He has stood up for principle at the expense of his political career. [The former Attorney General, sacked in the summer] did not just resign in disgust, he then made it his business to explain to people – and particularly those on the Right – why the Tory plans would be “devastating both for ourselves domestically as it will be for the future of the Convention”.
[In a lecture at University College, London, last night, he said of the Conservative Party’s radical plans to reform UK human rights law:] “It is difficult to avoid the conclusion on reading the paper that the real problem for its authors is not so much the interpretation of the Convention by the Strasbourg Court or indeed our own domestic courts but the frustration that an international legal obligation prevents the UK government from being able to ignore judgments when it considers that they are adverse to its view of what is in the public interest.
“In a number of key cases involving this country, the [European Court of Human Rights] has made adverse findings which an overwhelming majority would now conclude were correct.
“The implication [of the Conservative plans], if taken to its logical conclusion, must be that Convention should have remained fixed in the moral and ethical norms of 1950. Judicial interpretation to reflect modern times is not new and is rooted in our common law tradition.
“[The planned Bill of Rights] may be strictly lawful, but its practical consequences are likely to be as devastating both for ourselves domestically as it will be for the future of the Convention.”
At least, as the blog points out, there are some in the Conservative Party who are willing to speak out against these plans.
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