Britain caves in to European Court of Human Rights

The idea of general elections in the UK is to select the men and women who will make the laws that apply in this country. If a majority of the population believe something should be illegal, they should be able to elect MPs who will make it so. The judiciary can then apply the law accordingly. It’s a simple, democratic concept of self determination.

Problems start to arise when the judiciary assumes ownership of law making. When men and women, who are not subject to democratic oversight, circumvent the democratic legislative process and interpret law in a mischievous manner or formulate laws themselves in spite of the wishes of the public, democracy has broken down.

Such a scenario can be compounded when politicians export jurisdiction of certain legal matter to an overseas body.  A body that can issue binding judgements and that comprises a judiciary made up not just of experienced judges, but also of academics and activists from a myriad of countries with varying legal traditions. The scenario worsens when that body confers upon itself, without reference to any democratic structure, the right to develop and alter law as it sees fit. This is the space in which we find the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

That is the reason why this week the United Kingdom government, despite the overwhelming opposition of a majority of its citizens, will accept a ruling to allow prison inmates to vote in elections held in this country.

The arguments against giving prison inmates the vote – and explaining why voting is not a human right, rather an entitlement – have been covered on this blog previously here and here. As such there is no need to revisit the argument today, although I readily commend this post by His Grace on the subject which covers many of the points in my posts and subsequent comments from February this year – and importantly along with The Boiling Frog makes the distinction between the ECHR and the unrelated EU.

All that remains to be said is that this is the kind of undemocratic outcome that results from losing our national sovereignty. This is what happens when our political class gives up our political and judicial autonomy and accepts rule from remote and unaccountable structures completely alien to us. This is what happens when our long standing independence is surrendered to suit the interests of the political class.

2 Responses to “Britain caves in to European Court of Human Rights”


  1. 1 Agincourt 03/11/2010 at 12:16 pm

    If Parliament & &/or the Brirish government were still genuinely democratic in attitude as opposed to only theoretically so (ie through general election voting), they would be doing all in their power to over-rule the ECHR & the EU’s European Court of Justice (ECJ). And quite easily too – just passing a law re-emphasizing UK supremacy over all laws applying in Britain would be enough. But they don’t. Suspicious, isn’t it? Why do they court their fellow-citizens contempt & fury in support of these (& other) abstract bodies in other countries which could not lift a finger against them if the British Parliament &/or government refused to obey these alien bodies?

    There must be money in it somewhere. We know of the huge undeserved salaries & expense accounts that EU staff & MEPs get, but does some of the EU’s annually unaudited millions of euros go in hush money to ministers & influential Parliamentarians throughout Europe too? Both the CIA & the KGB found that once a target (ie a person they wanted to recruit as an agent) had accepted one illicit payment, their target was permanently compromised – & could be forced to co-operate & supply them with sensitive information on demand. Is this how the EU works to gain & retain its influence, & to protect itself & these alien legal bodies (the ECHR & the ECJ) too? Could be, couldn’t it? Is that why the EU wants an army, in case one of its countrys’ citizens rises up in righteous anger against these alien bodies?


  1. 1 Tweets that mention Britain caves in to European Court of Human Rights « Autonomous Mind -- Topsy.com Trackback on 02/11/2010 at 8:26 pm
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