back to article Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?

According to most of the broadsheets, if there is a Conservative government after the next General Election, the European Court of Human Rights will no longer be able to overrule British courts. Under plans unveiled today at the Conservative Conference, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is expected to state that a future …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just Within The Law

    I heard May say that she wants to bang up people who are just within the bounds of the law and who preach hate.

    Apart from defining what "Preaching Hate" means (she wants us all to think about 'nasty Muslims' who she needs us to believe are all beheaders, but this will be able to expand at political will), I'm concerned about this issue of people who are just within the bounds of the law. I mean, that's like a policeman collaring a driver for doing 29 in a 30 zone isn't it?

    It reminds me of a story of a Welsh farmer who was owed £90 by his friend. He was given a combination of notes and coins which he duly counted. When he finished, he looked very suspiciously at his friend who said "It's all there my friend" to which the farmer replied "only just".

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Just Within The Law

      Well, obviously the driver was thinking about accelerating to 34mph, so bang to rights.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        Re: Just Within The Law

        We know because we've overheard him talking about in the past. (Hidden by parallel construction: on his switched off phone.)

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Just Within The Law

      The idea that we should all behave "well within the law" has a feeling of creeping censorship to it. I am no defender of the hate preachers of any religion or political hue, but I will defend anybody's right to exercise their freedoms. The answer to hate and terror is freedom and democracy. Anything else is just hocus-pocus.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just Within The Law

        "The idea that we should all behave "well within the law" has a feeling of creeping censorship to it."

        It appears that many laws are poorly drafted. The result is the State agencies pushing the limits with speculative arrests and prosecutions. The effect on the general populace is to make people avoid anything that is seen as contentious - even if perfectly legal. The public also then condemn others for breaking that perceived law - even when the actions are actually legal.

        It is the authoritarian tactic to make people fearful so that they will do whatever a State agency wants - without any challenge.

        1. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: Just Within The Law

          "the authoritarian tactic to make people fearful so that they will do whatever a State agency wants"

          Exactly @AC - we become our own censors and policemen. I think I actually heard May say "Britain will prevail" which sounds dangerously close to Lewis Prothero.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Re: Just Within The Law

        "Just within the law" is a ridiculous reason for the state to surveil or suspect people. For example, my property tax bill is coming up. When I pay it, I will pay what it indicates that I owe the county--and not a penny more. I will literally be one penny away from underpaying my taxes and pretty much as close to skirting the law as is possible.

        Should I be placed on some list of potential tax cheats because I pay exactly what the county says that I owe?

    3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Will the preaching hate law ...

      ... apply to politicians?

      1. John G Imrie
        Happy

        Re: Will the preaching hate law ...

        Don't be silly.

      2. Nigel Whitfield.

        Re: Will the preaching hate law ...

        I was wondering earlier if it might be applied to IDS; several disabled groups have reported that there have been more incidents of attacks and harassment, since the government started to do its best to demonise anyone who has the nerve to be ill.

        So, if making public pronouncements that incite people to attack others is now to be a crime, Ms May may be able to silence IDS which will make many breathe a sigh of relief, and entirely coincidentally, ease her own climb up the slippery pole.

        This, from the woman who once had the insight to realise why they were the 'Nasty Party'. I'm not sure if she has lost that self awareness, or simply doesn't care any more.

        1. Ian 55

          Lost that self awareness vs simply doesn't care any more.

          She knows there's likely to be a Tory leadership election soon, and she's acting like anyone else who wants a chance at beating the vile Boris.

      3. Triggerfish

        Re: Will the preaching hate law ...

        Effect politicians? Nah no other law seems to.

      4. veti Silver badge

        Re: Will the preaching hate law ...

        Only those who don't belong to one of the ruling cabal of parties. It's one of those irregular verbs. "I speak my mind, you are a demagogue, he has been charged under Section 17 of the Public Order Act 1986".

        A BNP politician who preaches hate? Bang to rights.

        A Tory or Labour backbencher? Rap on the knuckles, possibly booted from the party if the press won't shut up for long enough.

        A Tory or Labour frontbencher? It becomes official party policy and is officially no longer "hate" but "honest and open discussion".

  2. John G Imrie
    Black Helicopters

    At first they came for the Paedophiles

    and I did not object as I am not a Paedophile

    Then they came for the Benefit Fraudsters

    and I did not object because I'm not on benefits

    Then they came for the Extreme Porn producers

    and I did not object because I'm not into blood sports

    Then they came for the Extremists

    and I did not object because I am not an Extremist.

    Who will they come for next,

    and who's going to stand up for me?

    1. Yugguy

      Re: At first they came for the Paedophiles

      That's a bizarre list of people to link by any stretch of the imagination.

      1. Anonymous Dutch Coward

        Re: At first they came for the Paedophiles

        Could be. The point is still valid.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: At first they came for the Paedophiles

          "That's a bizarre list of people to link by any stretch of the imagination."

          That was his point. It is all very well trying to manipulate popular opinion using this subset to 'justify' removal of rights/new laws but the point being is that those laws are actually for the ENTIRE population. The majority of which do NOT fall into those categories. Despite what the DM says.

          The law should be applied equally to all. Therefore the rights of the population should be enshrined.

          1. P. Lee

            Re: At first they came for the Paedophiles

            >Therefore the rights of the population should be enshrined.

            Far better that the rights of the government shall be circumscribed.

            The problem with the revised poem has been pointed out - it includes both criminal and non-criminal activity and therefore does a great injustice to the original poem. Paedophilia isn't a crime because it is a thought. Touching children is a crime (action) and incitement to crime may also be illegal. Benefit fraud is a crime. Being a communist (believing/holding possessions in common with the community) isn't a crime. Taking people's things from them usually is. This is as it should be.

            The problem with the "hate" (and "terror") legislation is that it oversteps action into discussion and thought. It sets up legal conflict between people and groups where before we had the chance of toleration. It allows the extremists, false-flaggers and trolls to polarise the debate by mis-emphasising quotations. The cynical might say its a case of divide and rule by the government.

            The original poem is about the problem with getting rid of people who we don't like or disagree with. The problems come when we see those we disagree with as criminals for disagreeing with us; or irredemably evil. People are not agreeing to disagree anymore, they want to force everyone to think their way - i.e. intolerance is rising. The second poem confuses the issue by mixing in real criminals and bringing into play dumb legislation (teens' sexts=>KP).

            My general opinion is that bad local rule is better than passing power further away. The EHRA might be be good law, but what happens when the German economy collapses and the tone of the legislation changes (to take a point from history). Do we then want to have given our legislative powers away? I certainly don't like the idea of the government graciously giving me rights because it implies it can take them away again.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: At first they came for the Paedophiles

          I think I might have taken a photo of my children when they were young.

          Anonymous - obviously!

      2. John G Imrie

        Re: At first they came for the Paedophiles

        I looked for groups of people that all had had laws enacted against them in my life time to take on some threat, real or imagined, where application of the law could, or has been, used against the wider society.

        Oh, and I have a weird imagination. :-)

      3. John Bailey

        Re: At first they came for the Paedophiles

        "That's a bizarre list of people to link by any stretch of the imagination."

        No it really isn't. But you thinking it is, is quite depressing.

        It's a fairly good list of the "bad people" that politicians really really want to protect us from. But entirely by coincidence.. accidentally enable the ability to make life uncomfortable for any who asks awkward questions.

        Remember.. it matters not if a hundred innocents are imprisoned, so long as one embarrassing demonstrator is denied the ability to cause people to ask why.

      4. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: At first they came for the Paedophiles

        >That's a bizarre list of people to link by any stretch of the imagination.

        Not if you work in Westminster.

    2. Harry Stottle

      Re: At first they came for the Paedophiles

      Your post is extremely apposite and well re-engineered.

      I would guess your downvotes result from ignorance and failure to recognise your parody of the famous translation of Martin Niemoller's 1946 poem which, for the benefit of those who've obviously never encountered it, I include here:

      First they came for the Jews

      and I did not speak out

      because I was not a Jew.

      Then they came for the Communists

      and I did not speak out

      because I was not a Communist.

      Then they came for the trade unionists

      and I did not speak out

      because I was not a trade unionist.

      Then they came for me

      and there was no one left

      to speak out for me.

      1. John G Imrie

        @Harry Stottle

        Thank you.

        Though I think I might have poked my head a bit higher above the parapet,

        again :-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @John G Imrie

          Your post contains one flaw in re-engineering, in particular your list Paedophiles, Benefit Fraudsters, Extreme Porn producers, and Extremist’s would all be considered criminals. These activities would have been considered criminal both before and during your life time. Further to this almost all other societies would consider these activities criminal.

          Whereas the 1946 poem contains a list of people who would largely not have been considered criminals until such time as the specific government to which Martin refers made these things criminal.

          1. Nigel Whitfield.

            Re: @John G Imrie

            However, the laws that are intended to affect only those "nasty evil" people have unintended consequences, for example, to name two:

            • teenagers, who end up on the sex offenders register, for texting photos of themselves to a consenting partner

            • people taking part in perfectly legal sexual activities, who have been prosecuted under the extreme porn law, for having photos of those activities

            Not to mention MPs who end up on lists of "Domestic Extremists" such as Caroline Lucas; the requirements placed on some jobless people are now so onerous that they end up sanctioned very easily, and what is a sanction if not a clear suggestion that they've not been fulfilling their side of the bargain, and so are trying to get something to which they're not entitled?

            While not all those things are necessarily criminal, we have certainly seen a demonisation of many groups, and a tightening of rules, which means that many actions now attract a far harsher penalty, whether criminal or not, than in the past.

            When politicians talk about benefit sanctions, they talk of fraud, and no one imagines that - to pick a simple example - someone will be sanctioned for not attending a meeting at the job centre because it clashed with job interview.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @John G Imrie

            "...Paedophiles, Benefit Fraudsters, Extreme Porn producers, and Extremist’s would all be considered criminals."

            This might be a bit of an odd moment and topic to be pedantic about, but being a pedophile isn't actually illegal... Child abuse, posessing child pornography, etc is illegal, but being a pedophile in itself isn't illegal (at least not yet)

            I am not 100% sure about 'being an extremist' though... they (govmint') may have enacted laws that make it a crime to be one without actually doing anything illegal (like hate speach, incitement to violence, being in the posession of a bar of chocolate likely to be usefull for a terrorist's snack, etc)...

            I guess thats what this new law is all about? finally managing to get to all those extremists out there who go about their daily lives, comitting no crimes and staying well within the law in all cases, but seething with rage against the west on the inside?

            1. Nigel Whitfield.

              Re: @John G Imrie

              Also, very likely without all that tedious necessity to actually take a case before a proper court.

              A lot of the people who have been prosecuted under things like the Extreme Porn law have been acquitted (the excellent Obscenity Lawyer blog covered one such in 2012). But the mere fact of being charged with some of these things, especially after politicians have talked up the "shocking danger" when passing the law, can be enough to ensure that simply being charged is enough for someone to lose their job, and likely a lot more.

              Sloppy legislation (anyone for extreme tiger porn?) already has a chilling effect on free expression. To a degree, this latest proposal is just another step along the line.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @John G Imrie

              I hope pedophilia is not illegal - foot fetishes are bizarre but hardly nasty. Paedophilia, in the sexual sense, is another matter - the practice of it is very nasty (bearing in mind that its definition varies with culture and time).

              There is a reason for the spelling difference, as in most such words. Until one understands it, one should at least respect it.

          3. arkhangelsk

            Re: @John G Imrie + Titus Technophile

            The read I got is that this is exactly how governments try to justify restrictive laws - starting with groups we find "icky" so we feel inclined to let the law past. Then we find that either the law actually includes us as well, or the government, having gotten one victory, pushes to revise the law to include another, and each time the bar to a new restriction gets lower.

          4. mmiied

            Re: @John G Imrie

            "Your post contains one flaw in re-engineering, in particular your list Paedophiles, Benefit Fraudsters, Extreme Porn producers, and Extremist’s would all be considered criminals. These activities would have been considered criminal both before and during your life time. Further to this almost all other societies would consider these activities criminal.

            Whereas the 1946 poem contains a list of people who would largely not have been considered criminals until such time as the specific government to which Martin refers made these things criminal.."

            Extreme Porn producers, and Extremist’s. where not criminals until the government decided that they where (provided the porn was concencal and that there was only extremism not terrorism)

            you can make a case for Paedophiles in the same vane just a longer time ago

          5. earl grey
            Mushroom

            Re: @John G Imrie

            Aye, but the only difference between who is defined as a criminal and who is not is based purely on who is in power when the law is passed and who controls them (whether religion, big business, or the oligarchs).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In 1215 at Runnymede, do da, do da.

    So, this proposal would do away with an entity that limits the powers of the 'Crown' and protects the rights of the people. I wonder if they can rush it through by the 15th June next year?

    1. jeremyjh

      Re: In 1215 at Runnymede, do da, do da.

      With a spot of luck they won't still be in a position to rush it through by then.

      Not sure if anyone else will be better though.

    2. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

      Re: In 1215 at Runnymede, do da, do da.

      I think Maga Carter, for all the good it has done over the years, was actually about protecting the rights of the Dukes and Barons. The fall out for commoners was serendipitous.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: In 1215 at Runnymede, do da, do da.

        The fall out for the commoners was due to the black plague giving them powers that the barons have been trying to take away ever since

  4. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Who will rid me of these troublesome fascists?

    And just in case anyone interprets the above as some call to violence, I'm hoping that the British electorate will rid me of them via the ballot box. And then ban them as an extremist organisation.

    I mean to say, is there any reason at all why these unpleasant people should be allowed to preach their hate-filled bile? Other than the obvious reason that free speech is a fundamental british value, dammit!

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Who will rid me of these troublesome fascists?

      Who is there to replace them? Labour should be there, defending the labour of this country. The working man/woman/child. But they aren't. They're a redder shade of Blue. As George Galloway put it, they're "three cheeks of the same arse".

      We on the Left, or those who like to be in the middle, have no one. We have no one that will stand up to the big three. Thinking about my vote in 2015, I can only vote Green. I don't want to vote Green, but I'm sure as hell won't be voting Red.

      1. NogginTheNog
        Mushroom

        Re: Who will rid me of these troublesome fascists?

        I'll vote for (almost) anyone who'll pledge to bin that fucking total waste of money called 'nuclear deterrence'!

        1. Spanners Silver badge

          Re: Who will rid me of these troublesome fascists?

          And I will vote for whoever will keep out xeno[phobes and other forms of nationalists, those who think their job is to protect the status quo (good group though), those who feel that having gone to the right sort of school gives them extra entitlements and those who feel that any given group is by default better or worse than any other.

          Most important is to keep out the xenophobes, nationalists, UKIP, EDL SNP and so on.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Who will rid me of these troublesome fascists?

        "We have no one that will stand up to the big three."

        A Tory (Home Secretary?) today said that the new surveillance laws will go through next time as the Lib-Dems won't be in a position to block them again.

        The Tories promised to wind back Blairite Labour's surveillance excesses. They started out well - then Mr Hyde took over. It appears that the Lib-Dem coalition has put a brake on what could have been a Tory implementation of Labour's wildest dreams.

        UKIP is the joker in the pack. My impression is that they believe in Free Speech - as long as they are doing the speaking.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ahh, Mr. Grayling

    "Mr. Grayling’s policy would mean that he could waive the proverbial two fingers at any "

    Which is pretty much what he's best at.

  6. Ross K

    According to most of the broadsheets, if there is a Conservative government after the next General Election, the European Court of Human Rights will no longer be able to overrule British courts.

    For that to happen, the UK would need to leave the EU? Recent opinion polls would suggest that, in terms of EU membership, UK voters know what side their bread is buttered on.

    I don't think you can tell the ECtHR to go and "do one" just because you don't like their thinking on human rights issues. They have the final say, and I don't think they'd play by the proposed rules...

    1. LegalAlien

      No, to leave the ECHR, the UK would have to leave the Council of Europe (nothing to do with the EU). The CoE has 47 member countries, including Russia and Georgia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_states_of_the_Council_of_Europe

      It would be an unprecedented departure by UK from human rights agreements, agreed between a large number of countries over decades.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It is rather ironic that the ECHR was an idea strongly supported by Winston Churchill.

    2. Ilmarinen
      Thumb Down

      Politicians - bless 'em

      IIRC you have to sign up to the ECHR to be a member of the EU or of EFTA so we would have to invoke Article 51 and negotiate our exit from the EU or just renege on existing treaties, either way without the option of joining EFTA. Might make trade a bit difficult.

      But then, this is just conference grandstanding by an uninformed and ignorant politician, and we know how tenuous their relationship with truth and honesty is - remember "Call me Dave" and him "vetoing" that "treaty", or that guff about "renegotiating" our "relationship" with the EU? - all make believe.

      The mainstream media seem equally clueless most of the time.

    3. dogged

      No, it wouldn't. The EU is a wholly separate institution and rather younger (although one could argue about its legal predecessors, the EC and EEC in reverse chronological order)..

      The ECHR was founded in 1959 in part by, er, the UK. Being a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights (circa 1953) is not related in any way to membership of the EU.

      This is just as well because it means we can stay in the ECHR and leave the hotbed of fraud and featherbedding far behind.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Zog_but_not_the_first

    This article...

    ... constitutes a dangerous and extremist point of view.

    Not today, but maybe tomorrow. No joke. No joke at all.

  8. Dr Stephen Jones

    The ECHR predates the EU, it is not part of the EU, and so leaving the ECHR does not require leaving the EU.

    Are all your observations on current affairs this good?

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      Correct, as far as it goes. However, while it is not a requirement for EU membership that someone is a signatory to the convention itself, it is a requirement that a state respects certain fundamental rights. The convention is also framework within which EU law is supposed to operate. So, to remain an EU member, a government would, even if it withdrew from the convention, still have to be mindful of the same rights.

      You can download a PDF from the Parliament website, which addresses this in more detail, and contains opinions on both sides of the argument regarding whether or not withdrawal from the convention would require withdrawal from the EU (or, in other words, don't just stop reading the PDF when you get to the bit that supports whichever position you agree with).

      1. Ilmarinen
        Happy

        @ Nigel Whitfield.

        Thanks for the pdf link. We like people who do facts and evidence :-)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The article claims that the UK is currently bound by decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), such that the latter can overturn decisions of the former's national courts. That claim is incorrect: the relevant legislation is Human Rights Act 1998, section 2 <http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/42/section/2> of which only requires national courts to "take into account" the ECtHR judgments—i.e. UK courts are persuaded by, but not bound to follow, them.

        Thus, whilst signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) have international treaty obligations to abide by decisions of the ECtHR, there are no sanctions available for states who ignore them! The matter gets referred to the Committee of Ministers, who could ultimately kick a state out of the Council of Europe, but that has never yet happened (and there is a very long list of ECtHR judgments that have been egregiously ignored by signatory states).

        It's true the EU does not require its member states to themselves sign the ECHR, but it is important to note that the EU has itself done so: <http://hub.coe.int/what-we-do/human-rights/eu-accession-to-the-convention>. Thus any case that can be brought before the ECJ (the supreme court of the EU, whose decisions *are* binding on the national courts of member states—a requirement of EU membership) will almost certainly consider ECtHR decisions to be persuasive to the point of being bound thereby. Thus if the UK seceded from the ECHR, or even the CoE generally, it would still find itself bound by such rulings on a great many subjects unless it also secedes from the EU. And that's not to forget the legal basis of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the UK's supposed "opt-out" arguably having little practical effect).

        Furthermore the UK (and EU) are also signatory to other international human rights treaties, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—violations of which can be petitioned before the UN.

        So it is awfully unclear what the Conservatives actually mean by all this political posturing and headline-grabbing electioneering, since the reality is that there is very little that the UK can do without renouncing a great many international treaties (which would probably necessitate it seceding from a number of significant intergovernmental institutions). It's a pipe dream, but not a very realistic one.

        There's a ton of excellent resources for those who would like to read more, but two I'd highly recommend are:

        A 2013 interview in The Guardian with Lord Neuberger (President of the Suprement Court) <http://www.theguardian.com/law/2013/mar/05/lord-neuberger-deportation-terror-suspects>

        A House of Commons briefing paper "European Court of Human Rights rulings: are there options for governments?" <http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN05941.pdf>

  9. Just Enough
    Holmes

    You don't need rights when you've money

    "laws ensuring that human rights cases are determined by Britain’s Supreme Court "

    The Supreme Court determine things according to British law. If the Tories chose not to create any laws regarding human rights, the court will have very little to work to. It cannot proclaim anything on human rights, because the law will not recognise such a concept.

    Which is exactly how the Tories like it. Pesky rights interfere with profits, and when you're rich you have little need for "rights", because money buys you anything.

    1. SolidSquid

      Re: You don't need rights when you've money

      Technically, even if the Tories *did* create a bill of rights, it would only stay in place until a later government (potentially including another tory one) decided they didn't like it. No parliament is bound by the decisions of it's predecessors, which is why having a body *outside* of the UK courts to deal with human rights is a good idea. Our system just isn't designed to deal with that kind of thing

      1. El_Fev

        Re: You don't need rights when you've money

        Really ?? my god how did this country manage for the 1000 plus years its has existed??

        1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          Re: You don't need rights when you've money

          " my god how did this country manage for the 1000 plus years its has existed??"

          Well, the poorer members of society tended to get fairly thoroughly shafted...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You don't need rights when you've money

            "Well, the poorer members of society tended to get fairly thoroughly shafted..."

            No changes there then....

        2. Triggerfish

          Re: You don't need rights when you've money

          " my god how did this country manage for the 1000 plus years its has existed??"

          Well lets see first we hit the poor with big fucking swords, and maces and stuff until they agreed an area of land was yours, then you charged them for the privilege of living there.

          Then we had mills and stuff, where we took the poor and made them work in ridiculously dangerous conditions. Children were especially useful because they could get in the tricky spaces of machinery, and they fitted up chimneys well.

          Finally we started to start thinking about human rights and stopped a lot of that shit, although it was quite a while before you could take companies to court for dangerous working practices, and doing things like baton charging strikers was considered acceptable.

          Then they decided to start scrapping the human rights act, fuck knows what they got planned after that but considering the last 1000 years I think we are right to be a little worried.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You don't need rights when you've money

          >> Really ?? my god how did this country manage for the 1000 plus years its has existed??

          Not too well for the ordinary man, that's why the various charters and laws, from the charter of liberties that Magna Carta revived (may have the name wrong, sometime in the 12th century I think, itself building on pre-conquest ideas) through 17th century restrictions on the monarchy right up until yesterday (today we have an ignorant political class who think big business, especially USA business, elects them, just as it seems to pay them).

          Try doing some reading, both historical and fictional from the times. Read Dickens for a more recent description of fixed elections, arbitrary justice and grinding poverty. It always took catastrophic events depleting the working population to provoke change, whether WWI or the Black Death.

          We are now in the position where the other countries of Europe, for the most part, have freer citizens, more liberal laws and better medical and social security systems than Great Britain, that instigated the forerunners of these things.

      2. Nigel Whitfield.

        Re: You don't need rights when you've money

        And that, of course, is one of the problems with the rushing to sort things out after the Scottish Referendum, which will likely be a stitch up behind closed doors.

        Parliament is sovereign in the UK, not the people, and that's actually a bit of a problem when it comes to things like that. A government can remove rights, just as they can - for instance - remove a tier of local government like metropolitan county councils, when the population develops an annoying habit of voting for the wrong people.

        Blather about a "bill of rights" or a new Magna Carta is meaningless, unless the rights and institutions can only be changed by a vote of the people, and not at the whim of a politician. That, of course, means a constitution, and the likelihood of more, rather than fewer, challenges to politicians.

        The HRA and ECHR are loathed by politicians precisely because they act as a brake upon their populist whims and rabble rousing; not matter how much they dress up their actions with good intentions and drape them in the flag, they aren't going come up with a replacement that gives power away to anyone else, because it's simply not in their nature.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Joke

          Re: You don't need rights when you've money

          You have to be careful anytime something is directly legislated by the people especially when corporations and well-financed NGO's are involved anywhere in the process. Adding a constitution to constrain the effects of the popular vote is common but also fraught with dangers. To really fuck things up, you add popular constitutional amendments, then you end up with my state (or state of being): California!

          The joke is California.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You don't need rights when you've money

          @Nigel Whitfield

          "A government can remove rights, just as they can - for instance - remove a tier of local government like metropolitan county councils, when the population develops an annoying habit of voting for the wrong people."

          - Just as Tony Bliar did with the House of Lords, which occasionally insisted he re-think some of his more unpalatable bills, thus slowing his inexorable march to total power. He got rid of those wth a conscience and replaced them with his accolites.

    2. Paul Smith

      Re: You don't need rights when you've money

      You have that completly backwards.

      1) If you have enough money, you don't need someone else to defend your rights, you can do a damn good job defending them yourself.

      2) You are also badly mistaken if you think the Tories care about profit, perhaps you are confusing them with the republicians in the US. The proper name for the tories is the Conservative party. They wish to conserve things just they way they are, so that the tories with the power, keep the power.

  10. JayB
    Coat

    Slightly amazed

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a seriously wary of this "ooo, he might be thinking of possibly telling someone that they might possibly break some law or other" bollocks, but are people here seriously suggesting that the bloody Labour Party or ANY other Political Party is actually going to be a better idea?

    Have you all forgotten how many of our rights were eroded or plain old annihilated by the Labour Govt? These clowns took us to war based on lies, enacted laws because minority focus groups demanded it and generally ran us into national poverty (hey, Mr Brown, where exactly is our gold?). No, I am not saying that the Tories are the solution, but blindly handing it to the other shower o’ shite is not the answer. Get off the internet, talk to your MPs and vote in someone with enough balls to stand up to the Police and the Intel Services who drive this kind of crap.

    Also remember it was the Labour Party who allowed the Police to become so politically corrupt that they feel it’s allowable for them to try and dictate national policies by destroying people’s careers if they stand in their way.

    Mine’s the one with the copy of Hitchhiker’s Guide in it … “it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it”

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Slightly amazed

      You're indeed correct. The problem started with the New Labour party. Not Labour.

      The difference between the two is that t**t Blair. He brought Thatcherite views/ideals to Labour, which allowed them to be voted in. If Labour had continued on it's socialist/leftist path, I doubt we'd have seen a Labour government in power until 2008 when the economy went tits up. Remember, alot of the deregulation of Banks started under Thatcher, but continued under Labour.

      What the UK needs is a party that returns to socialism. Labour won't do it, far too many of the politicians there are career politicos, never worked a day outside of poltiics in their life. They have no idea how people live their lives - which was evident (although slightly silly to bring up) when he commented on how much he thought the weekly food bill was.

      If you couple with this the general apathy there is towards politics in this country, it sets a dangerous precedent which leads to threats of the Human Rights bill being recinded. We allow a party/parties to govern us for up to 5 years at a time, with no accountability until the next election - at which point marketing comes in to it and everything that was done in year 1 is forgotten about. As well as this, there are people who will only vote for one party, good or bad.

      The UK as a whole missed an opportunity when Scotland had it's independence vote. What we would have had, if Scotland voted yes, was a Conservative only government for the next 10 years with absolutely no competition from any one else, other than UKIP (which are in NO position to challenge power). It was a wake up call that was snoozed, and I hope that the 45 movement up north keep on with their campaign for change because we as the UK need it. We need to get this establishment out of the country. We need accountability, we need to believe that the people that we put in power are in no way there to control us. They answer to us, not the other way round.

      If it wasn't for the fact that I work during the day for a firm, and work in the evenings trying to build up my own business, I'd be out there either joining another party or creating one to fight against this. I've always been political in a house where both parents (who came from Ireland) weren't political. I remember watching John Major and thinking he was alright, not liking Blair, then being dissapointed that Blair got in to power. I will say it's only in the last 3 years where I've become more aware of the shit that is going on with these parties. The 3 we can choose from are all of the same hymn sheet. We need the alternative.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Slightly amazed

        What is it with all you of Thatcher hating pinkos posting today?

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: Slightly amazed

          Because we can.

          What's the matter? Does the Tory not like the underlings posting t'truth on t'internet? Tsk tsk.

        2. Martin-73

          Re: Slightly amazed

          I am thinking of a Samuel L Jackson quote on English... and do you speak it... see if you can read my pinko, thatcher hating mind

        3. VBF

          Re: Slightly amazed

          They've all got short memories!

      2. Ilmarinen
        FAIL

        Re: Slightly amazed

        "What the UK needs is a party that returns to socialism"

        I don't think that it ever had one, but the previous nearly socialist ones still managed to run out of other people's money to spend. And the current clowns are still carrying on the same, running up debt and spaffing our hard earned cash on foriegn wars, high speed trains, spying on folks, aircraft-less carriers, diversity outreach co-ordinators, etc, etc.

        I think we just need much less government, much smaller Government - EU, central, county and local - and many fewer laws and regulations. These people are not in their trade for our benefit, merely for their own self importance and enrichment or a nice easy job and good pension.

        Bring on the tumbrills, that's wot I say.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Slightly amazed

        Before you get too complacent, I think there's good chance that around 45% of the Scottish population will never vote again...

    2. a53

      Re: Slightly amazed

      Very, very well said sir. Couldn't have put it better myself.

  11. Jonathan 29

    Incredulous

    I doubt there is another country in the world where removing a person's rights to life, liberty and security would be a vote winner.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Incredulous

      We - in the US of A - did much better. Our Government can lawfully assassinate any US Citizen without due process of law, anywhere in the world, by fiat decision, reached in secret, based on secret evidence that cannot be challenged, refuted or even examined.

      And we didn't even have a debate on this, of any kind. It Just Happened.

    2. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: Incredulous

      The problem is that following WW2 the UK set out to increase human rights in countries with different legal systems to ours. People don't tend to comprehend the underlying basis of the problem, which I shall attempt to summarise below.

      The UK and all of our former colonies, protectorates etc are based a form of law descending from "common law" whereby you are free to do anything you want unless a law is enacted restricting your freedom.

      Much of Europe follows the opposite principle, whereby you have no rights or freedom aside those rights granted by the law.

      As a result after WW2 there was a British attempt to export basic "British" rights to the continent in the hope of preventing another European war by granting traditional British rights to the european populace, such as "you have the right to vote", and "you have a right to a family life". We wrote the rights, which are few and simple.

      The problem is that continental style law saying "you have the right to a family life" are then being merged with a system of law that accepts that as a basic right. It then leads to people in prison or about to be deported for murder saying that they can't be deported since they have a right to a family life. This is obviously not actually the aim, and why the human rights act has been described as a criminals charter. It effectively is, since it codifies existing rights that we already have while opening up loopholes that are generally only of use to people who have broken laws.

      Complaining that a good portion of the country then chokes with rage over this is not really particularly productive because it is indisputably outrageous. Nobody in their right mind should dispute that these sort of incidents should be swiftly eliminated, as the longer this sort of mess drags on for the more support it generates for exiting the EU entirely. And it's more or less entirely generated by accident, since the headline examples causing most people to be happy to leave the EU aren't representing the intention of the laws in the first place.

      Nobody else pays as much attention to the ECHR as we do either. If the French get stupid rulings they just ignore them and pay the fines. Other countries ignore both the rulings and fines completely when it suits them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Incredulous

        "If the French get stupid rulings they just ignore them and pay the fines."

        When I worked at the EEC in Luxembourg a French colleague explained "The problem with the British is that - when they sign up to something - they think they then have to follow the rules".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Incredulous

          I would like to see facts that confirm that British follow the EU rules better than other countries. As far as I can see this is just a poor UKIP-inspired narrow-minded joke. Statistics show that the UK is a similar offender as most other EU members.

          Besides, thanks to the "rebate", the UK puts half the money France, Italy and Germany put into the EU coffers so, since we all agree that money talks, yet one more reason for the British to shut up.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Re: Incredulous

        For US (pun intended) it was the 14th Amendment applying federal constitutional provisions and restrictions upon all lesser actors (state, county, city) under equal protection. It's still playing out. The intent was not to have this at all with one example being no nationally sanctioned religion while the individual states were under no such restriction. (Yes, I'm intentionally avoiding the landmines around slavery.)

        Gun Rights is another where the well-organized wording was there to prevent federal laws surrounding any individual states having such a critter around such that they could challenge federal power. And leaving it entirely up to each state's courts and legislators to determine what is meant by well-organized which definitely was not in the writ of the federal government. Yes, this is an example of state's powers accruing to the federal and, again, still in playing out.

        Fortunately I won't be around to see the end of this either which way this ends, nor have any children. Utterly selfish I know.

      3. SleepyJohn
        WTF?

        Re: Incredulous - (and English Common Law)

        This seems to be a very rational comment on the difference between Britain's Common Law system, which holds that the Government exists to serve the People, and Europe's Napoleonic Code, which holds that the Government exists to master the People. I am surprised it only received 5 down-votes on this forum.

        We were often told when I was a child - "In Britain you can do anything unless it is forbidden, whereas in Germany you can do nothing unless it is permitted", which neatly sums up the basic point made by you and one or two others that only countries ruled by dictators need to beg their dictator bosses to give them a list of their rights.

        In a civilised Parliamentary Democracy, that Britain was before it was taken over by the EU, such a thing is not necessary, The Government CANNOT patronisingly 'give you rights', as English Common Law has already given you all the ones available. The Government can only take away individual rights for specific purposes, and then only with the direct permission of the People.

        The EU is not like that. You only have the rights that its de facto Government permits you, and can at any time take away; and the laws controlling every moment of your life are made by unelected, unaccountable, self-anointed politicians you have never heard of, and over whom you have no control (The various quoted percentages of UK laws emanating from Brussels are meaningless, as any law that has not been made by the EU can be over-ruled by it at any time without discussion. Therefore the effective percentage is 100).

        Anyone who thinks dictatorial, overbearing, bureaucratic 'Europe' dispenses greater democracy than English Common Law, with its simple concept of Government being subservient to the People, needs their head examining. No amount of bribery, outright lies and spurious, sanctimonious babble about the rights of murderers, thieves and despots can disguise the fact that the EU is a totalitarian state, that exists to serve not the people but itself.

  12. chivo243 Silver badge
    Joke

    Can't we all

    just march in line like good little soldiers, and do what the law says? Really, it will be much easier on us if we just accept the fact that our rights are changing so fast, we don't know what the fuck they are.....

  13. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

    HUMAN RIGHTS?!?!?!??111!!

    HOO ARE THESE BLEEDIN' 'OOMANS ANYWAY, CUMMIN OVER ERE AN TAKIN AAAH JOBS?!?!?? !??! NOW DEY WANT RIGHTS???!?!!?11? SEND EM BACK WERE DEY CUM FROM IS WOT I SAY.

  14. stu 4

    I don't get Britain these days

    We seem to not care about our rights anymore.

    We have no freedom of speech - jail sentences for slogans on tshirts, for 'preaching hate', etc

    We are happy to have our every move monitored (highest per capita CCTV cameras in the world)

    We are happy to have our every move recorded (tescos clubcard, facebook ,etc)

    We have let terrorism laws be re-purposed into use from everything down to stopping photography.

    We are happy to have our internet censored and restricted, our phone calls recorded.

    Even torture is seen by most of the plebian as a good thing, its benefits being extolled in films and on tv.

    And we are happy to accept that it is all for our own good, that the government is wonderful, and that 'you've got nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide'.

    I just don't get it. I really don't.

    Utterly utterly mental.

    I reckon if Teresa May came out in the press tomorrow with a new law requiring all muslims to wear a star on their jackets, it would pass with no more than a murmur.....*

    *does that count as Godwin...

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: I don't get Britain these days

      It's hard to put my finger on what has led us to this scenario, but I can think of a few contributions to the list:

      -Schools teach kids what to think, not how

      -The miners' strikes and anti-iraq war protests getting nowhere seems to have led to a large degree of apathy

      -Rapid rate of change for everyday living has left lots of people in some kind of weird auto-suggestive daze

      -Ditto for advertising

      -Lack of quality (informative and unbiased) television

      -Boiling frog approach to rescinding our rights, most people are too dazed to know what is going on, even when you try and tell them!

      Of course, it could always be just badgers.

      1. Nigel Whitfield.

        Re: I don't get Britain these days

        Definitely the badgers, and their bloody goalposts.

      2. Chrissy

        Re: I don't get Britain these days

        Naomi Klein - "the Shock Doctrine"

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't get Britain these days

        @ Sir Runcible Spoon

        It's hard to put my finger on what has led us to this scenario

        To add to your list, I'd say we hit the really steep part of the downhill slide the day (late 90s I think) Jack Straw and Anne Widdecombe started their strange bidding war over "tough on immigrants / foreigners in general". The mindset generated from trying to extract rights from anyone who didn't 'fit' is what cascaded over to encompass everything else, since the changes needed to do so proved useful for the swivel-eyed types with other agendas. In particular the attitude of business that "your data is our right" neatly slipstreamed on back of the Governments seemingly more serious assault on surveillance, and the two have never really been disentangled in the public mind.

        Successive governments complete disinterest in anything the public have to say - in particular the Iraq war protests you highlight - got the better of us in the end, and no one seems to want to waste their time objecting any more. Thinking back, the disparity between the breadth and intensity of protest in the early noughties and now is breathtaking. The British public as a whole simply no longer believe they can change anything, and in any case are no longer so sure-footed as to what 'right' is.

    2. Matt Piechota

      Re: I don't get Britain these days

      "I reckon if Teresa May came out in the press tomorrow with a new law requiring all muslims to wear a star on their jackets, it would pass with no more than a murmur.....*

      *does that count as Godwin..."

      Probably, but it should really be a crescent, no?*

      * note that the crescent is a really a symbol of the Ottomans more than Islam, per se, but it's not like politicians are going to make that distinction.

    3. dajames Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: I don't get Britain these days

      I reckon if Teresa May ...

      It's quite instructive to look at

      http://www.tmay.co.uk/

      and then (but not while at work) at

      http://www.officialteresamay.com/

      I wonder whether you can spot the difference?

    4. Mike Smith

      Re: I don't get Britain these days

      "does that count as Godwin"

      Not if you change the star for a crescent.

      And yep, I could see that happening too.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't get Britain these days

      This is what happens when you have a broken electoral system and politicians are elected by their parties not by the people. People do not care about voting anymore because they do not think it makes a difference. Get rid of micro-constituencies and set up a proportional representation system. The politicians will again do something for the people not only for their parties and their funding lobbies.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't get Britain these days

        Even with the constituencies, the right of recall would sharpen minds pretty quickly. And an end to the party whip would get rid of the lobby fodder we're plagued with. Who'd honestly sign up if all you had to look forward to (unless you really had over indulged in the kool aid) was parroting the wishes of a small cabal, on peril of being ejected.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stalin's Salami Principle

    Anyone familiar with it? It goes like this:

    Human Rights are just like an Italian Salami. You keep cutting off slices, and eating them, until you're left only with the end. Then you dispose of the end because it's useless anyway.

  16. Elmer Phud

    Hate Preachers

    I assume that Aunty Terry means all hate preachers are to be locked up.

    Those wonderful EDL/BNP and, it seems, a great many high-profile Kippers -- will they also be expecting a knock at the door?

  17. a53

    This is so complicated, The court may be able to stop her from treating all of us as potential terrorists, or criminals. But they prevent us from removing individuals who wish us harm. They cause no end of problems with their arrest warrants. Nothing is simple here, but I suspect I would rather fight politicians here on things I disagree with than officials in Brussels or wherever.

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. ThomH Silver badge

    It's the British government that overrules the British courts

    British legislation tells the British courts that if Strasbourg has said something then it should be taken account of, as far as possible. British law also says that if British legislation explicitly contracts anything said by Strasbourg or contained within the ECHR then the court must follow the British legislation.

    Apologies to the Daily Mail contingent.

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      Re: It's the British government that overrules the British courts

      Quite; as as pointed out on Jack of Kent, it's not a very long Act, and probably worth actually reading. There's a link to the text from his blog, and Schedule 1 contains the Articles of the Convention.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's the British government that overrules the British courts

        Thank you for linking that! The whole posting there is also short and well worth reading - as well as prompting us to ask precisely which of the rights we would choose to discard there's this trenchant description of the fundamental purpose of such law:

        Fourth, it is important to note that the whole purpose of human rights law is, from time to time, to frustrate governments and others with power.

        Human rights law which allows politicians to do what they would have done anyway is not meaningfully human rights law at all.

        Of course, government do not like human rights law – they also dislike legal aid and judicial review – as it empowers the individual to stand up to the State.

        So the protests of senior politicians (of all parties) about human rights law should never be taken at face value.

  20. John 156
    Stop

    Who Rules?

    People are completely missing the point here; the Supreme Court exists to rule on whether an action of the executive or a lower court is in compliance with the existing laws of England or not. The ECHR was originally given a clear mandate from which it has departed ever since in order to make rulings and laws which override those of nation states and which have nothing to do with their original brief; if you don't like an existing law, vote for a party that proposes to change the law in a way which supports your beliefs. Under our constitution, the Legislature makes the laws, not the Courts, in theory, whereas, in practice, 80% of our laws come from Europe which has absolutely no democratic foundation, since the European Parliament does not make laws, but simply rubber stamps those originating anonymously from the Commission or the Council of Ministers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who Rules?

      "Under our constitution, the Legislature makes the laws, not the Courts, [...]"

      The problem of mission creep by the UK State agencies is down to poor drafting of too many new laws.

      Too often the wording has been under a strong influence of a single issue pressure group. The Government being aware of apparent media/public opinion "to do something" - have rushed the laws through with the observation that the appeals courts can sort out the fine details.

      The result is innocent people being arrested and prosecuted - as the Police and CPS see how far they can stretch the interpretation of a law to meet their Government imposed targets.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "80% of our laws come from Europe" [citation needed]

      Unlike most of your remarks this at least seems sourceable, and a quick search turns up:

      http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/RP10-62.pdf

      The former Commission President, Jacques Delors, predicted in July 1988 that within ten years 80% of economic legislation, and perhaps also fiscal and social legislation, would be of EC/EU origin.

      Using statistics from national law databases and the EU’s EUR-Lex database, it is possible to estimate the proportion of national laws based on EU laws. In the UK data from these sources provided estimates that suggest that over the twelve-year period from 1997 to 2009 6.8% of primary legislation (Statutes) and 14.1% of secondary legislation (Statutory Instruments) had a role in implementing EU obligations, although the degree of involvement varied from passing reference to explicit implementation. Sectoral studies suggest that the agriculture forms the highest area of EU influence and defence the lowest. The British Government estimates that around 50% of UK legislation with a significant economic impact originates from EU legislation.

      So perhaps that 80% figure is a stale prediction from a Eurocrat's wet-dream?

      But even if four-fifths of all law was being rubber-stamped by anti-democratic puppets in thrall to THEM it's pretty clear that the home-grown 20% is where the really pernicious and vile stuff lies.

      1. John 156

        Re: "80% of our laws come from Europe" [citation needed]

        "Unlike most of your remarks"

        Don't bother to comment on how the British Constitution works when you know f-all about it. I repeat: the Courts are not allowed to create new laws; that is how our Constiution has worked for hundreds of years.

  21. JP19

    It isn't a court of human rights

    The ECHR is about limiting the right governments have to do things to people. Government's ability to do things to people is not restricted to the people that can vote for them so an international organization representing all the people that can have things done to them is what ought to be setting those limits.

    You can argue about what those limits should be but I see zero justification for arguing that governments should be able to choose their own limits.

    Typical of self righteous prick politicians to think they should be allowed to welch on this international deal because they are so nice and honest and trustworthy that they couldn't possibly do anything bad with the additional powers it gives them.

  22. Vociferous

    It's a logical result of the retarded propaganda against the EU.

    If the conservatives are going to run on a platform to get out of EU, and they are, they can't very well support any EU power over the UK.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hypocrites, each and every one of you....

    Absolutely hilarious. You go on and on about how your rights are being taken away and then you have the audacity to tell other people how they should lead their lives, what they can and cannot do or say. Pot, meet Kettle; BTW you are BOTH black.

    Don't even begin to criticise others until you have cleaned up your OWN pig pen. Whether or not we have more or less "freedom" in the States is none of your business. At least we haven't been stupid enough to give up as many rights as you have, especially to another country.

    The French were partially correct. If you don't like the rulings just ignore them. I'l take that one step further.

    I do not recognize ANY court ruling or law that runs counter to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution regardless of who propogated it or when. Why you may ask? Because the Bill of Rights and the Constitution are the basis that all US law is founded upon and they supersede any and all of those other rulings.

    You really ought to read what it says as it should apply to you too.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/overview

    Too many so called leaders have polluted the meaning of these documents and those actions are both reprehensible and treasonous. I say that nullifies their "laws".

    1. Gray
      Boffin

      Re: Hypocrites, each and every one of you....

      Your statement has been noted and recorded. Ample time to reevaluate the contents of "http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/overview" will be provided you during your readjustment period.

      Your statement that "I do not recognize ANY court ruling or law that runs counter to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution..." constitutes a voluntary abrogation of your Fifth Amendment right proscribing self-incrimination, and is a prima facie admission of anti-government attitudes and actions. Sentencing to be indeterminate pending acceptable attitude readjustments.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hypocrites, each and every one of you....

        Piss off please; it's morons like you that create issues like these in the first place.

        Look up Jury Nullification.

  25. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. Swiss Anton
    Childcatcher

    Do M&S sell black shirts?

    I'm all for it. Once we're out of the ECHR we can also tear up our copy of the Geneva Convention. Then we can start bombing anything that moves outside (or even inside) of Baghdad on the off chance they may, or may not be, an ISIL/ISIS/IS/Spliter insurgent. And why stop there? I hear there are plenty of them same foreign types in Calais trying to sneak across the channel to our beloved Blighty. Lets bomb France as well. You can't be too careful, think of the children, (ours of course, not their's).

    In real world I am appalled that anyone from a civilized country such as ours would even contemplate the idea of leaving the ECHR.

    BTW, M&S do sell black shirts.

  27. Gannon (J.) Dick

    El Reg, the new Historical Literacy Hangout

    The Holocaust ... Check

    Magna Carta ... Check

    Henry II (Becket) ... Check

    Not that I mind, where have you all been ?

  28. Alfred 2
    Unhappy

    Human Rights?

    If you take away legal aid, isn't tha the first step in eroding the Human rights of the not well off?

    Not that I expect any government to savemoney by reducing legal aid ...

  29. CmdrX3

    They really don't like it

    The problem with the ECHR is that it is like a battering ram on the establishment. It makes them do things they really don't want to do but should and stops them doing the things they want to but shouldn't. It's by no means perfect, but given the choice of that or the muppets of Westminster stamping on our rights and privacy, I certainly know which one I'd choose.

  30. Herbert Fruchtl

    EU bashing

    There are many things wrong with the European Union. But what the UK government keeps banging on about are human rights and anti-corruption measures (aka banking regulation). I'd expect this from Bulgaria, not one of the founding democracies.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: EU bashing

      Bulgarians will be rightly offended by your remark. I don't remember Bulgaria acquiring world stage dominance through slave trade, colonisation or other mass scale human rights violations.

    2. Caff

      Re: EU bashing

      EHCR is actually totally seperate and predates the EU

  31. system11

    Another day, another thoroughly depressing bit of news about UK politics.

    There's nobody left to vote for.

  32. earl grey
    Alert

    her own climb up the slippery pole.

    pass me the mind bleach if you please

  33. Baldy50

    Abu no handsa

    This is what sticks in my craw, the amount of taxpayers money spent because of the EHCR meddling and he was guilty as sin, proved beyond doubt and someone like him losing some human rights doesn't bother me one bit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Abu no handsa

      I feel sorry for the ECtHR. States bound by the Convention have agreed that it must decide any questions that might arise over interpretation.

      The UK is one of those States. It doesn't have to be. It could renounce the Convention if it so wanted. But yet it chooses to remain a signatory.

      So along comes a question of whether the UK is acting contrary to Article 3 of the Convention: namely, is it "inhuman" to extradite a person to a territory (the USA) where they could be incarcerated for life without the possibility of parole?

      The ECtHR not only exists to answer questions like this, but it is also the only body in the world that is empowered to interpret the Convention. So it hears the arguments, and eventually decides that such an extradition would NOT be inhuman. The individual concerned is duly extradited, tried and convicted.

      I'm failing to see where there was any "ECHR meddling"? How can it be meddling to carry out the task you have been asked to do?

      I also can't see what you would have had happen instead? Deny Hamza access to the court, simply because he had a criminal record (although he had not at that time been convicted of the crimes for which the prospective punishment might have been inflicted)? Disband the ECtHR and instead have national courts decide how to interpret an international convention, leading to inconsistent interpretations across signatory states (which defeats the purpose of having an international convention in the first place)? Undermine the rule of law by interpreting it differently for Hamza versus everyone else?

      I suspect, in reality, your issue is either that the ECtHR is slow (it's under-resourced and has a massive backlog of cases—solution is to fund it properly); or else that you support renouncing the Convention altogether. In either case, these are things for national politicians to resolve: it's pretty unreasonable to lay the blame at the door of the ECtHR.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022