Should We Ditch The Human Rights Bill?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by trehorn, Aug 18, 2011.

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  1. Yes, lose it, it's not serving the people.

    18 vote(s)
  2. No, keep it as it is.

    6 vote(s)
  3. Change it so that it works as intended.

    23 vote(s)
  1. Controversial maybe but after all the hoo haa with the rioting we finally get some sentences handed down which mean something and the human rights croud are claiming that they're too harsh. I'm bloody sick of it. Surely we have enough laws in this country to cover this kind of thing without tying one hand behind our own back with this drivvel. I can't personally recall an instance where I've actually agreed with something that this bill has achieved, although I will admit that there will be some.
  2. Human rights bill in its present form is well passed its sell by date.
    It needs to be overhauled and the loopholes which allow convicted criminals to use it to escape justice removed
  3. Well, on the basis it was written by that hero of the UK, Winston Churchill, I suggest that having a good think before we throw it out.

    Moreover, people blame "ooman rights" in the same way they blame "elf'n'safety", generally it's to avoid blame and the need to make a hard decision rather than anything to do with with either act. As for "convicted criminals" "escaping" the courts, I would be willing to bet 50p that it had more to do with the CPS and Police ignoring the requirements of the law than the law itself.

    Give me a bona fide series of rulings that are so objectionable that have to do with "human rights", and not some bollocks written in the Daily Nazi.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Unfortunately it isn't quite that simple. The Human Rights Act is only the mechanism used to bring the ECHR into British law, recision of the HRA would make the implementation of the ECHR less efficient and more costly for litigants. In order to change the actual scope and content of rights protection we would have to review our position vis the ECHR. Being a signatory of the ECHR is a mandatory requirement for membership of the Council of Europe, and COE membership is a requirement for EC membership (as I understand it).
  5. My thought on this matter is that it should be ditched and completely rewrote .with ommissions like the right of prisoners to sue the right of children to sue there parents and all the othere contensious waffle that is in it
  6. By committing a crime which results in a prison sentence you should lose any claim to human rights including voting.
  7. This isn't such an easy question as it might seem. It's so easy to look at things from the outside because you haven't found the need to use them.
    I wonder if those shouting loudest against this bill if they were in need of it themselves.

    I'm one of those and voted to scrap the stupid life stiffling directive.
  8. Alfred
    Perhaps there is no need to scrap any of the above.
    However how about an extra Article, perhaps 3.19 Which should state that anyone who has denied others of any of the above will forfeit ALL rights to protection under the Act?
  9. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    The debate is often surreal (and sometimes sinister, especially as a result the recent riots in England). When it was introduced the (Labour) Government was justifiably accused of violating most of its principles, in its obsession with security. However the current (Conservative) Government proposals were equally confusing, attacking the act as a "villains' charter", stopping the deportation of terrorists and offering porn to convicted killers. The act is a leftwing conspiracy, the Conservatives claim, created by treacherous Europeans intent on destroying British sovereignty and introduced by state fanatics of Stalinist proportions.

    The tensions between law and democracy are expressed in the vernacular of the "villains' charter" and the "indivisibility of rights". The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), incorporated into British law by the act, was indeed inspired by Winston Churchill, drafted by Tory politician Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe and ratified by a Conservative government, but was part of the Cold War ideological battles aimed at showing the superiority of the western way of life.

    Compared with the 18th-century declarations and the Universal Declaration that immediately preceded it, the ECHR was a backward step. No economic, social or cultural rights or right to equality exist besides the protection of property. Article 14 banning discrimination offers ancillary protection that must be argued in conjunction with one of the other rights. The key areas of work, housing or immigration, where discrimination is rife, are immune from a human rights claim.

    This is important in a time of austerity measures and economic fear. Will people losing their benefits as a result of the announced cuts and welfare reform be able to invoke human rights remedies? It would only seem fair, since both here and in Europe companies have used human rights to promote their own selfish interests. The first declaration of incompatibility between British legislation and human rights was given to a pawnbroker (Wilson v First County Trust). In 2009, two hedge funds argued that the nationalisation of Northern Rock, which made their shares in the bank worthless, amounted to a violation of their human rights. Bankers threatened a human rights challenge to the tax on their bonuses here and in Strasbourg.

    Against this generosity towards the rich, the most vulnerable members of society have no prospect of a human rights challenge to a change in the proposals. The link between inequality, poverty, ill health, early death and underachievement has been conclusively proven. The Government took a step in the right direct with its reforms to abolish ID cards, restrict the scope of the DNA database and regulate CCTV. These reforms protect privacy, a matter of justified concern mainly to the middle class.

    Throughout history political strategies have divided humanity into the fully human, the lesser human and the inhuman; (Greeks = barbarians; Christians = heathens; Nationalists = foreigners, etc.) Today the dividing line separates the affluent from a growing (sub)culture of precarious life, populating a 'no man's land' between legality and criminality, unemployment and exploited underemployment.

    Human rights belong to all humans on account of their humanity rather than membership of narrower categories such as citizenship, ethnicity or class. Bills of rights on the other hand tend to exclude by definition non-citizens from their protections. The undocumented workers, the single mother losing her benefits, the Guantanamo Bay inmates, are precisely people with no state or law to protect them. They should therefore enjoy the entitlements of humanity, but their plight remains the same whether you keep the HRA or pass a new bill of rights.

    The only progressive answer is to introduce social and economic rights into our legislation and extend the minimum protections of humane life to everyone living in the UK. Anything less than that is neither humanitarian nor part of the British tradition. I would gladly accept a human rights law prepared to do this, whether by a European or domestic doctrine.
    • Like Like x 3
  10. e-petitions to government regarding the Human Rights Act, take your pick as there is a bundle of them.

    Link: Search results - e-petitions
  11. I suppose one point is that the human rights crew do not do themselves any favours by bleeting on about how harsh the sentences are for the likes of those convicted of rioting and looting. They almost project the belief that many of these degenerates use that off is somehow not their fault and they should not be held accountable for their behavior.

    I believe that we are starting to pay the price for being too soft on those in society who have no place in this world as they serve no purpose other that to cause problems for those who are prepared to live by the laws of the land.
  12. One of the big criticisms of entrenched Human Rights (which the ECHR essentially is due to the consequences of withdrawal) is the conflict with democracy, it binds future governments not to legislate in a certain way. Therefore we cannot vote for the deportation to Libya party or for the arbitrary and unnecessary surveillance party.

    The inclusion of economic and social rights would be a huge step for a developed country, especially in a developed welfare state with a growing amount of welfare dependency and a high tax burden for moderate income families. Any entrenchment of these potential rights would essentially dictate the fiscal policy of future governments and seriously undermine a lot votes. In my opinion, human rights should be used only for the protection of the bear minimum of standards required for a democracy to function, otherwise we risk depriving people of the right to vote in a manner that we consider to be 'wrong'. A very dangerous game.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Whether you agree with their agenda or not, is it not better to have somebody bleeting on behalf of the "voiceless few" than nobody at all? The disturbing acts [during the riots] aside, one thing that having a contrary view point has achieved is stimulate debate. And without reading the transcripts from the specific court cases, we have no way of knowing why such severe (legally-justified) sentences were awarded.
  14. =================================================================


    IMHO Alongside a major revision of Human Rights legislation the Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities (mooted way in 1997 but since lost somewhere in the talking shops of the InterAction Council About Us | InterAction Council ) should be revisited, too.

    Instead of trying to reach an almost impossible Euro/UN or world-wide acceptance we, the UK & NI, could set a fine example by preparing and even pushing through our own combined Rights/Responsibilities Bill.

    In anticipation of any external uproar a series of addenda should be attached indicating the many ludicrous examples where the results of adherence to the letter of Human Rights Laws here have been diametrically opposed to natural justice and which have flouted human responsibility.

    Too bold an idea for our already busy leaders?

    Probably, but it wouldn't it show the world and his dog that 'GB' had not totally lost the hard-earned capital 'G'.

  15. Wow, just wow.
  16. Well put, but the issue would be that we'd have to change the content of our rights protection, deviate / withdraw our signiture from the ECHR which could jeopardise our membership of the EC. It's just a question of how far the politicans and the electorate are willing to go.
  17. I really thought Sgt P had put his thoughts on paper and hit the nail on the head.
    Unfortunately Googling the prose shows that it is not original thought but more than a little plaguarism.

    Human rights or a British bill of rights? | Law |

    Would be nice if posters could state where their posts were copied from
  18. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

  19. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Slim: Different reference; same opinion. Me bad? Not really. But if it makes you feel good, then crack on.

    Meanwhile, back to the topic in hand...

    I voted for an amend to the current legislation; the current rights should be clarified and clearly defined. Many have confused "human rights" with "human privileges"; I have lost count of the number of people (who have no place in society, to paraphrase Trehorn) who claim a breach of their rights when I have arrested/detained/interviewed them - even though no such claim is supported by the provisions of the HRA (which I comply with, in accordance with PACE, etc.)

    However outside of the basic rights, the more complex stuff would need to be distinguished between those rights which are essential conditions of freedom and those which have become human rights only by virtue of being declared to be such, such as the right to a family life so beloved of illegal immigrants who commit offences in this country (however I am not advocating the automatic deportation of all criminals - I like to think we have progressed in the last couple of centuries). These are not really rights at all, simply social needs and shouldn’t have be enshrined as a right at all. And that is where the confusion lies - clear definition is required, not the abolition of something that is entrenched into our humane, moral and social fabric.

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