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The Nuremburg trials shocked most of the world, including the United Kingdom, when the terrible treatment of human beings was revealed to the world. The trials did help to impact the concept that some sort of universal justice is necessary in order to make individuals feel safe, or just, about the world and the law of the world. The atrocities revealed during the trials turned the stomachs of many of the people, as well as the governments, in Europe. It became clear that some sort of restructuring was needed, and that European countries would need to cooperate in order to attain this reconstruction. Therefore, many countries were inspired to start considering aspects of human rights1
The idea of a human rights list in the United Kingdom and Europe is not a new one. Many individuals were pushing for this after World War II. However, the United Kingdom was also aware that Europe was working on a larger-scale concept of human rights in general, which would eventually become the European Convention. This may have been a reason for the United Kingdom’s delay in making its own list of individual rights. The United Kingdom has followed the laws of the convention for many years. Laws were beginning to be laid down by this new, European group, and all of Europe was eager to follow. For instance, at the Congress of the Hague in 1948, delegates and observers from 26 countries breathed life into the Council of Europe – making human rights its guiding spirit. The Council of Europe was officially launched in May 1949 with founder members Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK. These member countries then put together a charter of rights as well as a European court system that would help those individuals who had had their rights violated. They were able to use examples from the United States and hammered out a ...