The Tories have announced plans to scrap the Human Rights Act if they win at next year’s general election, stripping British citizens of the final layer of protection from governmental abuse.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said that the Conservatives would introduce a “British Bill of Rights” to stop British laws being overruled by human rights rulings from Strasbourg. The Conservatives also warned that they would be prepared to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) if it could not be reworked so that Westminster and UK courts can veto laws from applying to the UK.

The Conservatives came up against the ECHR when attempting to deport radical cleric Abu Qatada, with European judges delaying the process and adding extra expense to the British taxpayer, as the government were forced to obtain assurances that evidence obtained by torture would not be used in his trial.

However, both Labour and Liberal Democrats have said that the move was politically motivated, with the Tories hoping that the public will conflate the European Union and the ECHR, and that being tough on the ECHR will show that the Tories are being “tough” with the EU.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage managed to conflate the EU and ECHR during his televised debates with Nick Clegg, and gained further support for his stance, and the Tories hope that with their plan for a British Bill of Rights they can replicate his success.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International said that the Tory proposals “would irreparably harm” the protections offered to “men and women in the darker places of Europe” and the Council of Europe, which is comprised of European Convention member states, said it was “inconceivable” that teh UK, as a founding member, would leave the convention.

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4 Comments

  1. Hi,
    “Tories devise plan to scrap the Human Rights Act”. English common law is in a cloned form the basis of all other 46 countries legal system. That English law is at it limit can be seen in the penal system and immigration control, that England as no other country is attractive for criminals, benefit cheats lay in its tolerance. Living on the continent I see how simple other lands deal with such problems that England is reprimanded to the human rights court, this has to do with the right of appeal which in my example the human rights court does not offer. Personal experience where a Spanish judge resides over a Swiss man with a problem with the Dutch rejects and throws the case out without a hearing or right of appeal. The plan to scrap the Human Rights Act and association the Court of Human Rights is correct, as I have experienced a “kangaroo” court.

  2. Terence Hale, can you please provide a date, link and source to the ruling you say was a ‘kangaroo court’ regarding human rights at Strasbourg?

    I think it’s more helpful to discuss specific examples of how our Human Rights Act has helped British citizens:

    * The Human Rights Act has brought to account UK police for failing to investigate human trafficking and rape cases.

    * Thanks to the Human Rights Act, UK law was changed to prevent rape victims from being cross-examined by their attacker.

    * It’s because of the Human Rights Act that the right was established in the UK for an independent investigation to take place following a death in prison.

    * Human rights laws have also helped patients gain to access life-saving drugs and held hospitals to account when failures in mental-health care has directly led to suicide.

    * In the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal, 100 claims were made invoking the Human Rights Act claiming that gross or degrading treatment of patients, mostly elderly, had caused or hastened their deaths.

    * Human Rights laws have also helped to establish that failing to properly equip British soldiers when on active duty abroad was a breach of their human rights.

    I am not convinced that these or similar cases would have prevailed without our Human Rights Act. And the examples above are just that – some examples. There are many other cases where British people have needed our Human Rights Act to protect them against the excesses or failures of the State.

  3. JON,
    Yes certainly :-
    Application 39368/13 Hale v, The Netherlands.

    Kind Regards Terence