Clarke aims for human rights reform

Western Telegraph: Ken Clarke aims to secure reforms to the European Court of Human Rights at a conference of the 47 member nations in Brighton Ken Clarke aims to secure reforms to the European Court of Human Rights at a conference of the 47 member nations in Brighton

The Government hopes to secure a deal on reforms which will see European human rights judges intervene less in British affairs.

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke is hosting a conference of representatives of the 47 member nations of the Council of Europe in Brighton. The deal, called the Brighton Declaration, is expected to be signed at the two-day conference.

It comes in the wake of the ongoing furore over Government attempts to deport terror suspect Abu Qatada and after European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judges ruled last week that the extradition of radical cleric Abu Hamza and four other terror suspects to the US would not violate their human rights.

In January in a speech at the Council of Europe, Prime Minister David Cameron claimed that the Strasbourg-based court's work defending human freedom and dignity was being put "under threat" due to public unease over some of its decisions. He also envisaged reforms to the court - reforms which senior government officials denied had been watered down into the draft Brighton Declaration.

Also on Wednesday, in contrast to what Mr Cameron has said, a justice minister involved in the reform talks insisted there was no "great constitutional crisis about foreign judges trying to ride roughshod over British law".

Lord McNally said: "I don't believe we've got some great constitutional crisis about foreign judges trying to ride roughshod over British law or British processes."

He said the court needs to change because there is a danger of it acting as a "convenient safety net" for under-performing states. The Liberal Democrat peer said national responsibility for human rights runs through draft plans for reform "like the letters through a stick of Brighton rock".

The Brighton Declaration would ensure there was "an onus at national level" for them to consider all human rights implications, he said. The ECHR "cannot secure the rights and freedoms of 800 million people and, what is more, we should not even ask them to try", he added.

As the conference got under way, Sir Nicolas Bratza, the president of the human rights court, said "no magic wand" would emerge from the talks.

He said the conference had been "talked up too much", adding: "I don't expect the dramatic changes that some have anticipated."

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Comments (2)

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7:53am Thu 19 Apr 12

willerby caravans says...

Poor Poor Kenneth you are again using the wrong part of your body to speak through.
Human Rights; We are stuck with them because we signed up to em as we are a member of the EU.
Wake up England and smell the roses.
There is a huge open prison in Europe and it stores all the European undesireables.

Any one know the name?
Great Britain
Poor Poor Kenneth you are again using the wrong part of your body to speak through. Human Rights; We are stuck with them because we signed up to em as we are a member of the EU. Wake up England and smell the roses. There is a huge open prison in Europe and it stores all the European undesireables. Any one know the name? Great Britain willerby caravans
  • Score: 0

8:06am Thu 19 Apr 12

cabinboy2 says...

Brighton declaration comes in the wakeof the Abu Qatada controversy-this is misleading.As any pub lawyer will tell you because B follows A this does not mean A is the cause of B (Post hoc sed non propter hoc)
I put down my pint in order to applaud Lord McNally.The Council of Europe is helping emerging nations to adopt best practice.You can approach it if you think your country is falling short and ask for assistance.Our leaders have been told by the Commissioner that we have betrayed the principles upon which this alliance was founded.
We have attempted to solve a domestic issue by using force to evict families at DaleFarm,Essex.
The main concerns of the CoE are that there are mass movements of populations,includin
g asylum seekers.immigrants etc.
What provision does each member State to deal with this?
Do they have a strategy ?With regard to minorities do they favour "inclusion"or do they still practise discrimination ?
Brighton declaration comes in the wakeof the Abu Qatada controversy-this is misleading.As any pub lawyer will tell you because B follows A this does not mean A is the cause of B (Post hoc sed non propter hoc) I put down my pint in order to applaud Lord McNally.The Council of Europe is helping emerging nations to adopt best practice.You can approach it if you think your country is falling short and ask for assistance.Our leaders have been told by the Commissioner that we have betrayed the principles upon which this alliance was founded. We have attempted to solve a domestic issue by using force to evict families at DaleFarm,Essex. The main concerns of the CoE are that there are mass movements of populations,includin g asylum seekers.immigrants etc. What provision does each member State to deal with this? Do they have a strategy ?With regard to minorities do they favour "inclusion"or do they still practise discrimination ? cabinboy2
  • Score: 0
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