Human Rights on a Horse Hair (from a Barrister's Wig)

5th November, 2013.

 

To mark the 60th anniversary of the coming into force of the European Convention on Human Rights (9th September 2013) we thought we would try something a little fun.

The rights and fundamental freedoms afforded to legal and natural persons alike have proved invaluable to barristers who have used them to protect businesses and individuals in court for over 60 years.

Some (not us!) say however that these rights should shrink in their significance from daily life - disappear. If they did 'shrink' however, how small could they go? And where might you forever find them? Could you write them on a barrister's gown? Easily. On a wig? Probably! But what about on a hair taken from the barrister's wig, could we do that?

hair pattern 1

Choosing a Pattern

Working with the Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Derpartment at the University of Nottingham, we first had to decide what we were going to use as our pattern to write on the hair.

When it became apparent that because of the curvature and rough surface we would have to limit our text to a section of the ECHR we chose a short section from Article 6 - Right to a Fair Trial. You can see here several attempts to burn the pattern onto the hair which is about 100 micrometres across.

Beneath the three title lines ("The European Convention on Human Rights", "60 years (1953-2013)" and "Article 6"), you can see a section from Article 6. It reads "...everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law."
 
 

 

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