Home > Coalition government, Human rights, Police State, UK Politics > The Human Rights Act: “Safe in Our Hands?”

The Human Rights Act: “Safe in Our Hands?”

Now this is good news. Ken Clarke, the Justice Minister has confirmed that the UK will not be leaving he European Convention on Human Rights, which means that in any review of the Human Rights Act the ECHR will have to be a cornerstone of any Bill of Rights legislation proposed by the coalition.

In a reply to David Ruffley on the votes for prisoners issue, a poison chalice left by the last Labour Governent Clarke told the House of Commons

The coalition Government do not intend to withdraw from the European convention on human rights, which was imposed by the victorious British on the rest of Europe after the war in order to establish British values across the countries that were recovering from fascism and was drafted largely by Sir David Maxwell Fyfe, who put what he thought were the best principles of British justice into it.

The pledge to scrap the Human Rights Act and to replace it with a “Bill of Rights” was nothing more than Cameron pandering to the Daily Mail. The British Government is a signatory on the ECHR and therefore if cases were not handled by UK Courts they would be handled by Strasbourg (as they were before the passing of the Human Rights Act). The Conservatives, despite their claim for supporting the “Sovereignty of the United Kingdom” would have by dancing to the tune of the Daily Mail surrendered the sovereignty of the British Judiciary to Strasbourg.

The reaction of activists from the Conservative side of the coalition (if the blogosphere is actually representative of opinion) is predictable. The reaction on the left has been wrong (if the UK left blogistan is represented by Sunny Hundal). The coalition committed itself to reviewing the Human Rights Act and replacing it with a Bill of Rights. The fact that it will be built on the ECHR is a victory for common sense. The civil liberties agenda of the coalition does not make the cuts in public services any better but if implemented it will make the UK a freer, (if less fair) place to live. It also serves as a reminder why Neo-Con Labour had to leave the body-politic forever. It is telling quite telling that Ed Milliband recognises that as well.

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