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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Court head warns against U.K. boycott

Court head warns against U.K. boycott

Published: March. 2, 2011 at 10:29 AM

BRUSSELS, March 2 (UPI) --
A United Kingdom boycott of the European Court of Human Rights could spark a chain reaction that undermines the body, an official warned.

Court political chief Thorbjorn Jagland said Britain should think about the possible consequences of what it's considering, the EUobserver reported. "If one country starts to opt out of the convention system and the court, it could be the start of a process that others will follow," he said.

Britain's possible opt-out involves legal appeals filed by prisoners in the U.K. who seek the right to vote in line with a 2005 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that goes against British law.

A British parliamentary commission has been set up to explore creation of a British "Bill of Rights" that would override the European Convention on Human Rights, the basic doctrine of the Strasbourg court.

Jagland admitted the court needs reforming.

He said a discussion of "how wide the interpretation of the human rights convention should be" is needed.

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