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Friday, November 11, 2011

Why ignore people power when it comes to their human rights?

Why ignore people power when it comes to their human rights?

Dr Ed Bates of the University of Southampton has written the following guest post at the ECHR blog.

British plans for reform of the European Court of Human Rights

Not wishing to rain on his parade, nevertheless I feel he was being too kind and diplomatic towards the human rights abusing UK.

I left the following comment:

Following the prison disturbances of April 1990, Lord Woolf concluded that the absence of a grievance procedure meant that there was a lack of justice within prisons.

By the same token, a lack of any complaint mechanism in the Council of Europe means that if any of the 800 million citizens in Europe have a grievance it cannot be aired. Surely, there is a lack of justice in the Council of Europe?

There is a lack of accountability and a lack of transparancy in the Council of Europe. There needs to be input from civil society to guard the guards.

The 1922 Committee summoned David Cameron into a secret meeting in a back room at the House of Commons, and dictated to him that he must curb the powers of IPSA and the ECtHR. Such conduct is contrary to the objectives of the Council of Europe, i.e., human rights, democracy and rule of law.

Perhaps, the Council of Europe has become too large? The ECtHR is struggling with a backlog of 150,000+ cases. 60% of the ECtHR's case load is repetitive or clone cases from Member States failing to implement the ECtHR's decisions.

The Committee of Ministers is tasked with the supervision of execution of the Court's judgments. In 1998-2001, almost 2,500 new cases came before the CoM. Only 500 of the cases were closed by final resolution. In 2006-2009, it was 5,500 and only 1,500 were closed by final resolution. There is a lack of effectiveness with the CoM in the supervision process.

The Interlaken process is about reform of the Court, reform within Member States and making the CoM more effective. It is not as the UK appears to assume take those bits we like and disregard the rest. Rather, Member States have agreed to take the whole package. The UK needs to be reminded to pick up and deal with those parts it has discarded.

As a result of the UK's failure to employ the subsidiarity principle following Hirst v UK (No2), there are now 3,500+ prisoners votes cases backlogged before the Court. This highlights a systemic failure in the UK because the Executive, Parliament and Judiciary failed to provide a remedy. The structure in place is not working satisfactorily. The UK is a failing State. Under the Interlaken process the UK is a rogue or pariah State. And yet, it has now assumed chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, which is also failing!

Tell me that I am not the only one who can see that the King is naked and not wearing a suit of green?

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