Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Guardian: The Conservatives need to accept the Human Rights Act, and move on

The Guardian: The Conservatives need to accept the Human Rights Act, and move on

by Keir Starmer


"The problem for the Tories is that it is impossible to draft a bill of rights worth the name without replicating the rights set out in the European convention on human rights. That is because those rights are merely the regional articulation of well-understood and universally accepted fundamental norms repeatedly affirmed by nation after nation around the world.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is the global equivalent of the European convention on human rights, has been ratified by 160 countries; the UN convention against torture – signed for the UK by Margaret Thatcher – has been ratified by 153 countries; and the UN convention of the rights of a child – signed for the UK by John Major – has been ratified by a colossal 193 countries.

If the UK were to step away from this universal human rights framework by refusing to replicate the European convention on human rights in its proposed bill of rights, we would stand isolated and condemned in the world."

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