Wednesday, 13 May 2015

I Agree - Scrap the Human Rights Act

When the 56 SNP MPs arrived in Westminster on Monday I was delighted and hoped that they would be an effective and sensible opposition.

Today the Guardian's headlines read ‘The SNP will not consent to Tory plans to scrap Human Rights Act’.  

I suggest this is very short sighted of them and I do hope they’re not going to turn into a group like Scottish Labour in the Scottish Parliament where Labour oppose most proposals for no good reason.

The 1998 Human Rights Act needs to be replaced as it appears to benefit the criminal rather than the victim. We need a Human Rights Act in which our courts and justice system have the last word. In recent years the Supreme Court was introduced and the word of these justices should be final or our justice system will continue to be puppet theatre whose strings are pulled by Brussels.  What is the point in us spending billions on justice if the EU have the final say?  Why don’t send all High Court cases to Brussels and save our money to spend on those in need?

The Act is going to be replaced by a British Bill of Rights which, I believe, will be very similar to the Human Rights Act but with amendments such as disallowing criminals going to Brussels to have their case ruling overturned.  The current balance of human rights is wrong and has to be corrected.  It’s wrong that foreign murderers are allowed to stay in this country because they have children here.  It’s wrong that UK taxpayers spend millions of pounds on numerous appeals from criminals resisting deportation.  It’s wrong that people in need are being deprived of help when human rights lawyers are laughing all the way to the bank.

I trust the new MPs in Westminster will debate this proposal and use common sense to make a decision.  Nobody knows the content of the Tory’s proposal as yet but seem happy to oppose it anyway.

That’s not the type of politics I expect from the SNP.  Let’s wait to see what the British Bill of Right contains before more knee jerk reactions are voiced.


Dioclese said...

Surely it would be more sensible for the SNP to read the proposal before saying they'll oppose it?

I do hope they're not going to go down the road of opposing everything just because it's the 'fooooking tooories' that propose it. What a waste that would be.

Antisthenes said...

"That’s not the type of politics I expect from the SNP"

I am surprised at that statement. That is exactly the type of politics that should be expected of the SNP.

RedEd one of the reasons he lost the election is because he moved his party too far to the left. That is understandable as he was brought up a Marxist. However in most things the SNP is even further to the left than him. So expect the SNP to be constantly involved in "that type of politics" as that what lefties do. If they cannot have what they want or wish to be awkward they will throw a tantrum and be destructive and obstructive.

Most people in Scotland did not vote for the SNP because of their policies but because they felt that Westminster was ignoring them and the SNP would correct that.

Well 56 MPs still do not have the clout because Labour did win enough seats for them to be able to blackmail them and the Conservatives have enough seat as not to be blackmailed. However with or without the SNP Scotland will get what they demand but I do believe you will in the end regret that which you wished for.

Anonymous said...

This issue has nothing to do with Brussels or the EU.

The Human Rights Act 1998 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which received Royal Assent on 9 November 1998, and mostly came into force on 2 October 2000. It's aim was to incorporate into UK law the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights. The Act makes a remedy for breach of a Convention right available in UK courts, without the need to go to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The Convention was drafted by the Council of Europe after World War II. Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe was the Chair of the Committee on Legal and Administrative Questions of the Council's Consultative Assembly from 1949 to 1952, and oversaw the drafting of the European Convention on Human Rights. It was designed to incorporate a traditional civil liberties approach to securing "effective political democracy", from the strong traditions of freedom and liberty in the United Kingdom. As a founding member of the Council of Europe, the UK acceded to the European Convention on Human Rights in March 1951. However it was not until the 1960s that British citizens were able to bring claims in the European Court of Human Rights.

In its manifesto for the 1997 general election, the Labour party pledged to incorporate the European Convention into domestic law. When the election resulted in a landslide Labour victory, the party, under the leadership of Tony Blair, fulfilled this pledge through Parliamentary passage of the Human Rights Act the following year.

The 1997 white paper "Rights Brought Home"[7] stated:

It takes on average five years to get an action into the European Court of Human Rights once all domestic remedies have been exhausted; and it costs an average of £30,000. Bringing these rights home will mean that the British people will be able to argue for their rights in the British courts – without this inordinate delay and cost.

wayne said...

There are two strands of over-arching law emanating from Europe. This law derives from European Treaty and Convention obligations,and UK legislatures must act compatibly with it.

The first strand is the law of European Union, or EU law. The second strand is human rights law.

All the Member States of the European Union are also contracting States of the Council of Europe. This means that the States are subject, in matters of EU law, to the final jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) based in Luxembourg.

In matters concerning fundamental rights, however, these same States are subject to the final jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (“ECHR”), based in Strasbourg. Of course EU law and fundamental rights readily overlap in many areas.

Human rights are concerned with the relationship between the citizen and the State, rather than the relationship of human beings one to another. In modern form, they can be traced back very directly to the experience of the second World War, giving rise to the belief that it was necessary to give rights to the citizen to protect them from an over-bearing State:

“Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind... whereas it is essential if man is not to be compelled to have recourse as a last resort to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law

But by saying "lets get rid of the echr" what we are actually saying is "lets erode our personal freedoms" in favour of a bill of right written by the same govt who are once again attempting to pass a snoopers charter and have been complicit in indiscriminate spying by GCHQ .

I have 1 question :

Do you trust the Tories or any govt to uphold your rights and freedoms from erm themselves?

Wakey wakey.

wayne said...

What David Cameron is claiming that he's doing this in the name of free speech. No joke:

“For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance.

“This government will conclusively turn the page on this failed approach. As the party of one nation, we will govern as one nation and bring our country together. That means actively promoting certain values.

“Freedom of speech. Freedom of worship. Democracy. The rule of law. Equal rights regardless of race, gender or sexuality.

“We must say to our citizens: this is what defines us as a society.”

Here he is, saying that for too long we've been "tolerant" of free expression, and thus we have to ban it, in support of "free speech" and democracy. And he admits that they no longer think "obeying the law" should keep you out of trouble. That's some incredibly Orwellian thinking right there.

As Glenn Greenwald rightly notes, once again it appears that the biggest threat to free speech is not from terrorism, but from those claiming to fight terrorism. He also points us to a video of Theresa May going on and on about how this is about "promoting British values" and stopping those who "look to divide our society."

So, they don't want to "divide" society... and they're going to do that by telling everyone they can only have views that the government finds acceptable.

subrosa said...

I don’t think the proposal has been written yet Dioclese and that’s why I think they’re behaving stupidly.

subrosa said...

Antithesenes, in the Scottish Parliament when the SNP were in opposition, they were very careful to do their homework efficiently. That’s why this surprises me.

Indeed, I agree that’s why so many voted for them last week.

I do hope I don’t, as you suggest. I hope that when we get independence the political scene will change and those non radical left wingers in the party will revert to their usual political homes. However there is the possibility that Labour will be no longer so interesting times ahead.

subrosa said...

Thank you for the history lesson. It’s similar to my own research. When I stated EU that incorporated the EC and ECHR. Apologies I didn’t make that clear.

I’m fully aware the length of time cases take with the ECHR and the money HR lawyers make from them.

My main point was that our own Supreme Court ought to be the final appeal court and not the ECHR.

Also, in the past 15+ years the world has changed and the HRA has to be adapted to the circumstances.

subrosa said...

No Wayne, I don’t think I said to get rid of the ECHR, what I said was that it shouldn’t be the final court for British citizens. By all means let other EU countries use it if they wish.

Until I read the full proposal from the Tories I can’t answer your question.

Wide awake here. So are many of the families who have had relatives murdered/maimed by non-British citizens in this country. They’ll never get peace.

wayne said...

Thats the title of the post Subrosa

" I Agree - Scrap the Human Rights Act"

I agree there have been cases where people have hidden behind the ECHR but the ECHR overwhelmingly protects peoples rights . A much more effective way of combating crime committed by foreign nationals would be to not let them in in the first place and thats the problem that needs addressed .

Almost everyday we let people enter this country without any checks on their backgrounds and in some cases even tho we know they are criminals we let them in anyway, so we cannot complain when those same people go on to commit crime's in this country .

This is just your typical govt scatter gun approach. We all know the Tories have never like the ECHR and they will use any excuse to scrap it . This is just another example trying to repeal legislation that protects peoples rights against their govt .

The ECHR has been used on numerous occasions against the govt from things like slopping out , illegal databases of innocent people to the courts forcing the govt to allow access to a lawyer after being arrested (cadder case) and then there's the indiscriminate spying on everyone by the intel services which is currently being challenged using the ECHR.

kailyard rules said...

The serious question is... will this new/revised British Bill of Rights be published for public scrutiny and debate before being passed by a Tory majority? Why the secrecy of detail? The public have the right(oh goodness, that word again)to be informed.

Or do we??

Woodsy42 said...

The EHCR needs only one significant modification - that the rights of an individual should be balanced against the rights of other members of society affected by the action of that individual.

Stewart Cowan said...

Unfortunately, the SNP are the most PC, pro-EU, anti-freedom party I know of.

They are the worst of a very bad bunch.

They will do what they can to destroy our (Scottish and UK) fabric of society as quickly and completely as possible.

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