A Bill of (removing) Rights – Why We Need the ECHR

This week, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, announced that the government will be establishing a Commission to investigate creating a British Bill of Rights (or rather, another one, in addition to the one of 1688). Such a Bill would be aimed at replacing the Human Rights Act 1998 (the “HRA”), and by doing so, removing the requirement that the Courts and other public bodies act in a manner compatible with the European Convention of Human Rights (the “ECHR”). This is being sold to us on several grounds; in particular, that it is for Parliament to make laws, not the Courts, and certainly not some “bureaucratic, foreign” court in Strasbourg. In particular, issues have been raised over decisions by various Courts that prisoners should not automatically be disqualified from voting (in 2005) and more recently, that those on the Sex Offenders Register should have some form of appeal available to them.

These arguments are, of course, completely ridiculous. The actions of the Government are most troubling.
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