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Yes Prime Minister

The Prime Minister expressed unease about the way the judiciary was riding roughshod over the democratic process and using human rights legislation to introduce a privacy law by the back door.

“What ought to happen in a parliamentary democracy is that Parliament, which you elect and put there, should decide how much protection we want for individuals and how much freedom of the press and the rest of it. So I am a little uneasy about what is happening.”

“I think there is a question here about privacy and the way our system works,” Mr Cameron said.

“Judges are using the European Convention on Human Rights to deliver a sort of privacy law without Parliament saying so. I think that we do need to have a proper sit back and think: is this right, is this the right thing to happen?

But you see, that\’s the effect of having these overarching laws with such concepts as a \”right to private life\” into a Common Law system. You\’ve said, by having the Human Rights Act, which contains such a provision, that there is now this right in law to a private private life.

And the judges, judging the cases that come before them, have to try and work out what this means. What actually is the law?

If you\’d specified what it was in the original legislation (OK, previous government, if it had been specified) then the judges would be judging on what was specified.

Not, as they are, making it up as they go along which is the best that they can do in the current situation.

The is the legislature\’s fault, no one else\’s.

7 thoughts on “Yes Prime Minister”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    “Not, as they are, making it up as they go along which is the best that they can do in the current situation. The is the legislature’s fault, no one else’s.”

    Sorry but I am not buying it. The judges are clearly pushing their own personal agendas. It would not matter what the law said, there is a strong Liberal (in the American sense) bias in the legal profession and they will torture the intent of the law until they get what they want from it.

    God knows we have seen this often enough. Judges are happy to strike down the letter of the law if it helps them push their own particular wheelbarrow. The Human Rights Act is an excuse. America has more obvious examples of this with the Supreme Court not even bothering with the letter of the law – what other countries do is enough to influence their law these days.

    Fixing the problem is therefore impossible.

  2. SMFS

    That’s why the law shouldn’t be so open ended. The problem is that governments have passed numerous laws which give artificial rights in general terms. Even a hard as nails, baby eating, CO2 emitting, slave owning Judge would struggle to limit the impacts of The Human Rights Act.

    Its no coincidence that the Prime Minister responsible is married to one of the nations highest paid human rights lawyers.

    Its as if David Cameron had passed a Luxury Stationary Purchase Act.

  3. Surreptitious Evil

    That’s why liberal was immediately followed by “in the American sense”. What Americans mean by liberal isn’t the same as what it usually means here (i.e. Hume, Burke, Hobbes and Smith).

    Of course, neither are the meaning as expressed in “Liberal Democrat” – which seems to be some sort of code for thankfully-ineffective, authoritarian watermelon.

  4. Cameron likes making speeches “expressing unease”/talking abouy being “physically sick” at EU rules/making “cast iron promises”. Whwnn it comes to actually doing what he has promised he never acts. Well ok he did, eventually, after being repeatedly being pushed, fulfil his promise to get the Tories out of pro-EU Parliament grouping, I can’t think of anything else he has been even that honest about.

  5. This House of Lords briefing paper on the-then Human Rights Bill may be of interest.

    ISTM the main issue here is about whether something is in the public interest or merely of interest to the public. Should the press be free to publish true information about a famous man who conceived a child with a woman who is not his wife, or a sportsman who engaged the services of a prostitute?

    The courts are obliged to weigh Article 8, the right to respect for a person’s private and family life, his home and his correspondence, and Article 10, the right to freedom of expression. – they aren’t absolute rights. Here is a judgement by way of example.

    Not, as they are, making it up as they go along which is the best that they can do in the current situation.

    Tim, I don’t think you mean this the way it reads.

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