Tory rebellion over Cameron’s plans to scrap the Human Rights Act (#politics #ToriesOutNow)

hraOne of Cameron’s power-crazed plans is to scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a ‘Bill of Rights’.

The move is intended to remove the checks and balances in place which stop the government abusing its power and citizens.

Under current legislation, the government is accountable for breaches of human rights articles contained in the European Convention on Human Rights.

Checking the record of the British government in cases at the European Court of Human Rights reveals a less than glowing record, falling far behind many other European countries.

European Court of Human Rights – Violation Statistics 1959 to 2014 – Number of judgements finding at least one violation. (Lower numbers are better). The United Kingdom is 36th out of 47 on the list.

1959 – 2014

Rank Country Total
1 Monaco 2
2 Andorra 3
3 Liechtenstein 5
4 San Marino 9
5 Iceland 12
6 Denmark 14
7 Montenegro 17
8 Ireland 21
9 Norway 27
10 Luxembourg 32
11 Estonia 34
12 Bosnia Herzegovina 35
13 Albania 40
14 Malta 43
15 Georgia 46
16 Armenia 47
17 Cyprus 52
18 Sweden 56
19 Lithuania 81
20 Azerbaijan 83
21 Latvia 83
22 Spain 84
23 Netherlands 85
24 Switzerland 94
25 Republic of Macedonia 99
26 Serbia 101
27 Finland 133
28 Belgium 148
29 Germany 176
30 Czech Republic 183
31 Portugal 216
32 Croatia 240
33 Austria 245
34 Republic of Moldova 270
35 Slovak Republic 287
36 United Kingdom 301
37 Slovenia 304
38 Hungary 346
39 Bulgaria 496
40 France 691
41 Greece 744
42 Poland 905
43 Ukraine 987
44 Italy 1760
45 Romania 1 004
46 Russian Federation 1 503
47 Turkey 2 733

 

European Court of Human Rights – Violation Statistics 2014 – Number of judgements finding at least one violation. (Lower numbers are better). The United Kingdom joint 5th on the list.

2014

Rank Country Total
1 Andorra 0
Cyprus 0
Denmark 0
Liechtenstein 0
Luxembourg 0
Monaco 0
San Marino 0
2 Georgia 1
Iceland 1
Ireland 1
Montenegro 1
3 Norway 2
Sweden 2
4 Austria 3
Germany 3
Lithuania 3
Malta 3
Netherlands 3
5 Albania 4
Armenia 4
Czech Republic 4
Finland 4
Spain 4
United Kingdom 4
6 Bosnia Herzegovina 5
Estonia 5
7 Republic of Macedonia 6
8 Switzerland 8
9 Azerbaijan 11
10 Slovak Republic 13
11 Belgium 16
Latvia 16
Serbia 16
12 France 17
13 Bulgaria 18
Portugal 18
14 Poland 20
15 Republic of Moldova 21
16 Croatia 23
17 Slovenia 29
18 Italy 39
Ukraine 39
19 Hungary 49
20 Greece 50
21 Romania 74
22 Turkey 94
23 Russian Federation 122

 

So as you can see from official statistics, the United Kingdom has a long way to go before we can have any confidence that the government are going to adhere to basic concepts of human rights, let alone produce legislation that is fair and appropriate.

The government often cite current human rights legislation as a barrier to taking action against undesirables – especially the deportation of extremists and terrorists.

The reality is that the only reason those high-profile deportations became problematic was because of the incompetence of Theresa May and her associations. They failed to ensure basic evidential requirements were in place before going to the European Court.

The government (and others who are ignorant of the facts) claim that current human rights legislation allows anyone to automatically be protected under the Articles it contains full stop.

This is incorrect. Each Article has specific exclusions which give governments the power to take action against anyone who is a real threat.

There is no practical advantage or reason to society in changing current legislation. In fact, Cameron’s proposed changes will have a significant adverse effect on every citizen in the country.

Another problem is that the current government may be able to push through legislation which is detrimental to the population of the UK because the Conservatives now have a majority in parliament.

However, not all Conservative MPs are going to support Cameron’s proposed changes.

The Independent reveals that Cameron is facing a backbench revolt with a former aide to the new Justice Secretary Michael Gove warning that they have less than a 5 per cent chance of being implemented.

The Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is also expected to meet fierce opposition to the plans when he attends a Council of Europe meeting of foreign ministers next week.

He is expected to be told that the current Tory proposals, that would allow the UK Parliament to opt out of rulings by the ECHR that it disagreed with, would be incompatible with its obligations under Convention of Human Rights. This could even lead to Britain’s expulsion from the organisation it helped found in the wake of the Second World War.

The Conservatives came up with their plan after the European Court ruled that prohibiting prisoners from voting “was incompatible with the Convention will be treated as advisory” and could be ignored by Parliament. Of course, the majority of prisoners are not really likely to vote for the Conservatives, which is the most likely driving force behind Cameron’s plans.

The plans face strong opposition from both the legal profession and senior Conservatives including the former Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke and the former Attorney General Dominic Grieve.

One Conservative backbencher told The Independent plans were “legally incoherent” and predicted Mr Cameron would face a Commons defeat if he attempted to make anything more than cosmetic changes to the current laws.

“If what emerges is a lot of sound and fury but no attempt to fiddle with fundamental rights as set down by the  Convention then what we have is the Human Rights Act in all but name and that will be fine,” they said.

 

“But if there is any fundamental attempt to move away from that position then it will be dead in the water. Any such proposals will be torn to shreds by people like Dominic Grieve and many others who actually understand how our constitution works.”

Senior legal figures have also warned the proposals will face strong private opposition from the judiciary who are concerned at the potential to ride roughshod over more than 50 years of human rights advances both in the UK and Europe.

Hugh Tomlinson QC, an expert on human rights law and founder of the United Kingdom Supreme Court blog said the proposals were “fraught with legal and political difficulties” which appeared to be “insoluble”.

“Not only will ministers have to deal with domestic constitutional problems of scrapping the Human Rights Act which is incorporated into the Scotland Act and Good Friday Agreement but the international ramifications are also profound.”

The change to human rights legislation is part of Cameron’s so-called ‘100-day policy offensive’ during which he and his cronies will attempt to make radical changes to Britain in an attempt to introduce ever more oppressive legislation, forcing the majority of the UK into economic slavery.

So far, Cameron has not revealed any policy which will be to the benefit of the country as a whole. The only policies we have heard of so far are designed to strengthen government power and to disempower the people.

We need to be very cautious of their devious and underhand tactics or we will regret this government ever being allowed to take office.

Follow @martynjsymons

  “Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.”– George Bernard Shaw

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6 thoughts on “Tory rebellion over Cameron’s plans to scrap the Human Rights Act (#politics #ToriesOutNow)

  1. Reblogged this on | truthaholics and commented:
    Foreboding a Bill of Rights not worth the paper it’s written on.
    “Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.” – George Bernard Shaw

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