Thomas Arnold Lecture on Human Rights
On Wednesday 18th March, The Reverend Nicholas Mercer, Assistant Chaplain at Sherborne School and the Liberty Human Rights Lawyer of the Year 2011–2012, delivered the Thomas Arnold Lecture on The European Convention on Human Rights.
Revd Mercer argued passionately for the preservation of this Convention, aspects of which he suggested were increasingly under threat as the General Election draws closer. He gave a highly informative and illuminating talk on the different Articles within the Convention, and explained the importance of it in safeguarding rights which we in Britain often take for granted.
He demonstrated the conflict between the enjoyment of freedom on the one hand, and responsibilities and the protection of rights on the other. He also explained the universality of human rights, and the core principles of dignity, fairness, and respect upon which these rights are based. Perhaps most pertinently, the audience was reminded that Human Rights should apply and should protect all people, everywhere, regardless of age, profession, sexuality or political persuasion.
It was a great privilege for Warminster School to host someone of Reverend Mercer’s reputation. Those present were made to think very carefully about the question of human rights, and were reminded how important it is to understand and to remember the arguments about these difficult and contentious issues.
Dr Tom Horler-Underwood
Teacher of History