Civil Liberties in the Workplace

Module code: LLMP 5263

Module description

This 15 credit module considers some of the key civil liberties / human rights issues that can arise in the workplace, and explores the extent to which they are addressed by the Human Rights Act 1998, the European Convention on Human Rights, and certain other instruments. It focuses specifically on five ECHR “rights” that have an obvious relevance in employment: the right to a fair trial, the right to private and family life, freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom of association.

It might be assumed that civil liberties issues would not arise in this context at all, given that the employment relationship is one into which we willingly enter.  In the real world, however, most of us enter into an employment relationship out of practical necessity rather than through choice in the truest sense and, when employed, often have little choice as to the rules and policies adopted by the employer. Viewed in this way, the employment relationship is a rich source of potential civil liberties conflicts – the monitoring of staff emails, dress codes, whistle-blowing and union membership, are just a few of the issues that will be explored by this module.

Contact hours per student per year

  • Tutorials: 2 hours (optional)


  • One assignment of 5,000 words (limit).

Additional costs: Students may choose to purchase one or more textbooks relevant to the module. Students may also choose to attend the optional Study days and incur travel/accommodation costs.