Oct 022011

I won’t repeated some of the basics covered in Human Rights Act versus Bill of Rights. Instead, I’m puzzled about some attacks on the Human Rights Act that are being made at the moment. I’ll comment on Bill Carmichael: When rights are so wrong, because it appears compatible with other views. There appears to be a lack of logic:

Take just one example this week – the case of Siraj Yassin Abdullah Ali, an Eritrean convicted of helping an al-Qaida cell plot bomb attacks on London tube trains and buses, just two weeks after 52 people were murdered in the 7/7 atrocities. It was bad enough that Ali was released midway through his already ridiculously lenient sentence, but to add insult to injury, activist judges have now ruled he cannot be deported, because to do so would infringe his human rights….

No other country in the world, including fellow signatories to the European Convention of Human Rights, would allow such a situation to continue. In Germany, France or Italy, Ali would be packed off on the first plane home. That’s because in those countries even the most left-wing judges are sensible enough to balance the “rights” of would-be killers, against the safety of law abiding citizens, and to come down on the side of sanity.

Our judges simply can’t be trusted to do the same – and that’s why the Act has to go, to be replaced by a British Bill of Rights.

All of the countries mentioned above are members of the Council of Europe, and subject to the  European Convention on Human Rights, judged by the European Court of Human Rights. The Human Rights Act doesn’t add any extra rights; it simply makes it possible to examine the same rights in British courts instead of the European Court.

So what is different about the UK? In what way does the Human Rights Act stop authorities in the UK doing precisely what the authorities in Germany, France or Italy do?

  • Are those other countries simply defying the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights?
  • Are our judges coming to different conclusions from the judges of the European Court of Human Rights about what the Articles, (common to both the European Convention on Human Rights and our Human Rights Act), actually dictate?
  • If we scrapped the Human Rights Act, we would still be subject to the European Convention on Human Rights, judged by the European Court of Human Rights. (Unless we ceased to be a member of the Council of Europe). So we would still be subject to the same Articles that are in the Human Rights Act, but via a different court. Would our own judges (such as the Supreme Court) still get involved? And if so, why would their decisions be any different from what they are at the moment?

I don’t see where the Human Rights Act can be faulted for the differences between the UK and other countries in the actions that can be taken; if indeed those differences actually exist.

Instead of what appear to arm-waving attacks at the moment, I would like to see a description of any specific differences that would be possible if the Human Rights Act didn’t exist. Are there any?

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