On this Human Rights thing

The politicians have only themselves to blame, as Lord Judge points out:

He said such a view was entitled to be held in a free country, but added: “What, however needs to be examined, is the way in which the criticism of “Human rights” and the judgments made by reference to them, is that the incorporation of the Convention, and the statutory requirement that the decisions of the European Court of Justice must be applied (whether we judges in the United Kingdom agree with them or not), and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights must be taken into account, represents the law of the United Kingdom as decided in parliament by the ordinary legislative process.

“Judges are obliged to apply the legislation enacted by our sovereign parliament, and the European Communities Act 1972 and the Human Rights Act 1998 are two such Acts. No more and no less.”

It isn\’t that votes for prisoners, or appeals against being on the child sex offenders register, are some alien imposition from outside our political system: as many, including the Prime Minister, seem to think.

It\’s that our politicians have passed laws stating that such will be the laws that judges and the courts will impose.

And if politicians really want to stop these things from happening, the ability to do so is in their own hands. Repeal the 1972 European Communities Act for example, and we\’d be free in one bound.

I commend it to the House.

3 thoughts on “On this Human Rights thing”

  1. It’s that our politicians have passed laws stating that such will be the laws that judges and the courts will impose.

    Quite!

    The political discourse is about passing the buck: pass the buck to the EU, pass the buck to the Council of Europe, pass the buck to the European Court of Human Rights, pass the buck to our domestic judiciary, for god’s sake pass the buck to anyone rather than have a sensible debate in Parliament.

  2. “Repeal the 1972 European Communities Act for example, and we’d be free in one bound.”

    Except we wouldn’t. Being subject to the ECHR is a separate treaty to being part of the EU. (We ratified the treaty in 1951 IIRC.) We’d have to repeal that as well.

  3. JohnW

    Although the UK ratified the treaty setting up the ECHR in 1951, it would have been illegal for any UK citizen to plead his/her case before the court prior to 1967.

    Before 1967 we had a law of Praemunire. This stated that if a British citizen sought to take his grievance out of the kingdom and plead against his monarch before a foreign court he was guilty of a type of treason. Henry VIII had people executed for precisely this offence.

    Praemunire was repealed in 1967 in anticipation of Common Market membership, as it was absolutely incompatible with it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *