Aug 232016

There are moves afoot to scrap the UK’s Human Rights Act.

Think about that for a moment. There is a minister of justice who wants to take away your human rights.

Whether or not you like the ECHR, the fact that a British politician wants to scrap the Human Rights Act is somewhat worrying. They want to take away our human rights. It is all very well saying that the British authorities never behave in ways that would threaten our human rights, and we have both common law and traditions that protect our human rights. But scrapping the Human Rights Act sends a signal that we do not need human rights; a signal that may not be picked up and acted on for years or decades, but the signal is still there.

Now if they were merely going to modify the Human Rights Act, that would be fine. I am sure there are parts that go a bit too far and others that do not go far enough. The key thing is that changing the Human Rights Act; even improving it, sends a different signal no matter what those changes are. That signal is that we do believe in human rights.

And that is a good message to send.

The New Defence

The New Defence

Oct 032014

According to the Tory party conference, they are planning to “do something” about the European Court of Human Rights, and to stop the British government being overruled by the ECHR. Most of the time we hear about the work of the ECHR through ridiculous stories but the court deals with tens of thousands of cases a year. So most of the time we do not get to hear about it’s work. After all sensible decisions do not make good news stories.

Let’s look at the rights that the ECHR is there to protect :-

  1. respecting rights
  2. life
  3. torture
  4. servitude
  5. liberty and security
  6. fair trial
  7. retroactivity
  8. privacy
  9. conscience and religion
  10. expression
  11. association
  12. marriage
  13. effective remedy
  14. discrimination
  15. derogations
  16. aliens
  17. abuse of rights
  18. permitted restrictions

Which is a long list, and could do with some additional explanation, which can be found here.

The reason the Tories are giving for abolishing our human rights is that they don’t want interference from the European Union in their actions. Which when you come down to it is kind of worrying – our government finds our human rights and the organisation created after World War II to protect those rights “inconvenient”.

There are those who will ramble on about sovereign rights which are important, but not as important as human rights. People are more important than states.

The more the Tories want to evade the oversight of the ECHR, the more I want the ECHR to be keeping an eye on the behaviour of “our” government. The judges of the ECHR may be unelected but they’re more trustworthy than a bunch of corrupt politicians who find our human rights inconvenient.