The forthcoming election campaign in UK may well include promises by the Conservative Party to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights (‘ECHR’) should the party win the next election.
The original proposals to withdraw from the Convention were launched at the Conservative Party conference in October 2014 but instantly denounced as legally illiterate and based on nothing more that fundamentally flawed misunderstanding of human rights jurisprudence.
In short the proposals never made sense, were full of legal howlers and were not supported by any credible legal authority. Moreover the proposals disregarded the implications for the constitutional structure of United Kingdom.
It now transpires that not only are the proposals legally illiterate but there is in fact no empirical evidence to suggest that UK has been subject of especially harsh treatment by the European Court of Human Rights (‘The Strasburg Court’).
On Friday 3rd October the Conservatives published a paper ironically but presumably unintentionally, entitled ‘Protecting Human Rights in the UK’ . The aim of the proposal set out in the paper is to restore “common sense” and to “put Britain first” in relation to the legal protection of human rights.
As we shall see, the somewhat ill thought out proposal, seemingly largely driven by fear of increasing popularity of the UKIP party, seeks to restore the UK Parliament to full vigour, protecting our UK laws and UK constitution from interference by the Strasbourg Court and dastardly European human rights law.
In the paper the Conservative Party sets out its plans for the next Parliament for human rights law in UK. They propose:-
- to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998,
- incorporate the European Convention on Human Rights into primary legislation, and
- to pass a new British Bill of Rights to set out a “proper balance between rights and responsibilities”.
Filed under Democracy, European Convention on Human Rights, European Court of Human Rights, Ghaidan v Gobin-Mendoza, Human Rights Act 1989, Law, Northampton, Parliamentary sovereignty, Protecting Human Rights in UK, Rule of Law, Uncategorized, Vinter and Others v United Kingdom
On 3 September 2014 I was interviewed by Helen Blaby of BBC Radio Northampton  on the legal and social issues arising from the case of Aysha King.
The story, although not establishing any legal precedent in UK, raises a number of interesting legal and moral issues.
The primary point was whether the parents were entitled to remove their 5 year old son from the hospital care on the basis that the treatment they felt was appropriate for Aysha was not offered in UK by the National Health Service, (‘NHS’). Unfortunately, in absence of a Court order that specific medical treatment is provided and which can only be granted in judicial review proceedings, a doctor cannot be lawfully compelled by the parents to provide specific medical treatment at the behest of the parents.
It remains a matter of professional medial judgment as to what treatment is appropriate for a particular patient. However, the parents with parental responsibility powers are entitled to remove their child from the hospital in face of medical advice, similarly to any adult who can discharge themselves from hospital in face of contrary medical advice.