Thursday, 24 February 2011

The Right Is Wrong

As the prisoners' right to vote saga continues to rumble on, I have a letter published today in my local paper: the Oxford Mail, which I reproduce below:

Catherine Bearder MEP said (Oxford Mail, February 14) that the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is independent of any government or political interference.

That is largely correct, but it means by logical conclusion that it is also independent of the views of the ballot box.

The perfect irony with the issue of votes for prisoners is, should the ECHR force us to abide by its ruling, that in effect will deprive the rest of us of exactly the same human right – the right to change this law by the ballot box.

That is fundamentally wrong.

This issue should be decided by our democratically elected parliament not by an unaccountable foreign court.

In this judgement the ECHR has gone beyond the wishes of its creators and is overstepping its remit.

It’s sad to say, but if it continues to do so we have no option but to withdraw for the sake of our democracy, and the human rights of the vast majority of our law-abiding citizens.


  1. I'm not very well versed in law - or anything much, outside engineering - but I suggest that the law is what we the people say it is. The judges implement the law but don't make it. If we want capital punishment, then judges (who have been appointed in a transparent way, to represent the citizens of our country) should be required to pass the judgement on such cases that warrant that punishment. And if they don't want to do that, then they should find something else to do with their lives. Politicians should be required to enact legislation that we, the people have demanded; otherwise, they shouldn't enact any legislation. So, in my (probably flawed) rationale, the judges in the ECJ should just shut their stupid unaccountable mouths and only open them when asked to do so by people who have played a role in placing them in their position of adjudication. And since we haven't done so, then their mouths should be forever shut, as far as England is concerned.

  2. I completely agree with you and my government is currently drafting a bill to clarify this whole situation and to make our courts ours again.