How effectively does the Judiciary protect civil liberties in the UK?

Civil liberties are the rights and freedoms that citizens enjoy in relation to the state and it's laws. These include, for example, the right of all to vote or to stand for office, freedom of expression, freedom of association and the right to a fair trial. The UK judiciary has several methods at its disposal that provides an effective protection of civil liberties in the UK. However, in practice there are several shortcomings that make these protections weak in the face of parliamentary pressure, which will be demonstrated in this essay.

One way the judiciary can protect civil liberties effectively is through upholding the European Convention of Human Rights. The act stated that all legislation, actions and decisions made by government, it's ministers and others had to conform to the European Convention on Human Rights. Citizens can appeal to the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that the actions of the state contravened the European Convention on Human Rights. An example of the Judiciary's effectiveness   occurred in the Belmarsh detainees case in December 2004. Eight citizens were suspected of being terrorists, they were detained without trial. Their detention was legal under the Anti-terrorism Act 2001. However the House of Lords ruled out that detainees held against their will under the legislation contradicted the Human Rights Act on the grounds that citizens have a right not to be detained without trial. This forced the government to amend the anti-terrorism legislation to ensure safeguards for suspected terrorists. In effect this shows the judiciary effectively protecting civil liberties in the UK.

In addition, the use of judicial reviews allows citizens to appeal against decisions made by government that appeared to be against 'natural justice'. Judicial review is clearly a critical role because it helps to achieve two democratic objectives. One is to ensure that...