Guardian Book Review: Human Rights: The Case for the Defence by Shami Chakrabarti review – freedoms fighter treads a fine line

The Labour peer and former Liberty director makes a clear, impassioned case for human rights law, but steers surprisingly clear of thorny political arguments

It may sound a little melodramatic to say that human rights are under attack in Britain. But in the week I opened this book, it certainly didn’t feel that way. Parliament was locked in battle over the Rwanda bill, widely seen as driving a coach and horses through human rights obligations, with Shami Chakrabarti herself in the thick of the fray as a Labour peer. Nigel Farage was once again demanding Britain leave the European convention on human rights – the new passion project for Brexiters who would rather not talk about how Brexit itself is going, and who see the convention as a haven of suspiciously lefty values – while Rishi Sunak was bending over backwards not to rule that out. There’s still something faintly surreal about having to actively make a case for the right to life, liberty, or freedom from being tortured – who doesn’t automatically value these things? – but if Brexit taught us anything, it’s that liberals are surprisingly bad at defending truths that seem so obvious we’ve never given them much thought. This time, it pays to be ready.

Read the review here