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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Human rights in the United Kingdom

Human rights in the United Kingdom

“The United Kingdom has a long and established tradition of avowed respect for its subjects' human rights”.

“By 2004, the European Court of Human Rights had, in 130 cases, found violations of the European Convention of Human Rights by the United Kingdom”.

It is interesting to note that the first quote from Wikipedia is lacking any citation as authority to support this view. Therefore, it can be treated with suspicion as to its validity. Moreover, the second quote is from the same article and belies the first quote. In my view, Wikipedia should amend the entry by removing the opening statement or provide support for it remaining. Otherwise, the article is deliberately misleading.

The British citizen and the state

"In most democratic countries, the notion of citizenship (as opposed to that of nationality) recognises that a State owes to its people certain inalienable rights which are characterised as "fundamental" in the sense that they enjoy a specially protected status in domestic law. In return, it is accepted that the citizen is expected to meet certain standards and comply with certain requirements vis-à-vis the State.

This concept of citizenship is unknown to English constitutional law which, under the influence of Burke, Bentham, Austin, Dicey and Jennings, has treated British citizens as "subjects of the Crown without the benefit of positive and fundamental constitutional rights giving protection against the state and its agents"."

In my view, it is time that the subjects demanded the right to no longer be subjects of the Queen and instead be granted the status as citizens.


Indyanhat said...

Probably teaching grannie....but to clarify citizen/subject:
Blacks Law Dictionary states;
subject, n. 1. One who owes allegience to a sovereign and is governed by that sovereigns laws,the monarchy's subjects.
(it then quotes)
" Speaking generally, we may say that the terms subject and citizen are synonymous. Subjects and citizens are alike those whose relation to the state is personal and not merely territorial, permanent and not merely temporary. This equivalent, however, is not absolute. For in the first place, the term subject is commonly limited to monarchical forms of government, while the term citizen is more specially applicable to republics. A British subject becomes by naturalisation a citizen of the United States of america or of France In the second place, the term citizen brings into prominence the rights and priviledges of the status, rather than its correlative obligations, while the reverse is case with the term subject. Finally it is to be noticed that the term subject is capable of a differewnt and wider application, in which it includes all members of the body politic, whether they are citizens(ie subjects stricto sensu) or resident aliens. All such persons are subjects, all being subject to the power of the state and to its jurisdiction, and as owing to it, at least temporarily, fidelity and obedience" John Salmond Jurisprudence 133 (Glanville L Williams ed. 10th ed. 1947)

We therefore will never be citizens until this country becomes a republic, though it is worth noting that we are now given passports which have in the back on the photo page the words British Citizen, as this is a new European Passport I wonder if the EU is the overriding republic and we have just not been told about it . If that is the case then the Queen is recieving our tax moneys illegaly as she no longer has the right to them as we are now part of the republic and republics do not have kings and Queens. I believe it would also make the 'crown' our government obsolete and no longer viable as a law making body as it is not constituted as a republican senate!!??
Food for thought and research methinks !!!

jailhouselawyer said...

Indyanhat: I do like eggs.

The point I am making is that by throwing off the yokel of being a subject, which means that allegiance is shown to the monarch, by obtaining citizenship the citizen obtains rights from the State.

What I am advocating is that the UK meets the test of Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights as laid down in the Treaty of London 1949 (the Statute of the Council of Europe).

Under the EU it is citizens and not subjects. In the UK we are still subjects but the spin is that there is no difference and we are referred to as citizens.

The post is just part of a larger argument on the conflict between the UK and the Council of Europe.

Indyanhat said...

I'm with you eggsactly and am pleased to find someone who is still posing relevent questions, everything seems to have gone very quiet recently!
The British government does not like to be pinned down to anything which is concrete, and therefore is unlikely to try to set the agenda in such a way as far as I can see. If you are talking about appealing to the european corts for a resolution tothis matter , then I think they will just refer you back to your(our) own legislature, which will never get round to such a constitutional move as it would be politically suicidal to try to remove her maj. just look at how fast Liebore backpedalled on getting rid of the Lord Chancellors office, they would rather keep the semblance than abolish in the entirety, yet again it confuses and blurs the boundaries and leaves plenty of wriggle room!
As to your other points , this is not now nor ever has been a democracy, at best it is as Lord Hailsham declared it an elective dictatorship, there really is no such thing as the rule of law as it is neither a rule nor a law but merely a convention trotted out to justify whatever they wish to justify, whenever they want to justify it. If you or I seek to implement it it will almost always be found that there is a 'distinction' in the case in point and it will be found against us! The Human Rights Act is only binding in law if the powers that be do not claim an exception so in the above case we do not have a cat in hells chance!!!
In my opinion we would be far better off out of the EU and all that it stands for and I will be following the example of Elizabeth Beckett and asking the same questions that she did about the legality of contracting with a party that has not signed off its accounts in the last 13/4 years. That is against our LAW!!!