Equality and Human Rights Commission: A Decade in the Making Sarah Spencer


The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) had a difficult labour. From conception in the 1990s as a ‘Human Rights Commission’ in the context of incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into domestic law, through quite separate plans for a ‘Single Equality Body’, its ten year gestation was fraught. Never attractive to the Blair leadership, and with the vision and considerable enthusiasm of its proponents matched by some scepticism and concern, it nevertheless emerged into the sunlight in October 2007. While the focus is now on what the new commission can achieve, a recap of its history may throw light on some of the challenges it faces.

Spencer, S. (2008) ‘Equality and Human Rights Commission: A Decade in the Making’, The Political Quarterly, 79(1): 6-16