the HRA (the right to a liberty and the right to a family life) to bring his autistic son home after he was taken away and put in care.

Mark Neary. Photo: @Lawyer2Bmag on Instagram

Catherine Smith employed Article 2 of the HRA (the right to life) to find out the truth about what happened to her son, who died of heatstroke while serving in Iraq.


Jan Sutton employed Article 8 of the HRA (the right to a private life) to take legal action against her local council to increase the amount of care she received, after she was left in bed all day, every day by her carers.



15 Sep 15: Sir Keir Starmer accepts Human Rights Act may be doomed

26 Jun 15: 50 key cases revealed in defence of Human Rights Act

8 May 15: Human Rights Act to be scrapped under Conservative Government

22 Apr 15: Election 2015: a human rights lawyer’s take

14 Oct 14: Lawyers must engage with the public over the Human Rights Act