Archive for March, 2011
As always, there are few issues where the current Government and Opposition agree, but Human Rights and the degree of intrusion by European law in this area appears to be one area where there is some consensus. Both agree that the European Court of Human Rights (which is often condused with but is separate to the EU Court of Justice) is becoming too powerful and that decisions made in Strasbourg are against the thrust of public opinion nationally. A recent example of this relates to the European ruling that prisioners ought to be entitled to vote.
The suggestion being currnetly mooted in Westminster is to pass a new Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act. The crucial part of such legislation would be to give English common law precedence over anyb decisions made in Strasbourg. We will of course continue to monitor this potentially very significant shift in policy on Human Rights and report further in due course.
What are the basic Human Rights under English law ?
The Human Rights Act 1998 enshrines in English law the fundamental rights and freedoms contained in the European Convention on Human Rights.
- the right to life
- freedom from torture and degrading treatment
- freedom from slavery and forced labour
- right to liberty
- right to a fair trial
- respect for private and family life
- freedom of expression, thought, conscience and religion
- freedom of assembly and association
- peaceful enjoyment of property
- the right to an education
- the right to participate in free elections