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Should the UK cut its ties with the European Court of Human Rights?

09:04 UK time, Monday, 7 February 2011

The government should cut its ties with the "expansionist" European Court of Human Rights, says a report by a right-leaning think tank. Is the ECHR fit for purpose?

The Policy Exchange report written by a former government adviser, Dr Michael Pinto-Duschinsky, says the UK has become "subservient" to the Strasbourg court.

The recent row over prisoners' voting rights has highlighted the issue.

Is the ECHR over-extending the concept of human rights? If the UK severed ties would it jeopardise its commitment to human rights? Would it be too complex to cut ties with court?

This debate is closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 8

  • Comment number 1.

    France has, since 1789’s Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, been a model for human rights and yet, in dealing with Roma, even the French have decided their rights should be less than those of others in the EU, at least until 2014. The forced repatriation of Roma has France in trouble with the ECHR. But the forced repatriation was a seemingly wasted effort as Roma can re-enter immediately and the French are powerless. And so fingerprinting will be introduced, further exacerbating the human rights breaches.

    Given this nonsensical behaviour I cannot see that the issue is about the ECHR; it is an issue about the EU, its size, the countries it has admitted to membership. As in other continents there is something very badly wrong when the traffic is almost all in one direction.

    So please let us have less of an attack on human rights per se, and more of an investigation into the failures of the massive EU bureaucracy into which the UK pays a fortune. We have a right to expect much better from our investment than rows about things that should have been dealt with long before anyone wrote down names on that EU membership list.

    The Policy Exchange is being dangerously provocative and the Government needs to say so.

  • Comment number 2.

    I'd want Britain to have much closer ties to Europe were it not for things like this. Cut the bureaucracy and I'd be for staying in the EU, because it has a lot of benefits, moreso than the American alliance.

  • Comment number 3.

    Should the UK cut its ties with the European Court of Human Rights?

    Good question BUT totally irrelevant.

    Whether we should or should not cut ties is very much a matter of opinion; what is indesputable fact is that no political party in UK is ever likely to even give the matter serious consideration.

  • Comment number 4.

    No judgement is valid without direct accountability

  • Comment number 5.

    Should we cut the ties - No. Why? - because it is a useful institution for UK governments to blame when they are implementing measures that are politically unpopular but necessary to protect the rights of UK subjects because we have no written constitution..

  • Comment number 6.

    Is the UK any more "subservient" to the ECHR than any of the other 46 signatories? Why is it that this group alleges that the UK has specific problems when the others (apparently) don't? Either there's a problem that all have in which case the right course of action is to agree changes with the others. If there are some unique problems that the UK has but the others don't then why is that? It may be that the UK courts interpret the ECHR in different ways from the European Court (but that isn't what this article is about) which is something for the UK to fix.

    Does this group agree that the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights are fine (and can be ruled upon in UK courts alone) and what it wants to abolish is the right of appeal to the European Court. How will British courts then know they are interpreting the ECHR correctly if the final arbiter of the convention is taken out of the equation?

    Apparently the European Court rejects about 95% of individual appeals to it so one can assume that the 5% it does rule upon are the right types of cases.

    Abrogating the ECHR would be a great way to enable terrorist suspects to escape extradition to this country: they would argue that since the UK no longer applies the European Convention then their human rights might be at risk if extradited to it (and so the whole EU arrest warrant system will collapse). That's why it should not be possible for someone being extradited to (say) Sweden to use the Human Rights arguments to escape extradition. Both Sweden and the UK apply the exact same Human Rights protocols so both should be able to trust the systems of justice that each has.

  • Comment number 7.

    1. At 09:41am on 07 Feb 2011, Aneeta Trikk wrote:
    France has, since 1789’s Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, been a model for human rights and yet, in dealing with Roma, even the French have decided their rights should be less than those of others in the EU, at least until 2014. The forced repatriation of Roma has France in trouble with the ECHR. But the forced repatriation was a seemingly wasted effort as Roma can re-enter immediately and the French are powerless. And so fingerprinting will be introduced, further exacerbating the human rights breaches.

    Given this nonsensical behaviour I cannot see that the issue is about the ECHR; it is an issue about the EU, its size, the countries it has admitted to membership. As in other continents there is something very badly wrong when the traffic is almost all in one direction.

    So please let us have less of an attack on human rights per se, and more of an investigation into the failures of the massive EU bureaucracy into which the UK pays a fortune. We have a right to expect much better from our investment than rows about things that should have been dealt with long before anyone wrote down names on that EU membership list.


    You do realise that the European Court of Human Rights has absolutely nothing to do with the EU do you? The ECHR was set up before the EEC/EU was even thought about. 47 countries are signatories of the ECHR (27 of which are EU members). The EU requires candidate EU members to have ratified the ECHR but that's as far as the relationship goes.

    Some on here clearly think that if the UK abrogated the ECHR then this would fast path the UK to exit the EU by default. Maybe that's what this think tank is really after.

  • Comment number 8.

    We must get out of this iniquitous act. It claims jurisdiction over our own laws, which were a thousand years in the making and are more democratic and liberal than anything dreamt up in Europe or any of it's states. Laws are made by the people , not by poorly qualified politically motivated judges , many of whom preside in courts where justice is a joke. The European idea of justice is to protect every criminal , terrorist and transient lawbreaker at the expense of the common citizen. Our parliament must assert it's right to make and apply our laws on and at the behest of the people.

  • Comment number 9.

    Lawyers would have a field day. Removing these "Human Rights" would doubtless be against our "Human Rights"

    Catch 22 - And therefor too late

  • Comment number 10.

    3. At 09:49am on 07 Feb 2011, devilzadvacate1 wrote:

    Should the UK cut its ties with the European Court of Human Rights?

    Good question BUT totally irrelevant.

    Whether we should or should not cut ties is very much a matter of opinion; what is indesputable fact is that no political party in UK is ever likely to even give the matter serious consideration.


    __________________________________

    I think this matter goes beyond the simple judgement of Parliament, I think if the government ever decides to consider cutting ties with the ECHR then a referendum might have to be called.

    This would be one move which would require hard consideration, a decision we could not go back on if things were to go belly-up.

  • Comment number 11.

    At last some commonsense.

    The Human Rights Act has been a disaster for the UK, decision after decision which defy common sense and provide a shield for war crimes asylum seekers, militant islamists and economic migrants.

    Our judges apply the HRA to the widest possible extent created judge made laws at the stroke of a pen bypassing the will of our democratically elected government. It's a complete mess that needs changing now.

  • Comment number 12.

    No. This think tank was obviously the typical, uneducated, rightwing whiners. I’m yet to ever hear an intelligent argument against the EU.

    The ECHR does more to protect the people of Britain (particularly the poor) from mistreatment from the greedy and corrupt within this country than anyone else.

    These people had no intention of looking at the issue in an unbiased way; their results would have been the same no matter what data they were given. The question is who paid for these idiots to write this “report” and how much did this cost?

  • Comment number 13.

    While our Parliment is being continuously overruled by the ECHR`s on issues we fundamentally disagree with, we are no longer a sovereign state, and should extract ourselves from it.

  • Comment number 14.

    Human rights what human rights when this act seems to be solely for the criminal section of our society. This world has gone mad and the sooner we return to sanity the better.

  • Comment number 15.

    No, we should absolutely NOT sever links with the ECHR. This organisation represents the ultimate protection for people of this country against the authoritarian excesses of successive UK governments. For example, Home Secretaries Michael Howard and Jack Straw, who both found their more extreme policies being overturned in the ECHR.

    I also cannot believe the views presented on this site, whereby people seem so prepared to throw away hard-fought rights and protections that the ECHR gives us. These people seem to be arguing from a position of ignorance.

  • Comment number 16.

    Yes, we should pull ot of ECHR and the EU, we are a sovereign nation that should be setting our own laws and determining who and when people enter our country. As far as human rights are concerned I think we look after other nations citizens maybe better than our own. It's not that long ago eastern europe was part of the soviet bloc, yet now we have eastern europeans settling in Britain, they come in, don't have a job, get financial assistance, get housing allowance and are told by social services if you get a job don't work more than 16.00 hours per week or you could lose some or all of you allowances. So, Mr Smith who works a full week on minimum wage, has been on the housing list for ten years and still hasn't been found accomodation, although his earnings are well below the governments own advertised poverty income level of £16,500.00 per annum, doesn't get one scrap of help from anywhere. In a nutshell, the eastern european is having a free ride paid for by the working population of Britain. That's just one example of where we should be considering the rights of our own population and not pandering to the stealth invaders of Brussells.

  • Comment number 17.

    The ECHR has been a disaster for Britain and has prevented us from governing our own country. But it is nothing compared to Labour's Human Rights Act which is certainly the worse legislation ever inflicted on this country.

  • Comment number 18.


    For Britain to cut ties with the ECHR would be one more step down the the road to becoming international outlaws along with the Americans who consider themselves above the any laws even some of their own!

  • Comment number 19.

    "Should the UK cut its ties with the European Court of Human Rights?"

    "Is the ECHR fit for purpose?"
    No, it is totally unrealistic and out of touch with reality.

    "Is the ECHR over-extending the concept of human rights?"
    Yes - it's dreamworld-PC for Fairy-tales which puts innocents in danger.

    "If the UK severed ties would it jeopardise its commitment to HR?"
    Of course not, we'd simply use our own version of HR - it'll work much better for ALL of us - not just the Criminals.

    The EU is far too dangerously infantile in it's dogma...

  • Comment number 20.

    11. At 10:03am on 07 Feb 2011, Bradford wrote:

    At last some commonsense.

    The Human Rights Act has been a disaster for the UK, decision after decision which defy common sense and provide a shield for war crimes asylum seekers, militant islamists and economic migrants.

    Our judges apply the HRA to the widest possible extent created judge made laws at the stroke of a pen bypassing the will of our democratically elected government. It's a complete mess that needs changing now.
    .............................................................

    I have no idea how we got around to handing power to them in the first place. The average citizen is furious about them overriding our laws.
    Yes, our laws are not perfect but when we have to allow people to live here who have shown themselves to be of bad character it is the straw that broke the camels back. They are not wise enough to tell us what to do.

  • Comment number 21.

    13. At 10:08am on 07 Feb 2011, Ron C wrote:
    While our Parliment is being continuously overruled by the ECHR`s on issues we fundamentally disagree with, we are no longer a sovereign state, and should extract ourselves from it.


    So you approve of things like torture, detention without trial, a state controlled press, invasion of privacy, no rights to family life, no right to free expression or assembly etc etc?

    Perhaps you could look here: http://conventions.coe.int/treaty/en/Treaties/Html/005.htm and tell us which of these rights you disapprove of and why? Or is it that you take it for granted that YOU have these rights but not anyone that you happen to disapprove of?

    The sovereignty argument is bogus: if other states refuse to extradite criminal suspects to the UK because we have not codified human rights law in a way recognised as an "international standard" what meaningful sovereignty is that? As in many things on here HYSers want the sovereignty to cut off our collective noses to spite our collective faces!

  • Comment number 22.

    Can we also have a few BBC headlines based on comments by left-leaning think tanks, please, in the interests of balance? (the main page has yet a another from the IoD, failing to mind its own business again).


  • Comment number 23.

    I suppose the US could close down Guantanamo and replace it with similar places in the UK if we did...

  • Comment number 24.

    Yes we should cut our ties to the ECHR, we were doing perfectly fine without it.



  • Comment number 25.

    19. At 10:15am on 07 Feb 2011, Tez wrote:
    "Should the UK cut its ties with the European Court of Human Rights?"

    "Is the ECHR fit for purpose?"
    No, it is totally unrealistic and out of touch with reality.

    "Is the ECHR over-extending the concept of human rights?"
    Yes - it's dreamworld-PC for Fairy-tales which puts innocents in danger.

    "If the UK severed ties would it jeopardise its commitment to HR?"
    Of course not, we'd simply use our own version of HR - it'll work much better for ALL of us - not just the Criminals.

    The EU is far too dangerously infantile in it's dogma...


    What has the EU to do with this subject? It's about the European Court of Human Rights, not the EU.

    How would other nations know that "our own version of HR" meets internationally accepted norms?

    You are also making a false premise: Human Rights laws do work for us "ALL" and not just criminals. We all have exactly the same protections from the arbitrary power of the state. It just so happens that criminals encounter the power and authority of the state when they are brought to justice. If you were falsely accused of a crime then you really would want to know the protections of the Human Rights laws were there.

  • Comment number 26.

    Yes, for several reasons

    The ECHR is not really about human rights but power and the control of power. The ECHR was set up to prevent central govt abusing its power because, as WWII showed, in many countries govts could not be trusted.

    Personally I blame the continental legal and political system (civil code system) which provides for all power to come from the top.

    England has no real history of central authority abuse of power, partly this is due to our legal/political system which provides for power to ultimately derive from the bottom - which is why we have trial by jury of our peers with a complete separation between the state prosecutor and the judge and continental systems have trials by an inquisitor who is a state appointment and is prosecutor, judge and jury. We have no need for the ECHR.

    Secondly, one of the purposes of the ECHR is not to guarantee "rights" but to prevent debate about issues. Once the ECHR has ruled on a particular issue, for example voting rights for prisoners, there is no point in having a debate on whether prisoners should have rights. In other words the ECHR is a tool to restrict effective freedom of speech.

    I would abolish the Human Rights Act and all rights to appeal to the ECHR. It might lead to rare instances of govts passing draconian laws (mostly Labour govts) but we at least would have the right to vote out that govt at the next election.

  • Comment number 27.

    #7 Total Mass Retain

    Thank you for the comment. There is an intrinsic relationship between the EU and the ECHR.

    EU institutions are bound under article 6 of the EU treaty of Nice to respect human rights under the Convention. Furthermore, since the Treaty of Lisbon took effect on 1 December 2009, the EU is expected to sign the Convention and the wheels of Accession are in motion. This would make the Court of Justice bound by the judicial precedents of the Court of Human Rights and thus be subject to its human rights law, resolving the issue of conflicting case law.

  • Comment number 28.

    As I understand it, the idea is that the UK cuts its ties with the European Court of Human Rights and NOT to scrap our Human Rights Act.

    Interpretation of legislation is all about intent and common sense.

    The way that ECHR (a foreign court staffed by foreigners in France) interprets OUR legislation defies all logic.

    As I have said before in similar HYS debates (and have been criticised for my beliefs in this Forum) - the rights of UK citizens to live and walk freely in this country without fear of attack or crime, and to speak out against the government of the day within the legal process, are the only rights that count. All who attempt to interfere with these rights should have no protection from the Human Rights Act. Non UK citizens who break our laws or who are considered a threat to the rights of UK citizens should be removed immediately.

  • Comment number 29.

    Cut our ties with the European Court of Human Rights. We don't need them to tell us what's right and wrong and it will be one less waste of our money.

  • Comment number 30.

    Don,t be ridiculous

    of course not

  • Comment number 31.

    6. At 09:53am on 07 Feb 2011, Total Mass Retain wrote:
    Is the UK any more "subservient" to the ECHR than any of the other 46 signatories? Why is it that this group alleges that the UK has specific problems when the others (apparently) don't? Either there's a problem that all have in which case the right course of action is to agree changes with the others. If there are some unique problems that the UK has but the others don't then why is that? It may be that the UK courts interpret the ECHR in different ways from the European Court (but that isn't what this article is about) which is something for the UK to fix.

    Does this group agree that the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights are fine (and can be ruled upon in UK courts alone) and what it wants to abolish is the right of appeal to the European Court. How will British courts then know they are interpreting the ECHR correctly if the final arbiter of the convention is taken out of the equation?

    Apparently the European Court rejects about 95% of individual appeals to it so one can assume that the 5% it does rule upon are the right types of cases.

    Abrogating the ECHR would be a great way to enable terrorist suspects to escape extradition to this country: they would argue that since the UK no longer applies the European Convention then their human rights might be at risk if extradited to it (and so the whole EU arrest warrant system will collapse). That's why it should not be possible for someone being extradited to (say) Sweden to use the Human Rights arguments to escape extradition. Both Sweden and the UK apply the exact same Human Rights protocols so both should be able to trust the systems of justice that each has.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TMR, you seem very Pro ECHR. Are you a lawyer by any chance?

  • Comment number 32.

    Just before we get inundated with the standard right wing anti EU bilge.Please remember that the ECHR has nothing to do with the EU predates the formation of the EU and indeed the Common Market by decades and has over 25 signatories who are not members of the EU.

    That should get about 85% of the posts moderated out for irrelevancy

  • Comment number 33.

    24. At 10:24am on 07 Feb 2011, MetallicaHoop wrote:
    "...Yes we should cut our ties to the ECHR, we were doing perfectly fine without it..."
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    So Europe in the 1930s and 1940s is your idea of "doing perfectly fine" apparently.


  • Comment number 34.

    At 10:12am on 07 Feb 2011, Edwin Schrodinger wrote:
    The ECHR has been a disaster for Britain and has prevented us from governing our own country. But it is nothing compared to Labour's Human Rights Act which is certainly the worse legislation ever inflicted on this country.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wow! A whole 16 posts before someone manages to try and put the blame on Labour. Phone the Guiness Book of records?
    This really is getting very, very silly. We are discussing something very important to each and every one of us. This shouldn't be the place for partisan point scoring.
    FWIW I don't think it ever looks good when you whinge about decisions that haven't gone your way. Try to remember that this body is there precisely to remind governments what they signed up to whether it suits them at the moment or not.

  • Comment number 35.

    So many people on here seem to be declaring this court the worst thing to happen to Britain, that we should retake our own sovereignty. Consider what you're doing with that concept - making our government entirely unaccountable and meaning that we get no international perspective on our own actions. We saw fit to give Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia a very large slice of british perspective on their actions; it would be a great hypocrisy and make us a liability to the international community if we withdrew from this.

    We are beginning to look like the petulant toddler of Europe, trying to shout everybody down constantly and putting our own convenience above that of the greater good. We need to grow up a bit, quite frankly.

  • Comment number 36.

    It would in principle allow lenders to take all the equity, as well as the money owing, in cases of default and possession, (as in the US with "foreclosure").

    It would similarly enable creditors, to bankrupt companies to take the money owed them from the employees' pension pot (once more). The money men keep theirs, employees lose theirs (again).

    That's why the Tories, IoD etc. like the idea, in my view. All the rubbish about criminals and asylum seekers is just electoral manipulation. The above is the real agenda, I'd say.

  • Comment number 37.

    As I will only accept ENGLISH law, it does not worry me if it is recognised or not, as I do not recognise any other legislature than that of England.

  • Comment number 38.

    27. At 10:26am on 07 Feb 2011, Aneeta Trikk wrote:
    #7 Total Mass Retain

    Thank you for the comment. There is an intrinsic relationship between the EU and the ECHR.

    EU institutions are bound under article 6 of the EU treaty of Nice to respect human rights under the Convention. Furthermore, since the Treaty of Lisbon took effect on 1 December 2009, the EU is expected to sign the Convention and the wheels of Accession are in motion. This would make the Court of Justice bound by the judicial precedents of the Court of Human Rights and thus be subject to its human rights law, resolving the issue of conflicting case law.


    Whilst this is true, it is still not relevant. The UK submitted itself to the ECHR in the 1950s and the Lisbon Treaty merely incorporates something that all EU members had already signed upto into the treaty. It also subjects the EU itself and its institutions to the ECHR (something surely that we can all approve of: if Eurosceptics feel the EU is breaching their human rights they have a means of getting a remedy within EU law). It places no additional obligations on the UK or other pre-existing ECHR signatories. Moreover, were the UK to leave the EU then the UK would still have exactly the same obligations under the ECHR.

    My point is to please not conflate the EU and ECHR: they are not the same and the former does not impose the latter on the UK.

  • Comment number 39.

    I don't see that the European Court serves any useful purpose for the citizens of the UK. We have a well established legal hierarchy of our own, which is quite capable of dispensing justice.

    The European Court appeasr to have no accountability. That is contrary to our ideas of democracy and how we want to be governed.

    If we need or want new laws, or changes to existing laws, we have an elected parliament quite capable of, and accountable for, doing what is necessary.

  • Comment number 40.

    Most definitely, if not we should require so many MP's if the UK laws and decisions are made in Europe.

  • Comment number 41.

    Reform the clause in the Act. But stay in the Human rights act. Cameron is so far rightwing he wants a sort of fuedal society where workers are virtual serfs. Cameron is a monster, Clegg a vicious liar, that is what needs reformed.

    The fascist right want us out of the Act so they can brutalise parts of society they hate out of bigotry.

    The Conservatives are extremists.

  • Comment number 42.

    Absolutely NOT!

    The British, especailly those who post on HYS, seem to be generally anti human rights. I am passionatley in favour. Yes, we don't always get the balance right and neither perhaps does the ECHR. On the other hand some of their decisions have resulted in very positive changes in Britain e.g. changes in youth justice procedure.

    I still believe that the world desperately needs a strong and united Europe. All the EU countries are too small on their own to wield much power and influence (despite UK STILL trying to pretend it's the world power it hasn't been for 50 years). The way forward is to commit to Europe and to ensuring it is a strong, positive voice in world affairs. ECHR is just one element of this.

  • Comment number 43.

    17. At 10:12am on 07 Feb 2011, Edwin Schrodinger wrote:
    The ECHR has been a disaster for Britain and has prevented us from governing our own country. But it is nothing compared to Labour's Human Rights Act which is certainly the worse legislation ever inflicted on this country.


    Did you know that the ECHR was ratified in the early 1950s by Churchill's government. As for the HRA you really need to understand what that does: it merely makes the ECHR enforceable in the UK so that citizens are not forced to undergo the cost and time it takes to get remedies under the ECHR from Strassbourg. If our courts are interpreting the ECHR differently to either the European Court or the national courts of the 46 other ECHR signatories then that is the problem that needs fixing.

    However, one requirement of the ECHR is that each state institutes its own proceedings to provide remedies under the ECHR (this is article 13 of the convention). So the Tories would have had to introduce the HRA or something similar even if Labour hadn't. In the UK, our courts cannot strike down any UK laws if they are found to be in violation of the ECHR. What they can only do is declare certain laws (or their application) incompatible with the ECHR and require parliament to change said laws.

    If you think the ECHR is a disaster does that mean you approve of torture, detention without trial etc?

  • Comment number 44.

    This think tank is composed of pathetic Little Englanders who produce nothing but a stream of ridiculous Eurosphobic nostrums. As post 12 said: "The ECHR does more to protect the people of Britain (particularly the poor) from mistreatment from the greedy and corrupt within this country than anyone else." And as post 15 said: "No, we should absolutely NOT sever links with the ECHR. This organisation represents the ultimate protection for people of this country against the authoritarian excesses of successive UK governments... I also cannot believe the views presented on this site, whereby some people seem prepared to throw away hard-fought rights and protections that the ECHR gives us."
    I too, am yet to hear a cogent argument against the ECHR in particular, or the EU in general. The EU, despite its organisational shortcomings, is the best thing to have happened to Europe since the Enlightenment.

  • Comment number 45.

    33. At 10:33am on 07 Feb 2011, Eddy from Waring wrote:
    So Europe in the 1930s and 1940s is your idea of "doing perfectly fine" apparently.

    Erm... I said we. I'm not European, I'm English.

  • Comment number 46.

    "12. At 10:06am on 07 Feb 2011, thesilentpsycho wrote:
    No. This think tank was obviously the typical, uneducated, rightwing whiners. I’m yet to ever hear an intelligent argument against the EU."

    Whilst i think the EU is generally a good idea and often it does protect our rights there is one extremely good argument against the EU that totally blows any other out of the water:-

    It is not democratic

    If there was a vote tommorrow about whether to leave the EU or not in the UK then we would be leaving the EU by a landslide.

    So our opinions on how good the EU is are irrelevant.

    Have a referundum and let the people decide.

  • Comment number 47.

    It is only in the UK that judges have decided that you cannot deport a convicted foreign criminal because he may suffer in his own country. Until the UK government gets a grip on its own legal profession nothing will change. The first thing that needs to be done is the removal of all legal aid for: civil cases apart from personal injury, immigration matters, sex discrimination, religious discrimination and racial discrimination. The current unlimited awards available from Industrial Tribunals for complaints related to sexual and racial complaints should also be removed as it encourages such complaints and provides rich pickings for lawyers.

  • Comment number 48.

    22. At 10:22am on 07 Feb 2011, Eddy from Waring wrote:
    Can we also have a few BBC headlines based on comments by left-leaning think tanks, please, in the interests of balance? (the main page has yet a another from the IoD, failing to mind its own business again
    =======================

    You shouldn't make comments like this you will annoy all the blinkered Tory supporters who see the BBC as part of a left wing conspiracy.
    Most right wingers are very anti anything European but we would do better to be closer to Europe if the alternative is to go down the US route. The inequality and social insecurity of life in the US is something we should avoid at all cost. Life there is great for the well off but this massive wealth gap is at the expense of millions of low paid, unhealthy workers

  • Comment number 49.

    Can we remove ourselves from this court's control. Yes we can and lawyers who try to unpick it will find them in the costitutional position that no parliament can bind its successors. Therefore if a Parliament votes to remove it its legal.

    The Eurpopean Court may have a different view of this which them bring the UK into an eyeball to eyeball confrontation with the EU.

    Then it will get interesting because the EU will argue that we are subserviant to them under various treaties we have signed, the UK's option then becomes to either back down or to unpick the treaties.

    About this time we will get a confrontation about our rights to remove ourselves from various treaties and whether we signed away our right that no parliament may bind their sucessors.

    Students of history will note that this was one of the most significant arguements of the American Civil War. Now I know a lot of people will immediately shout, What about Slavery, it wasn't a major issue until the 1863 Emancipation Act, until that time there were slave owning states in the North like Maryland. The issues were Freetrade, import tarrifs and 1860 was the last year that the farming South's GDP exceeded that of the idustrial North's GDP.

  • Comment number 50.

    Should the UK cut its ties with the European Court of Human Rights?
    No, any links to Europe should be strengthened while those to the US should be weakened.

  • Comment number 51.

    Yes it should. Liberty and the rest of the leftie Human Rights industry can squawk as much as they like but people in this country are sick of foreign murderers, terrorists, preachers of hate, drug-runners and vice gangs getting leave to remain here because their safety might be in jeapordy if they get sent back where they came from. These sorts of people are damaging our lives and we want them gone. And if truth be told, we don't much care what they're going back to because life isn't perfect and we've had it with our soft-bellied 'principles' being abused.

    What's the point of harping on about archaic tenets of 'fairness and tolerance'. The lawless and uncivilised couldn't care less. The world has changed. The person in the street knows it - we live with it every day. Time now for the political and media classes to start facing - and reporting -reality.

  • Comment number 52.

    39. At 10:42am on 07 Feb 2011, Chris mather wrote:
    I don't see that the European Court serves any useful purpose for the citizens of the UK. We have a well established legal hierarchy of our own, which is quite capable of dispensing justice.

    The European Court appeasr to have no accountability. That is contrary to our ideas of democracy and how we want to be governed.

    If we need or want new laws, or changes to existing laws, we have an elected parliament quite capable of, and accountable for, doing what is necessary.


    This may be a big surprise to you but allcourts are not accountable to anyone. We (in common with most democracies) have an independent judiciary that once appointed has the task of interpreting the laws of the land independently of political interference. If the courts interpret laws in ways that parliament did not intend then that is for parliament to fix but telling judges to interpret laws in ways that are not written is very dangerous.

  • Comment number 53.

    No great surprise here as most of these 'right wing pressure groups' are livng in the past. They hate the EU,hate human rights courts and seem to hate most of the kind of people that have to use them to get justice in the UK when our own legal system with its lack of a bill of rights and a written constitution creaks to a halt. The UK has some of the highest numbers of appeals by British citizens to the ECHR. This might be indicative of how much it is needed here to get fair and just law made. I see the ECHR is a safety net for when all else fails with British law.

  • Comment number 54.

    No this organisation is vital to us all.

  • Comment number 55.

    #39 Chris Mather
    "The European Court appeasr to have no accountability. That is contrary to our ideas of democracy and how we want to be governed.

    If we need or want new laws, or changes to existing laws, we have an elected parliament quite capable of, and accountable for, doing what is necessary."

    In 2005 Labour got a majority parliament on about 20% of the votes of the total electorate. I'd love to hear your definition of accountable - it sounds intruigingly different to mine. And more pertienetly, who will you go to if your human rights are violated but protected by an act of British law?

  • Comment number 56.

    The ECHR is essential, we need it to protect us from people, well represented on HYS, who think the world exists solely for their benefit and that anyone else's needs are irrelevant.

  • Comment number 57.



    After the vote in Parliament on Thursday the PM will have a democratic mandate for the UK to no longer recognise the ECHR in Strasbourge and to restore UK Supreme Court and Parliament as the highest legal authority that English citizens can appeal to and the Scottish may well follow suit:

    http://news.scotsman.com/news/Judgment-day-looms-on-human.6712674.jp

    This is long overdue and there will be an inevitable confrontation between the UK and Strasbourg that may see the UK expelled from the EU (being a signatory to the EU is a a condition of being a member of the European Council) but it will all be entirely worth it - British sovereignty would be restored we would be able to decide for ourselves via our own parliament what laws we do or do not want.





  • Comment number 58.


    NO, WE MUST NOT CUT TIES WITH EUROPEAN COURT ON HUMAN RIGHTS.......
    .....Human rights are vital to everybody. Its when EU try to ride rough sod over our Parliament, is the time to reject their rulings in favour of ours. Other members should do the same. If we do not make a stand, these little Hitlers of Brussel will keep on introducing more and more legislations until our Parliament completely disappears from sight, with them left in command of the whole of EUROPE. How would you feel if Signori Berlusconi and his heavy boys were in charge of Europe?...now, there's the thought !!

  • Comment number 59.

    17. At 10:12am on 07 Feb 2011, Edwin Schrodinger wrote:
    The ECHR has been a disaster for Britain and has prevented us from governing our own country. But it is nothing compared to Labour's Human Rights Act which is certainly the worse legislation ever inflicted on this country.

    **********
    I think this needs to be translated from far-rightese : 'I approve of torture, loss of liberty and free speech for all those minorities I have a personal grudge against. Of course, I still expect to have every freedom necessary myself.'

  • Comment number 60.

    Yes - ! We should ignore this self perpetuating committee - we have our own Courts and do not need any help from the EU to determine our own standards - This is just another example of P.C. / Human Rights disease which needs eradicating before we are all subservient to the Emperor of Europe !
    Regrettably - the capability / resolve of our Government to actually grasp the nettle is rather dubious - they may talk a tough game but as for actually going through with it ??

  • Comment number 61.

    "Should the UK cut its ties with the European Court of Human Rights?"

    "25. At 10:25am on 07 Feb 2011, Total Mass Retain wrote:
    You are also making a false premise: Human Rights laws do work for us "ALL" and not just criminals. We all have exactly the same protections from the arbitrary power of the state. It just so happens that criminals encounter the power and authority of the state when they are brought to justice. If you were falsely accused of a crime then you really would want to know the protections of the Human Rights laws were there."

    IN REPLY:
    Hi! "Total Mass Retain" - I'm not making a 'false premise' - I'm judging the ECHR the way the VAST majority of UK people perceive it and the LACK of it's Justice towards the innocent - and it's overly-protective atitude toward those who - MOST of us know - want to injure us in one way or another. Ask the majority - not the PC dreamers.
    In the very unlikely case of being 'falsely-accused' of a crime - I'd definitely be prepared to take that extremely improbable risk - for the sake of the majority and SENSIBLE JUSTICE. For the record, I see no difference between the EU and the ECHR - they are BOTH equally incompetent and unrealistic... Tez.

  • Comment number 62.

    Has the Policy Exchange got a direct link to the IOD.

    The Institute of Directors recommends the removal of workers rights in order to allow them to dictate wages and conditions of service. This icludes a suggestion of paying for the right to Industrial Tribunals.

    The Policy Exchange asks for removals of the rights of the ordinary working person through cutting our commitments to the ECHR.

    How much more extreme right wing ideology do we have to take.

    Far from promoting a Big Society we appear to be heading for a lawless, grab it while you can chaotic society.

    'Society is Dead' unless the mainstream majority tell our Glorious Leaders we have had enough!

    Is removal of rights the road to freedom or is it the road to a free market economy and Devil take the hindmost?

  • Comment number 63.

    Would people please get the facts correct before posting comments. The ECHR is part of the Council of Europe (a group of nearly 50 European states, including Russia, that safeguard human rights). The EU is separate from this organisation and its human rights rules come from the Charter of Fundamental Rights that the UK has actually opted out of. People that mention the EU in a debate about the ECHR are ill-informed.

  • Comment number 64.

    31. At 10:30am on 07 Feb 2011, Dr Prod wrote:

    TMR, you seem very Pro ECHR. Are you a lawyer by any chance?


    No. I happen to believe that when you debate something it should be done with regard to the facts. On this subject, people get so many different ideas and concepts mixed up. They think the ECHR is an EU body (it isn't); they think Human Rights are something that apply to criminals but not them (they apply to all humans); they think that since criminals break the law the state should do that too (that's why we have Human Rights protections: to protect us from the arbitrary abuse of power by the state and agents of the state). Some think "rights" have to be earned (they are inalienable and apply to us by virtue of being human and not qualified). Some confuse all these ideas and as a result reach totally irrational and extreme conclusions. They then appear to imply that human rights are something they and those they approve of should have, but not anyone else. These are very dangerous ideas as those in power need very little excuse to abuse that power and we lift constraints on them at our peril.

  • Comment number 65.

    Prisoners gave up their human rights when they committed the crime. Prison should not be in a holiday camp where they enjoy better conditions than the elderly.

    Prisoners in Scotland received compensation for not having ensuite toilets, my Nan died still having to trudge down the garden to the thunder box, she lived in a council house.

  • Comment number 66.

    Let's look again at the news article that provoked all this brouhaha and get back to the subject. Most of the adverse comment on this HYS seems to stem from people's indignation that a prisoner should be allowed to vote. From there, everyone (well, almost everyone) goes off at a tangent and grinds their own axe, moaning about the EU, immigrants etc.

    Is disenfrachisement an automatic consequence under UK law of being sent to jail? I don't know; perhaps somebody else does. All this prattling on about the ECHR is just a load of blah blah blah jabber jabber. We are signatories to the ECHR, like it or not, and have been from virtually the word Go. We would make ourselves pariahs if we were to secede from this agreement now, a high price to pay just for the sake of small-mindedly denying prisoners the right to vote for a parliament they're still governed by even when they're inside.

    Incidentally, my comment seems to be the first even to mention disenfrachisement. Did nobody else notice that that's what it's about?

  • Comment number 67.

    46. At 10:53am on 07 Feb 2011, bigsammyb wrote:
    ..If there was a vote tommorrow about whether to leave the EU or not in the UK then we would be leaving the EU by a landslide...

    **********
    We had a vote last year and UKIP weren't supported. So I guess this 'landslide' is just something you made up.


  • Comment number 68.

    I find it remarkable how many people are willing to throw away their human rights.

    The EU has, on many occasions, protected us from oppression from our governments ie: The EU forcing labour to remove people from the DNA database.

    And prisoners SHOULD get the vote, how do you know they are not in prison specifcally because of a politcal injustice? ie: the failed war on drugs.

    Ergo many people in prison shouldn't even be there so they should get the opportunity to vote for a government that would not of branded them criminals in the first place.

    And human rights are universal, it is not a matter of opinon. The fact Cameron wants to reduce our human rights should ring alarm bells for any sane person.

  • Comment number 69.

    Morality doesnt exist. It is not a solidly defined thing and is purely subjective. It is created by us and each of us has different 'values' of morality based on our own experiences.

    Morality itself is a personal representation of what we learned to survive as a species, but everyone experienced different situations and so has a different belief.

    Laws are based on a majority feeling and so demonstrate how most people felt at the time when the law was made.

    This is where the problem starts. Small groups with similar experiences will find it easier to agree than a larger group. Scotland was happier before the english started making the laws and now have a devolved status which gives them more control. Same with wales. Ireland didnt agree with our rule either.

    The US is made up of smaller states who work together but have their own laws and morality. It works because each state is independent and yet participate with common goals.

    The EU is huge. Not only that but they are intrusive. Not only do they try to bond us like the US (without the common ground of language or goals) but the attempt is to centrally control the various 'states'.

    But the morals of the countries of europe are different to ours. Their experiences and survival has been achieved in different ways.

    The theory of a common morality is fiction. The theory that god makes us all moral flies against the reality that religious morality was enforced through conquering and now that enforced conservative morality is being lost because nobody enforces it anymore.

    Morality is fluid but morality is personal. Even though the EU may insist something is moral, if it is not part of our morality we will naturally resist. If it continues then the people cannot be happy because of the immorality being enforced by people who believe they are moral.

  • Comment number 70.

    57. At 11:02am on 07 Feb 2011, ChaosMagick wrote:


    After the vote in Parliament on Thursday the PM will have a democratic mandate for the UK to no longer recognise the ECHR in Strasbourge and to restore UK Supreme Court and Parliament as the highest legal authority that English citizens can appeal to and the Scottish may well follow suit:

    http://news.scotsman.com/news/Judgment-day-looms-on-human.6712674.jp

    This is long overdue and there will be an inevitable confrontation between the UK and Strasbourg that may see the UK expelled from the EU (being a signatory to the EU is a a condition of being a member of the European Council) but it will all be entirely worth it - British sovereignty would be restored we would be able to decide for ourselves via our own parliament what laws we do or do not want.


    I think you have that the wrong way round: EU membership is conditional on being a signatory to the ECHR. Britain did this well before joining the EEC/EU so the EU requirements are irrelevant to the UK. However, methinks you wish to use abrogation of the ECHR as a fast path to being kicked out of the EU. I think our legislators are a little brighter than you appear to think.

  • Comment number 71.

    Calling Policy Exchange a think tank is an insult to all other think tanks, it is simply an organisation which propagates extreme right wing propaganda.

    The people who are demonstrating in Egypt would find it incomprehensible that anyone would want to surrender their right to appeal to a court like the European Court of Human Rights. This court was designed at the end of WW2, before the EEC was even thought of, to block the formation of dictatorships in member countries.

    It is deliberately beyond the influence of the member governments. Although this may mean that it occasionally might make decisions we do not like, this is an important safeguard. Having to give prisoners political rights, because one day a government might start locking up political opponents to deprive them of their rights, is price well worth paying.

    The people who run Policy Exchange would like us to think that there is no risk of the UK becoming a dictatorship. At times of extreme economic stress, which may well come in the UK if the coalition's policies fail, people could easily become so desperate that a majority would accept a dictatorship. The history of Europe in the first half of the 20th century is full of examples of this happening. The price was millions of lives.

  • Comment number 72.

    It is a question of what is for the good of the whole. Anyone found guilty of a serious criminal offence should forfeit 'human rights' protection. They don't deserve it. Why can't we deport them when they have completed their prison sentances? If they are at risk from further punishment in their own countries, so what?

  • Comment number 73.

    The ECHR works in retrograde to the British people and seems to work for terrorists and criminals yes we should withdraw from this institution and make our own version of HR but one that looks after the rights of the hardworking people of the UK and against the terrorist and criminal

  • Comment number 74.

    #50 moreram wrote "Should the UK cut its ties with the European Court of Human Rights?
    No, any links to Europe should be strengthened while those to the US should be weakened."

    I TOTALLY AGREE!

  • Comment number 75.

    58. At 11:02am on 07 Feb 2011, matt-stone wrote:

    NO, WE MUST NOT CUT TIES WITH EUROPEAN COURT ON HUMAN RIGHTS.......
    .....Human rights are vital to everybody. Its when EU try to ride rough sod over our Parliament, is the time to reject their rulings in favour of ours. Other members should do the same. If we do not make a stand, these little Hitlers of Brussel will keep on introducing more and more legislations until our Parliament completely disappears from sight, with them left in command of the whole of EUROPE. How would you feel if Signori Berlusconi and his heavy boys were in charge of Europe?...now, there's the thought !!


    I have some good news for you. The Treaty of Lisbon imposed more democratic controls on the EU Commission (those "little Hitlers of Brussel") by requiring more scrutiny by both national and EU parliaments. The changes in the voting weights (qualified majority voting) also ensure that no single state nor coalition of large states can push through (or block) proposals. There has to be a super majority of both states and population. Considering Europhobes seem to argue the EU isn't democratic they strangely object to reforms that increase its democratic accountability.

  • Comment number 76.

    Best idea yet - get rid of the human rights bill and replace it with a british bill of rights.

    People have been screaming this for years.

  • Comment number 77.

    This report is a joke, it equates the council of Europe with the EU when the council Of Europe is a completely seperate body of which Britain is a founder member. It blames judges in Stasbourg for execesses when most of the decisions are made by British judges, which was the whole point of the Human Rights Act. The ECHR itself was drafted under the supervision of Britain to prevent Nazi like regimes returning to Europe, if Britain has moved so far to the right it can no longer live with anti Nazi legislation then it needs the ECHR more than ever.
    There is also a theory that some right wing British judges are making crazy decisions to destroy the reputation of the ECHR and by (incorrect) association, the EU. There are also cases of judges being lazy and using the ECHR to justify decisions which they would have made using just English law but its easier to say ECHR rather than explain the intricacies of English Commonlaw (on which much of the ECHR is based)
    I would like to see the Council of Europes European court judges chosen differently with a requiremnt to have been a senior member of their country's judiciary. More of the cases should be heard in British courts, too many are still being heard in Strasbourg, the whole point of the Human Rights Act was that cases should be heard here and not in Strasbourg as they were previously. British Judges also need greater guidance in interpreting Human Rights cases and the tabloids need lessons in telling the truth because many of the widely reported cases of excess in human rights are simply lies, possibly with legislation to allow Editors whose papers lie about judges decisions to be charged (and punished) with contempt of court.

    Britain is a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment which prevents us using torture or deporting anyone to a country where there is a liklehood that they may be tortured, repealing the Human Rights Act and ECHR will not relieve us of that obligation.
    Britain is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which has the same basic rights in it as the ECHR, repealing the Human Rights Act and ECHR will not relieve us of our obligaton to respect those rights.

    Repealing the Human Rights Act would also seriously damage Britains ability to help British nationals who fall foul of the law abroad, countries whose legal systems behave in a way that we consider unacceptable would simply say "why should we treat your citizens according to rights which you don't give them in Britain", so if the Human Rights act is repealed expect to see many more cases in the tabloids of British subjects abroad being tortured, imprisoned for live for offences with little or no evidence or subjected to barbaric punishments because Britain will have lost the moral high ground when arguing for the rights of its citizens abroad.

  • Comment number 78.

    The only reason to withdraw from the European court of human rights is if the government or companies that heavily sponsor the government wish to abuse those rights afforded to us by that court.

    It is as simple as that. The rights given to us are not in the way of justice, fairness, and liberty, they are a method of ensuring that they are not abused.

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of External sites.

    http://www.nujcec.org/brussels/index.php/latest-news/past_evts/tillack-wins-case-at-european-court-of-human-rights

    Update. 30/01/2008. Hans-Martin Tillack, the Stern investigative journalist who was taken from his apartment and detained by Belgian police early one morning in 2004 after he published articles on suspected fraud at Eurostat, has been exonerated by the European Court of Human Rights.

  • Comment number 79.

    I am content for a form of the ECHR, that has been agreed and defined by our elected representatives in Parliament, to be incorporated into our legal system. The abillity of a court outwith to have the final say, and with the ability to overide, decisions and wishes of a Sovereign state' legal system is not acceptable apart for those who wish to see the establishment of the European super state.

    What is required is close examination and redefinition of some of the so-called 'rights'; some are not nor should be.

    Start the withdrawal tomorrow and the government would have the full backing of this country.

  • Comment number 80.

    61. At 11:04am on 07 Feb 2011, Tez wrote:
    "Should the UK cut its ties with the European Court of Human Rights?"

    "25. At 10:25am on 07 Feb 2011, Total Mass Retain wrote:
    You are also making a false premise: Human Rights laws do work for us "ALL" and not just criminals. We all have exactly the same protections from the arbitrary power of the state. It just so happens that criminals encounter the power and authority of the state when they are brought to justice. If you were falsely accused of a crime then you really would want to know the protections of the Human Rights laws were there."

    IN REPLY:
    Hi! "Total Mass Retain" - I'm not making a 'false premise' - I'm judging the ECHR the way the VAST majority of UK people perceive it and the LACK of it's Justice towards the innocent - and it's overly-protective atitude toward those who - MOST of us know - want to injure us in one way or another. Ask the majority - not the PC dreamers.
    In the very unlikely case of being 'falsely-accused' of a crime - I'd definitely be prepared to take that extremely improbable risk - for the sake of the majority and SENSIBLE JUSTICE. For the record, I see no difference between the EU and the ECHR - they are BOTH equally incompetent and unrealistic... Tez.


    I'm sorry, you clearly demonstrated your views are based on false premises. Moreover, please do not pretend you represent anyone on here other than yourself. You do not speak for the "VAST majority of UK people" (neither do I).

    You give up your right to fair justice at your peril even if you view it as an improbable risk. Suppose it happened to a friend or family member? Would you be ok with sending innocent people to jail if it increases the likelihood of catching bad people? Even before the ECHR/HRA our system of justice was not based on such a principle.

  • Comment number 81.

    It's depressing to see so many HYS posters who are unable to grasp that the ECHR is a supranational legal body with no relationship to the EU.
    It was set up after WWII to ensure that peoples rights could not be abrogated by any future authoritarian regimes.
    Equally depressing are those who call for a 'British Human Rights Act', an instrument which judging from those who most fervently support the idea to be some sort of updated Nuremburg Law.
    Cameron's call for such an act was just a pice of populist electioneering as he knew well enough, unless the UK withdrew from all it's international obligations, any 'British Human rights' act would have to comply with ECHR rulings.
    Just as those who call for withdrawal from the EU, seem not to realise that the UK(like all other non-EU countries) would still have to comply with EU regulations if they wished to continue trading into the EU.

  • Comment number 82.

    At last there is a public body that recognizes what I believe the majority of the people think,that is that the UK is far too keen to allow this unelected panel of "judges" over turn our own judiciary.Those in Strasbourg seem only too keen to protect the terrorists and other undesirables of our societies.The law and judgments of it should and must be returned to the British courts with no redress to those in Europe.

  • Comment number 83.

    "If our courts are interpreting the ECHR differently to either the European Court or the national courts of the 46 other ECHR signatories then that is the problem that needs fixing."

    Indeed. Interesting letter in the Telegraph on Saturday pointing out that there are clauses which are ignored by our judiciary but which would counter many of the arguments used in cases that offend so many on here.

  • Comment number 84.

    The cornerstone of democracy is government by the people. That means law-making by the people. The people should decide the laws to which they are subject.

    For me, the European Court of Human Rights is fundamentally outside this democratic law-making loop. It is a mechanism for international lawyers to dictate to European judicial systems. It has an agenda which has no connection to the will of the people of the EU, who are subject to its decisions.

    Also the ECHR, being independent of Government, does not suffer the consequences of any bad decision it makes. In other words, it has power without responsibility, which is a recipe for bad decision making.

    I am not against human rights (not that I accept that the ECHR is a good promoter of human rights), but I would argue that living in peace involves compromise. And compromise means resolving conflicts between the rights of individuals or groups. For example, one neighbour's right to enjoy loud music, has to be weighed against another neighbour's right to sleep. Because of the inevitable conflict between human rights, there has to be a voting mechanism involved in law-making. The right and just laws, being those that enjoy popular support, in addition to laws which are required for economic reasons.

    It is part of the ECHR's raison d'etre to view human rights as an absolute, in-transient and non-negotiable object, which I believe is not realistic or achievable. You may as well build a hot ice factory.

  • Comment number 85.

    14. At 10:08am on 07 Feb 2011, greade wrote:

    Human rights what human rights when this act seems to be solely for the criminal section of our society. This world has gone mad and the sooner we return to sanity the better.


    The ECHR and Universal Declaration of Human rights were drafted at the end of WWII to try to prevent the excesses of Nazi Germany and similar attrocities returning. So presumably the "sanity" you want to return to is concentration camps for anyone you choose to object to and mass murder on an industrial scale.

  • Comment number 86.

    It is very important to have a human rights watchdog such as the ECHR. Having the ECHR allows the UK government to introduce effective security legislation without fear of slipping down the slope into becoming a police state.

    However, I agree with the view that "In the last few years, human rights have become, like health and safety, a byword for foolish decisions by courts and administrators." This is partly down to the journalistic tendency to only report bad news, but that does not excuse the meddling and foolish decisions made by the ECHR in the first place.

    I think the solution os for the ECHR to wind it's neck in and focus on what are the basic human rights of shelter, food, clean water, freedom of expression/religion/sexulatiy, democracy, protest and a fair trial. All this talk of having a right to broadband etc. is frankly preposterous.

  • Comment number 87.

    45. At 10:53am on 07 Feb 2011, MetallicaHoop wrote:
    "...Erm... I said we. I'm not European, I'm English..."
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I'm English, therefore European by physical, linguistic and political geography.

    I thinks it's quite clear what you are.




  • Comment number 88.

    My problem with the judgements handed down by this court, is that they seem to protect the rights of the individual, without any regard for the rights of the many.

    If it is against the human rights of a terrorist to be deported from our shores, how do we protect the rest of us from such people?

    I think that in the main Britain is a fair society, surely we are able to determine many of these questions ourselves.

    I do not consider things like slopping out by prisoners to be against their human rights or that they should have the right to vote. No-one is being killed, tortured or maimed by issues like these.

    Common sense is needed - and in a democratic society we should not be dictated to by this court.

  • Comment number 89.

    There are 2 sides to this argument. For sure its absurd that dangerous terrorists who would murder and main can claim 'human rights' and that needs reformed.

    However given the extreme nature of this Government and thier shocking hatred to the less well off in society, these people need protection from extremists both terrorist and conservative. Already the extremist Institute of Directors want to end bargaining power for workers and reduce workers rights. This extremist organisation are seeking a semi fuedal state with shocking poverty and the rights of workers destroyed. It means more for the mega rich which is the central aim of this Government.

    Blair should be speaking out because all the good things he did before Iraq are being destroyed by Institute of Director/Tory/Rightist hate policies based upon coercion, greed and a desire to ghettoise the poor. They are FASCIST. So people need protection from these Rich faceless capitalist extremists. Furtheremore it is the Right and the faceless Capitalists who are destroying the Christain nature of Britian which is opening the door to militant Isalm.

    We have to understand that this government are extremist and we need the Human rights act to protect people.

    This government have actually cut the detention time for terrorists, are cutting huge police numbers, so I suggest it is Government policy ALONG with the terrorists who are causing the problem.

    What should shock decent thinking people is Liberals are going along with this extemism so desparate are they for power they will see all thier principles and values destroyed. An utter disgrace and shame shame on anyone who votes Liberal Democrat because YOU are contributing towards Camerons extremism.

  • Comment number 90.

    Big business and the Tories hates' any human rights laws or health and safety laws, because it cost them money every time, they come up against them with out them the marjority of the people in the u,k would be in serious trouble.

  • Comment number 91.

    We should come out of the Human Rights Act completely. It is one of the worst pieces of legislation ever to go through our Parliament. The majority of the UK electorate would vote to rescind the Act and give us back our country from the lawyers and the EU. We want to be able to deport who we want not be told by some foreigner what we can and cannot do. We elect our MPs and they should make the laws and rules of land not the EU.

  • Comment number 92.

    69. At 11:11am on 07 Feb 2011, in_the_uk wrote:
    Morality doesnt exist. It is not a solidly defined thing and is purely subjective. It is created by us and each of us has different 'values' of morality based on our own experiences.

    Morality itself is a personal representation of what we learned to survive as a species, but everyone experienced different situations and so has a different belief.

    Laws are based on a majority feeling and so demonstrate how most people felt at the time when the law was made.

    This is where the problem starts. Small groups with similar experiences will find it easier to agree than a larger group. Scotland was happier before the english started making the laws and now have a devolved status which gives them more control. Same with wales. Ireland didnt agree with our rule either.

    The US is made up of smaller states who work together but have their own laws and morality. It works because each state is independent and yet participate with common goals.


    That's simplistic. The systems of justice of US states are all based on the same principles and must conform to the US constitution. The US Supreme Court can strike down laws imposed by states (watch what happens to Arizona's on immigration). The US constitution also has its constitutional protections (The Bill of Rights) which are remarkably similar to the ECHR in the rights it grants individuals and the constraints it imposes on the executive at both Federal and State level. The European Court merely acts in a similar way to the US Supreme Court in interpretation of those protections but, unlike the US Court, has no authority to strike down any national laws deemed incompatible with the ECHR.

    What the ECHR does is provide some "international standard" for such basic rights which is hard to argue against. Why should our "freedom of expression" be defined differently to France's or (indeed) the USA? Why should certain interrogation techniques be regarded as torture in one jurisdiction but not another?

  • Comment number 93.

    Personally I think we should be working towards a Universal Court of Human Rights that all world judiciarys should adhere to. The justice you receive should not depend on which country you are in, and every citizen of this planet should have access to the same level of Human Rights. The European Court of Human Rights should be a stepping stone towards this.

    Of course people who want to accumulate power at the national level will always oppose this.

  • Comment number 94.

    The only people who would THEIR OWN human rights abrogated are not even worthy of scorn. Perhaps they should go and live somewhere a bit more right wing? It's always surprising when those who decry the rights of others are the first to whine when THEIR rights are threatened.

    Only someone needing psychiatric treatment would seek abrogation.

  • Comment number 95.

    81. At 11:22am on 07 Feb 2011, LeftieAgitator wrote:
    "...It's depressing to see so many HYS posters who are unable to grasp that the ECHR is a supranational legal body..."
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    It doesn't depress me that the enemies of decent civic society apparently don't know their backsides from their elbows!

    Cheer up old chum.


  • Comment number 96.

    I don't think you can pick and choose which parts of European law you want to apply. The ECHR should be reformed instead.

    Steven Quas Collins

  • Comment number 97.

    The entire notion of the UK being able to just up and leave the ECHR jurisdiction and there being no consequences is absurd.
    Membership in the European Union requires Membership in the Council of Europe, which in turn requires full ratification of the European Convention of Human Rights, which (including the ECHR statutes), you guessed it, allow for citizens across Europe to directly bring their case before the court.
    Any change to this rule would require amendments to the Treaty establishing the European Union, as well as the treaty establishing the Council of Europe, which are only possible by unanimous vote. Good luck convincing all other member states to make an exception especially for the UK. The only other option then is to completly pull out of these organisations, i wouldn't want to picture the political/economic and social consequences of that, for Britain's and Europe's sake.
    The fact of the matter is, the entire proposal is a pipe dream, a remnant of the ideal of parliamentary sovereignty. This ideal has already been exchanged for association within the international community and there are already countless acts of parliament that cannot realistically be rescinded. Or does anyone propose that Parliament could "take back" Canada simply by getting rid of the statute granting independence? The ugly little secret is that parliamentary sovereignty is long dead, but she need not be mourned by the British. If the UK would take a little more time in shaping the decision making process on the European stage, instead of constantly working on ways to circumvent them, they might find the results a lot more agreeable. The time for splendid isolation is over.

  • Comment number 98.

    Quit the ECHR never.

    37. At 10:40am on 07 Feb 2011, EarlyBaby Boomer wrote:

    As I will only accept ENGLISH law, it does not worry me if it is recognised or not, as I do not recognise any other legislature than that of England.

    So EarlyBaby Boomer does not recognise any other law than English law. Does this mean that they never go out of England because in certains aspects the law is different in Scotland and Norhern Ireland. Do they not go abroad.

    To those people who are ranting on about the EU this is nothing to do with it. It is a different subject altogether but if there was a vote on staying in or coming out the sensible majority would vote to stay in.

    The current government may very well seize on this and want to come out of the ECHR because they do not want the majority of people to have any rights at all.

    They would love to repeal the Human Rights Act so that they can grind us down further.

  • Comment number 99.

    Should the UK cut its ties with the European Court of Human Rights?

    Yes!

  • Comment number 100.


    YES!

 

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