Monday, May 15, 2006

Human Rights Act

When I think of Human Rights I think of things such as having the freedom of speech or the government not having the power to drag me off the street and lock me up without trial. This is reinforced by people who are supposedly expert in the field of Human Right when they claim that:

The values in the act mirror those found in Bills of rights throughout the free world. Free speech, fair trials, respect for private life and the prohibition of torture are the values which distinguish democrats from dictators or terrorists.

Yet the curious thing is when we actually hear about people winning cases based on the Human Rights Act it turns out to be nothing like that, and instead is about the wishes of someone not to wear a achool uniform trumping the wishes of those who are trying to run a school with a standard uniform policy or where the desires of plane hijackers to remain in a country trumps the desire of the public in general not to be put at risk by giving incentives to hijacking. Numerous other perverse verdicts could be given.

Defenders of the HRA claim that whilst these incidents might well be unfortunate, it is a price worth paying to defend our liberty. All of which brings me to this question-
-Can anyone give a single example of where the Human Rights Act or the European Convention on Human Rights have been used to actually protect what reasonable people would regard as fundamental liberties?


The Pedant-General said...

Probably not, because our fundamental liberties were already protected by close to a thousand years of legal precedent.

Ross said...

That is very much my view also, some people like to give the impression that we didn't have any rights prior to signing the convention in 1949.

Serf said...

I have even read a defence of this act based on the fact that it outlawed slavery.

Of course it was a terrible problem in this country prior to 1998. ;)

AntiCitizenOne said...

It's wholly misnamed as well.

Most of the so called "rights" in it are pure collectivist entitlements.