View Full Version : Human Rights, The EU and the UK

21st Aug 2011, 13:41
As many are probably aware there is a current polemic underway regrading the human rights act:

David Cameron warned by Lib Dems not to 'water down' human rights (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/8714015/David-Cameron-warned-by-Lib-Dems-not-to-water-down-human-rights.html)

David Cameron has been warned by senior Liberal Democrats not to try to 'water down' Britain's commitment to human rights in the wake of the riots in English cities.

10:40AM BST 21 Aug 2011

The Prime Minister said he wanted a fightback against ''the wrong-headed ideas, bureaucratic nonsense and destructive culture'' which had led to the disturbances, including the ''twisting and misrepresenting of human rights''.

David Cameron said that he was prepared, if necessary, to take on ''parts of the establishment'' in order to get to grips with the issue.

However the former Liberal Democrats leader Sir Menzies Campbell made clear on Sunday that Mr Cameron faced a fight with his coalition partners if he tried to tamper with the principles of the Human Rights Act which enshrines the European Convention on Human Rights in UK law.

''The European Convention on Human Rights was one of the most important contributions which Britain made to post-War Europe. It should lie right at the very heart of our constitutional circumstances,'' Sir Menzies told BBC News.

''My view is that the ECHR is a fundamental right and that is something we should not depart from.

''I do not want in any sense Britain's commitment to the whole notion of human rights to be watered down.''

The spat once again highlighted the tensions within the coalition as the autumn party conference season approaches, with many Tories vehemently opposed to the Human Rights Act which they would like to see repealed.

In an article in the Sunday Express, Mr Cameron said: ''There are deep problems in our society that have been growing for a long time: a decline in responsibility, a rise in selfishness, a growing sense that individual rights come before anything else.

''The British people have fought and died for people's rights to freedom and dignity but they did not fight so that people did not have to take full responsibility for their actions.

''So though it won't be easy, though it will mean taking on parts of the establishment, I am determined we get a grip on the misrepresentation of human rights.''

Tony Blair, meanwhile, has issued a sharp warning that "muddle-headed analysis" of the recent riots by politicians from both left and right is in danger of producing the wrong policy responses.

In a rare foray into domestic politics, the former prime minister dismissed claims the country was in the grip of a "moral decline", insisting the disturbances were "an absolutely specific problem that requires a deeply specific solution.

"Focus on the specific problem and we can begin on a proper solution," he wrote in an article for The Observer.

"Elevate this into a high falutin' wail about a Britain that has lost its way morally and we will depress ourselves unnecessarily, trash our own reputation abroad, and worst of all, miss the chance to deal with the problem in the only way that will work."

The "big cause", he said, lay with alienated youths from dysfunctional families living outside "any canons of proper behaviour" - a phenomenon affecting most modern societies in the developed world.

"I think we are in danger of the wrong analysis leading to the wrong diagnosis, leading to the wrong prescription," he said.

"The key is to understand that they aren't symptomatic of society at large. Failure to get this leads to a completely muddle-headed analysis of what has gone wrong. Britain as a whole is not in the grip of some general 'moral decline'."

"The truth is that many of these people are from families that are profoundly dysfunctional, operating on completely different terms from the rest of society, either middle class or poor.

"This is a phenomenon of the late 20th century. You find it in virtually every developed nation."

Without doubt, the human right act was a creation following the end of WWII in order that we would never see division and persecution that had occured previously. And that is, and should be, sacrosanct.

However, with Tony Blair's further enshrinement of the human rights act has the UK become hamstrung by the act and in all practicality should the who of Blair's enshrinement be repealed ?

After all, from the end of WWII through to the time when Blair enshrined the act, how many concenration camps were constructed in the UK, how many sections of society underwent systematic persecution and annhilation ?

Should it be repealed, watered down, or maintained ? Are the Lib Dems, just playing to the peanut gallery of the liberal vote or does it serve a purpose within current society?

Has the human rights act, enshrined by Blair, actaully created division and does it in fact limit the human rights of the majority in favour of the minority ?

21st Aug 2011, 13:51
We can't export rapists and similar undesirable because of their human rights.
Foreign criminals get married to avoid being exported because of their human rights.
The D.T. to-day reports that four kiddy-fiddlers have been let out because their human rights were being infringed.
People come from half way around the globe through several E.U. countries to get here because we're an easy touch.
It's served two purposes. To give sanctuary to some severely undesirables at the U.K. taxpayer's expense and to line the pockets of some increasingly richer lawyers (Cherie Booth of Matrix Chambers for one)

It's time to kick this pernacious tax sapping monster into touch and replace it with a proper U.K. bill of rights.

Muffin Themule
21st Aug 2011, 14:09
After all, from the end of WWII through to the time when Blair enshrined the act, how many concenration camps were constructed in the UK, ... ? Two, possibly more, were constructed in the UK

21st Aug 2011, 14:13
The human rights of millions have been sacrificed so that those of a few hundred can be preserved.

Truly the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

21st Aug 2011, 15:54
I wonder if the citizens of Germany, France or other Continental countries have the same problems with the dispensation of justice under the act in their own countries as do as some of the British in theirs? Is it that the British judiciary find themselves hamstrung by the imposition of a charter and protocols not suited to the British legal system or is it more simply the case that Britain, because it lacks a written constitution of its own, has no safe guard against what is in effect an amendment to an amorphous tradition?

green granite
21st Aug 2011, 16:05
A few years ago Cameron said a Conservative government would abolish the current HRA and replace it with something more sensible.

21st Aug 2011, 17:21
I wonder if the citizens of Germany, France or other Continental countries have the same problems with the dispensation of justice under the act in their own countries as do as some of the British in theirs?

I used to think that we didn't have these same issues with "human rights" in Belgium until 2 reports had me thinking.

1. A publican got a fine because customers made too much noise OUTSIDE his bar because they were outside having a smoke. A neighbour complained.

2. A failed asylum seeker who had claimed that he would face all sorts of trouble back home because he was homosexual, a claim rejected since he couldn't even give a name for his "boyfriend" or tell any anecdotes about his alleged homosexual lifestyle, was allowed to stay after a judge declared that working as a volunteer for a support group for homosexuals (he made the tea and coffee, served beer, etc) and attending a Gay Pride march was enough to "prove he was homosexual"......

21st Aug 2011, 18:10
"Human Rights" has become the last recourse of the scoundrel. When every other possible appeal has failed, the final thing becomes "Human Rights"....but, of course, none of these appellants recognise that all "Rights" come with "Responsibilities" too.

21st Aug 2011, 18:17
Cavortingcheetah, my observation has been that EU member states can be divided into two: those which slavishly obey every EU edict (and some that haven't even been inplemented yet) - among these are the UK and Germany; and those which don't give a toss and continue to do what they have always done - among these are France and Italy and Greece.

Spain I'm not sure about, but the Catalans have read and memorised every word of every EU rule book and squeeze every drop of cash they can out of Brussels.


When was a roundabout last constructed here that's under 18 metres diameter ? Answer, not since the EU was founded, because every roundabout over 18 metres across - and the approach roads for a considerable distance - have to be paid for by Brussels.

A good lesson for the UK to learn would be: don't whinge, read their rules and use them.

(Of course the English would have to learn French first, and I know that's asking a bit much).

P.S. Just thought of a recent HR example. EU rules prohibit anything which impedes free and open border crossing for individuals seeking work. So "we have to let 'em all in" right ? But nothing to stop a Member State requiring every such individual to have a certificate from the Mayor of the Town Hall, where he's intending to work, and if he can't get it because he hasn't found work, he's itinerent and has to leave. Can't implement this law because it's against EU "Human Rights" ? Spain just did.

21st Aug 2011, 20:02
You'd think that Britain, with its almost total economic dependence on financial services would have grasped that if it's done by the rule book, it can't be abuse. Squeezing great gobbets of cash out of Brussels is nothing more than leverage after all?
Can't see the difficulty on the ECHR. Just slap another Protocol onto it stating that the rights of the victims shall take precedence over those of the perpetrator and that, in the event of a tie, Sharia law will be the determining factor.

21st Aug 2011, 20:17
Capetonian, RedhillPhil
the lunatics have taken over the asylum
this pernacious tax sapping monster

Wait, there's more..( J Cricket)
BBC News - Scotland's uni funding system faces legal challenge (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-14607122)

Public Interest Lawyers (http://www.publicinterestlawyers.co.uk/)

Go check their CV without wanting to get very...
(oh hang on, there's someone at the d,,..........

21st Aug 2011, 22:04
It's all very well blaming the HR act for the ills of the world until it's 'your' human rights that are infringed.

Personally, if some suit with a badge drags me in for questioning just because my face doesn't fit, I want every protection I can get from the EU, because frankly I trust the British justice system as far as I could comfortably spit a rat.

Lon More
21st Aug 2011, 22:43
A few years ago Cameron said a Conservative government would abolish the current HRA and replace it with something more sensible.

am i the only one who sees an oxymoron in that statement?

22nd Aug 2011, 03:36
I believe the "oxy" is redundant.....

22nd Aug 2011, 05:19
With so many different justice systems in operation throughout what is now considered Europe, it seems overly optimistic to expect one document to provide satisfactory law in all countries. Much has moved on in the world since 1950 when the European Council started tinkering with these ideas. Perhaps its a human right that there should be a referendum, or a series of them, on a bill of human rights tailored for each society rather than one into which all had to be jack booted?

Al Fakhem
22nd Aug 2011, 08:31
Interesting to see how the work in the USA.

It seems that the DSK case is going to be thrown out because his accuser lied about her personal circumstances when she applied for asylum donkey's years ago, and her testimony therefore is not credible.

If all asylum seekers were treated that way in UK courts (i.e. if you lied to get in, you have no credibility at any other stage of the legal process - even if unrelated to your asylum case), we'd be rid of many undesirables very fast. Despite the efforts of the brilliant legal minds at, for instance,

Public Interest Lawyers (http://www.publicinterestlawyers.co.uk/)

whose sole purpose in life seems to be to burden the tax payer (who has most likely financed quite a bit of their studies anyway) with more bills.

22nd Aug 2011, 08:38
Quite remarkable sometimes how onomastics leads one to the conclusion that there are more of these tax money funded or public interest lawyers around these days than there ever were in the days before the Revelation suitcase.
That must be because of the law that says one bad policy often leads to another to the detriment of society as a whole. But there we are. In those days the Revelations expanded nicely to suit all sanitary requirements. My how the traveling public has changed.

22nd Aug 2011, 09:29
Fact!...Shortly after the enshrinement, Ms Booth opted to become a Human Rights lawyer. The law firm, Matrix, was established. Mr Blair's action certainly got things moving! At what benefit to the plebs? :cool:

Mr Optimistic
22nd Aug 2011, 15:46
Dunno but 28M benefit to him allegedly.