Cameron\’s an idiot

In a speech to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the Prime Minister will argue that European judges have become too powerful. He will say the court should not “undermine its own reputation by going over national decisions”, just days after its judges overturned the decision of British courts to deport Abu Qatada, the radical Islamic cleric.

What the hell do you think a supranational court is for if it isn\’t to over rule national ones?

The only way out of this is to leave the jurisdiction of the court, which means leaving the Council of Europe and thus the EU.

No, I don\’t think that the ECHR stupidities are sufficient reason to do that, I\’ve plenty of other reasons for desiring that we leave.

But to complain about a supranational court being supranational is just stupid.

12 comments on “Cameron\’s an idiot

  1. So can we clarify your position, Tim? Do you think the UK should withdraw from the ECHR?

    Tim adds: I think we should withdraw from the EU and Council of Europe, yes, which entails withdrawing from the ECHR.

  2. One of the more interesting complaints of Mr Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister and his supporters, has been that the constitutional court was overruling the democratic will of the people.

    I never thought I would see the same level of sophistication from an Oxford educate British Prime Minister.

  3. Discussion of the areas of competence of the court and the autonomy of national courts is neither ridiculous or unexpected.

    After all, as Europe increasingly heads towards a federated future, we are only starting on the ongoing battle between and state and federal courts continually fought in the USA.

  4. Cameron may well be an idiot. But he’s not such an idiot not to know that blitherings like this plays well with a core audience in The Mail, for example.
    He gets to rant about a popular bete-noire (I’m too idle to find out how to insert the circumflex, ok?) knowing he gets the headline for doing SFA.

  5. The Telegraph and Daily Mail are a bit misleading, not least in terms of their figures for cases lost, “3 out of 4”. But 97% of complaints lodged against the UK are dismissed by the Court.

    Don’t those count as ‘wins’? Not to people who want to portray the Court as obsessively interventionist and activist.

    http://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2012/01/22/is-the-european-court-of-human-rights-obsessively-interventionist-andrew-tickell/

    What kinds of cases are the losses? Well, whingers cite the ‘prisoner votes’ case, Hirst v UK, but that wasn’t a particularly egregious loss; what the court said (paraphrased, obv.) was , “the UK has to justify why it disenfranchises prisoners, we aren’t saying the UK can’t ever disenfranchise any prisoners”. Controversial stuff! Imagine having to justify why you should be allowed to infringe someone’s rights! How awful.

    Abu Qatada is a recent case – what the Court said (again paraphrased) was, “absent certain other assurances you can’t send this guy to Jordan because he won’t get a fair trial because we’re persuaded ‘evidence’ has been obtained by the use of torture”. They didn’t say “you can’t ever send this guy to Jordan for any reason”. Jordan could say, “OK we won’t use the evidence obtained via torture” or “OK we won’t try him” and we could deport him.

    How awful that we have agreed to support fair trials and be against torture.

  6. He gets to rant about a popular bete-noire (I’m too idle to find out how to insert the circumflex, ok?) knowing he gets the headline for doing SFA.

    IIRC, Cameron and other senior Tories have said there is no question of withdrawing from the Court or Convention, so quite why Telegraph and Mail readers get their hopes up I don’t know.

  7. “Tim adds: I think we should withdraw from the EU and Council of Europe, yes, which entails withdrawing from the ECHR.”

    Why would we have to leave the ECHR because we left the EU?

    We were in the ECHR decades before we joined the then Common Market and there are a number of countries signed up to the ECHR who aren’t in the EU.

  8. JohnW: Read your quotation through again. In it Tim supports leaving the Council of Europe, not just the EU. And that would involve leaving the jurisdiction of the ECtHR. Hence “Why would we have to leave the ECHR because we left the EU? ” is a silly question (as you are well aware the answer is “we wouldn’t”, it’s just not what Tim’s saying.)

  9. MyBurningEars: Thanks.

    My bad, I got confused between the Council of Europe and the Council of the European Union.

  10. The Cameroid is just another dishonest pol making an ostentatious song and dance about European impositions as if they were some sort of surprise, that had only just occurred to him. When in fact he, and his entire cohort, have been fully aware of this for years, and complicit in it. Furthermore, we have already handed him the authority to initiate the measures needed to reclaim our sovereignty. He has not, and will not take any effective action. The creation of fuss is a smokescreen to camouflage the dereliction of duty.

  11. JohnW: ta, I have come to the conclusion that anything with such befuddling jargon is unlikely to be a good thing. “Council” is bad enough but even more confusion is on offer regarding the word “president” attached to anything European…

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