The EU Convention on Human Rights was promulgated in post-WWII Europe in response to the horrors of Nazi Germany. Not only did the ECHR spell out the rights of individual citizens - it also established a supra-national body to have the final say over those rights. For a long time now, the decision to adopt and join the ECHR has haunted the Brits, and I have blogged frequently here on the insanity of Britain being unable to deport some of the most vile and dangerous of radical Islamists because of the ECHR. That said, a recent series of outlandish decisions from the European Court of Human Rights is finally starting to choke the Brits. This from the Daily Mail:
For the third time in a week, Strasbourg’s unelected European Court of Human Rights is under the spotlight.
First, Tory MPs made it clear they have no intention of bowing to the court’s demand to grant the vote to tens of thousands of prisoners.
Next Lord Carlile, the Government’s reviewer of anti-terror laws, said its rulings against deportation had turned Britain into a ‘safe haven’ for those who wish the country harm.
Now Damian Green, the immigration minister, has said its rulings have turned human rights into a ‘boo phrase’.
He said the court’s judgments – and our own judiciary’s liberal interpretation of them – meant the public immediately expected bad news when the phrase ‘human rights’ was uttered. ‘Clearly, something is wrong if you get to that stage’, Mr Green said.
His remarks will fuel the anger of MPs towards the European court.
In 2005, 17 judges ruled in favour of John Hirst, who argued prisoners should be able to vote. He had been in jail for killing his 69-year-old landlady with an axe, after which he calmly made a cup of coffee. Under pressure from the court, the British government announced last year that it would comply with the ruling. Hirst celebrated by drinking champagne and smoking cannabis – and put a video of it all on YouTube.
The court believes it can overrule the UK Parliament and Supreme Court.
But the astonishing truth is that its 47 ‘representatives’ need never even have served as judges in their homeland. . . .
The judges – one for every nation in the Council of Europe – have blocked the deportation from Britain of countless foreign criminals and awarded thousands in compensation to alleged Islamic terrorists.
The court gave £4,700 to Soviet spy George Blake for ‘distress and frustration’ after the Government banned him from publishing a book about how he betrayed Britain.
And £7,000 was handed to Stuart Blackstock, who shot PC Philip Olds in the 1980s, after his release from jail was delayed. . . .
The British judiciary is in no doubt that the European court is seeking to impose a federal law upon the UK.
Ex-Law Lord Hoffmann said: ‘The Strasbourg court has been unable to resist the temptation to aggrandise its jurisdiction and to impose uniform rules on member states.
‘It considers itself the equivalent of the Supreme Court of the United States.’ . . .
Britain has the Magna Carta and the 1649 English Bill of Rights, among other sundry compacts with the Crown that, in toto, establish an English Constitution. Indeed, these same compact largely inform the U.S. Bill of Rights. So why would Britain possibly need to adopt the ECHR and submit their nation to the whims of a supra-national body?
They did so because the British system is dysfunctional, to put it kindly. None of the ancient compacts with the Crown are binding in Britain today, except as subject to the whim of Parliament. At least a century ago, the British Parliament unilaterally claimed complete sovereignty - i.e., that they have the final say not subject to review - and that the ancient compacts were binding only on the monarchy, not the Parliament.
What that means is that whatever Parliament passes, whether it be restrictions on speech or the ownership of guns, for but two examples, it is not subject to any check and balance. It is a tyranny of the majority. And that is why former PM Brown was able to sign away Britain's sovereignty to the EU - thus presenting a complete break with the ancient compacts - without a referendum of the people of Britain. It is a tragedy that will not end until the people of Britain rise up against the Parliament the way they rose up against the Crown in 1642. The fact that they are just now getting rightfully upset with the ECHR suggests that may be long in coming.