Journal Article

Public functions and private services: A gap in human rights protection

Stephanie Palmer

in International Journal of Constitutional Law

Published on behalf of The New York University School of Law

Volume 6, issue 3-4, pages 585-604
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 1474-2640
Published online September 2008 | e-ISSN: 1474-2659 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icon/mon027
Public functions and private services: A gap in human rights protection

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Private organizations are deeply entrenched in fulfilling the responsibilities of government through the provision of public services. In this context, we must question the conceptual coherence of drawing sharp distinctions between public and private functions. In YL v Birmingham City Council, however, the House of Lords had to determine which of the various functions contracted out by public authorities retain their public character for the purposes of the United Kingdom's Human Rights Act 1998. This article analyzes the complex public/private division set up by the Human Rights Act and argues that the decision of the House of Lords has led to a gap in human rights protection and has weakened public accountability.

Journal Article.  9007 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law ; UK Politics

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