Ken (Clark) Has a Go At The ECHR!

An eye-opener for many, but Ken Clark has shown his heart is in the right place by attacking the sheer stupidity of the European Court of Human Rights(ECHR). During a speech to the Austrian Diplomatic Academy in Vienna he said in no uncertain terms that the ECHR was in desperate need of reform. After their ruling on the Abu Qatada case, and that prisoners in our country should have full voting rights, I tend to agree.

He claims that the courts are overloaded, and when you take into consideration that in the first 40 years of its existence it handled a total of 45,000 cases, and in 2010 alone 61,300, I can see what he means.

That's Right Ken - You Tell 'Em

During his speech he said:  ¨It is individual states and their courts which have primary responsibility for implementing the convention and granting effective remedies. At times, I consider that the court has been too ready to substitute its own judgment for that of national courts and parliaments. It was never meant to be a court of appeal for routine domestic judgments. No court could ever hope to offer redress to 800 million people. National courts are in the best position to understand national problems.” In that I have to agree.

In my opinion, there are more than sufficient safeguards within the national justice system to ensure fairness. What gets peoples backs up in this country is the interference from Strasbourg that dictates e.g. Abu Qatada the terrorist can neither be held in custody, nor deported to Jordan. Also, how dare such a body dictate to us that convicted criminals have as much right to vote as law-abiding citizens?

ECHR - Strasbourg

Abu Qatada is not the only one to have escaped deportation on ´Human Rights´grounds, there have been many before him, such as  Mohammed Ibrahim who ran over a young girl (Posted 17/12/2010). On top of that, many criminals have used the infamous Article 8 (Right to family life) defence to escape a jail sentence, in particular I think of burglar Wayne Bishop who I wrote about on the 28th May last year. He escaped a prison sentence because he had five children. He was re-arrested recently on GBH (grievous bodily harm) charges. So much for the loving father whose children cannot live without him.

There have been too many cases where the ECHR has made a mockery of justice in our country, and it has to stop. I for one will be very happy if Ken Clark and David Cameron can introduce legislative changes to the way in which the court operates during Britain´s tenure at the`head of the table´.  If that happens, and we rid ourselves of the ridiculous `Human Rights´ appeals to every sentence handed out by the courts, so much the better.


4 Responses to “Ken (Clark) Has a Go At The ECHR!”

  1. ANONYMOUS Says:

    Hi Roy.
    I respect you man, I really do but you’re wrong here! I am a former government intelligence officer ( NOT MI5 or MI6) but I speak from a perspective that isn’t so well known/published in the papers you read.

    Abu Qatada should not only be released but he should released WITHOUT any bail conditions whatsoever. He cannot be tried (secretly) in a Military Court as he is not military personnel and he cannot be tried in a Civil court as public testimony will compromise the ongoing UK counterterrorism efforts and personnel currently deployed in this field. That is the legal gap that he has successfully fallen through. This is also the gap that Theresa May and Ken Clarke should focus on. That said, Qatada has been detained without trial or charge for 6 plus years and that quite frankly, shames me as a British citizen.

    The ECHR have not “ruled” against anything. They have merely said that they are likely to find in his favour IF he (and/or his legal team) decided to bring the matter before them. I personally feel that the ECHR should focus on general principles and ASSIST Nation states with legal precedents and not get bogged down in specific cases. Perhaps the UK’s chairmanship of the Human Rights Council could see them examining this possibilty. A more consultative role for the ECHR is definitely the way to go in my view.

    That said, we cannot suspend Human Rights and United Kingdom laws just because (or when) we feel like it. That is dangerous road to go down. One of the definitions of the word “Extremist” is: someone who totally rejects the rule of law. I don’t think we should start rejecting or suspending the rule of law. If we do that we are no different from Qatada.

    Officially, Qatada has committed no crime and broken no laws. He has claimed and been granted UK asylum and he is entitled to our freedoms (which it seems,he rejects) as well as our protections.

    Please don’t get me wrong. Do I want him in the UK? NO! Do I want him to preach hate to anyone? No. Do I want him to fund/resource any kind of terrorist activity? No. Do I want him to move in next door to me? Hell No! By any measure, he is what we Londoners call a wrong ‘un. But if we don’t observe and obey the law (however distasteful) then it won’t be long before they (the government) start coming for you and me for having this conversation because they don’t like the content. I hope I haven’t upset you with this response because I like your postings and your views are normally spot on.


    • HI Anon,
      Glad you dropped by. I hear what you are saying, and I agree wholeheartedly that we should not suspend human rights in Britain for anyone, but we have to get them in proportion and use these laws only where they are needed. Abu Qatada is without doubt a dangerous man and has ‘turned’ decent innocent, law-abiding young Muslims into bombers with his hateful rhetoric in many London mosques. Considering that he is wanted in connection with terrorist activity in half-a-dozen countries, I, along with many others, find it hard to understand why we are stuck with him. As you point out, you would not want him as a neighbour! I have read somewhere that he cannot be charged for fear of endangering on-going counter-terrorism investigations, but that doesn’t make the whole thing less palatable. He is not the only one who has used the ECHR as a way of escaping justice as I pointed out in the article, the list is endless.
      While I agree whole-heartedly with the aims of the Human Rights Charter, it has been misused by too many people and the whole thing needs reform. Lets face it, 61,300 cases in one year is unbelieveable, and is not what the Charters’ founders meant it for. It was introduced with good intentions, but such is the state of people’s morality these days they will use any means possible to escape justice, or to achieve their own devious ends.


      • ANONYMOUS Says:

        Hi Roy.
        Glad that we are still friends! Apologies for the spelling mistakes and ommissions in my reply to your post. I kind of rattled it off while being upset at some of the content. I respect what you say and I see why you are enraged. You are right when you say that the Human Rights Act is both noble and well-intentioned. it certainly was not meant to be used in the way that it has been by people all over the World. It’s funny how the countries that reject and/or refuse to sign up to it appear to be its most prominent beneficiaries!



      • Hi Anon,
        No need to apologise! Occasionally people are quite strong in their disagreement with some posts (and there is nothing wrong in that), but they all appear on the blog. After all, everyone has a right to their own opinion. There is a lot wrong with the whole system at the moment, and I really hope the politicians can get together and make it more justice friendly. It is not right that ‘towrags’ should be given a ‘licence to walk’ in the manner they do using the Charter as a prop. The Charter is very necessary in today’s world, but I must agree with Ken Clarke, it needs reform to get it back in balance.


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