What are civil liberties?


The Judiciary and Civil Liberties


Assignment 1


The issue of the lack of clearly defined citizens’ rights became more prominent in the 1980s under the government of Margaret Thatcher. In several areas what had been seen as traditional ‘rights’ appeared to be under threat. The right to silence; there was an uncertainty about how secure the citizen’s right to remain silent after arrest was, and whether it actually was a ‘right’. The freedom of the press; there was a strong feeling the that Official Secrets Act stopped the press and other media from doing their ‘duty’ in checking the government. There was also concern that the rich and powerful, such as newspaper owner Robert Maxwell and the Conservative politician Jeffery Archer, could use the threat of libel and slander laws to stop unfavourable (but true) items being published about them. Civil liberties impose restrictions on the government.