Site Meter

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kenneth Clarke waffles on human rights reform

Kenneth Clarke waffles on human rights reform

Ministers on the brink of human rights reform, says Ken Clarke

Ministers are on the brink of securing historic reform of the European Court of Human Rights to stop it over-ruling British judges on immigration cases, Kenneth Clarke has disclosed.


What we have here is a load of waffle. The ECtHR hears cases from individuals within Member States challenging human rights abuse, and Member States challenging Member States. At the Interlaken and Izmir conferences all 47 Member States agreed that the right of individual petition should remain, therefore it is highly unlikely that this will be reversed at the London conference.

Whilst it has been agreed that the ECtHR needs reform, it has also been agreed that those failing Member States, like the UK, must undergo reform. That Kenneth Clarke is silent on this aspect raises the question why?

It has been agreed that the Convention must be part of domestic law. The UK has not got any derogation therefore the UK must amend domestic law to incorporate Articles 1 and 13 which guarantees everybody in the UK is entitled to all the rights under the Convention, and an effective remedy for their breach before a national authority. So, whilst the Tories have been advocating that the HRA should be weakened the reality is that it must be strengthened.

It is unacceptable for the doctrine of the supremacy of Parliament to deny human rights and deny an effective remedy therefore the UK must adopt the European model of the sovereignty of the people. As it stands s.2 of the HRA is incompatible with the Convention. No longer will it be acceptable for the courts to abdicate responsibility by deferring to Parliament. For example, the Prisoners Votes Case highlighted that s.3 of ROPA 1983 is incompatible with Article 3 of the First protocol of the Convention. Europe is demanding that the primary legislation must be amended.

Europe is also demanding that the UK can no longer operate with its fusion of powers, it must adopt the European model of the separation of powers. This will allow the 3 arms of the state to provide the necessary balance and checks against abuse of powers. Until the UK instigates these reforms it will not escape being declared a failed state by Europe.

No comments: