Monday, June 26, 2006

Cameron and the foreign Human Rights Act

The spectacle of David Cameron abusing the Human Rights Act over the weekend would have been laughable if it wasn't so serious. It's a ridiculous notion that what is wrong with the Act is that it is really "foreign" because it is just the European Convention on Human Rights in disguise and what we really need is a pureblood British version. Some spin doctor probably dreamed this one up in an attempt to differentiate the Conservative brand from the New Labour brand but labelling the Convention as a dirty, polluting, foreign object is slightly undermined by the fact that it was, as Richard Allan points out, largely drafted by British lawyers.

Cameron is playing into the government's hands by accepting that the Human Rights Act is 'the problem' interfering with the effective handling of difficult criminal justice and terrorism cases, rather than, as the judge in the Afghan hijackers'case said, conspicuous "abuse of power" on the part of government and "whether the executive should be required to take such action within the law as laid down by Parliament and the courts."

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