Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I am not a number

As we have blogged before, the Human Rights Act 1998 is not fit for purpose.

Drafted in 1998, a year when only nerds used the internet, a Labour MP said he wanted to give every family a computer by 2002 as a millennium gift from the National Lottery to help people become more Internet friendly.

Recipients would also be given 10 hours free Internet access a week. (bbc)

How times have changed. Little did the politicians realise their attempts to create a constitution through the HRA98 would back fire so badly. It has taken years of disquiet for it at last to be shown up to be badly drafted and irrelevant in a Twitter based world.

Let us not forget that the serving Prime Minister in 1998 was Tony Blair, a lawyer, who always felt the Judicary was the best place to resolve Human Rights and the HRA98 would be something his wife could benefit from. She is a Human Rights lawyer and she has done very well from it after setting up the Matrix Chamber in 2000.

The Telegraph argue the case for abandoning the HRA98 quite well...


...for many more relevant reasons than injunction breaching.

Ryan Giggs may one day be hailed as the person who destroyed the HRA98 and help create the Bill of Rights the UK so desperately needs. What a legacy is that eh?

I am not a number although Giggs is number 11.


  1. Hyperbolic troll is hyperbolic. The article does not say what you seem to think it says.

    So, if you want the HRA repealed, I suspect you must object to one of these:
    * right to life
    * prohibition of torture
    * right to liberty and security
    * prevention of slavery and indentured servitude
    * right to a fair trial
    * right to not be prosecuted retrospectively
    * right to a family life
    * freedom of conscience and religion
    * freedom of thought and expression
    * freedom of association
    * right to marry as you see fit
    * right to an effective legal remedy
    * prohibition of discrimination
    * right to peaceful enjoyment of property
    * right to education
    * universal franchise
    * prohibition of debtor's prisons
    * freedom of movement
    * right to re-enter homeland
    * prohibition of death penalty

    IMO, the only really negative effect is that someone accused of a sexual offence is not permitted to cross-examine the victim, which potentially prejudices the trial by presupposing that the alleged offence took place, that the witness was the victim, and the accused was the perpetrator.

  2. You are not a number? Have you looked at your tax return lately? I assume that most of you News Group hacks have to complete one.

  3. Read the unpleasant history of our Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles at

  4. There's a lot of nonsense spoken about the Human Right Act. The idea was that the Act was somehow an attempt to introduce a written constitution is absurd. All the Act does in incorporate the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law. The effect of that is to allow people to use domestic courts, instead of the European court, to enforce their rights under the Convention.

    If the Act was repealed in its entirety tomorrow, all it would do is deprive people of the right to have their case heard in a British rather than the European Court. People would continue to have the same rights but find it harder to enforce them. We would have to leave the Council of Europe if we didn’t want to be bound by the Convention. That would be difficult because membership of the Council is required by the EU, even though the two bodies are entirely separate.

    Some think the ECHR is somehow alien to us. In fact the Convention was mainly drafted by British lawyers in the 1950s with the active encouragement of the government, particularly the then Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. His government took the view that the Convention would prevent the development of the kind of totalitarian regimes that led to the outbreak of the second world war. It is surprising that the Convention wasn’t incorporated into our domestic law at the time. Perhaps it was because the government thought the Convention simply upheld what it saw as British values in any case.

    Certain sections of the press have argued vigorously against the Human Rights Act. One should question their motives for doing so. Perhaps it is because, as recent events show, it is easier for people to enforce their rights against the press.