When a right is a wrong

How do we get around a problem when a so called human right actually permits a wrong, when the Human Rights Act is used to the advantage of a criminal to remain here despite their being here illegally and having committed a crime? I’m thinking in particular of the abuse of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) which appears in two pieces of British legislation the Human Rights Act and the 2007 UK Borders Act, which allow someone here illegally to remain because they have the right to a family life even if they’ve committed a serious crime such as in the case of Aso Mohammed Ibrahim and Asim Parris One who killed a young girl whilst driving illegally and then drove off, the other a drug dealer.

Telegraph.

The Home Office this weekend confirmed it was to launch a consultation on the “family route” used by around one fifth of immigrants from outside the European Union to get into Britain every year – a total of 49,000.

Campaigners for change say the consultation was likely to become more wide ranging – and could pave the way for moves to remove the contentious “right to respect for private and family life”, enshrined in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), from the two pieces of British legislation in which it appears.

Consultations of course take time, it might take years and I somehow doubt it will be applied retroactively. Yet it is the legislation itself which is flawed, it’s overly complex and set all rights on a level playing field instead of grading them from basic to full.

What I suggest is needed is a basic set of rights, applicable to all, stuff like.

  • freedom of speech and expression freedom from arrest or detention except under authority of law, freedom from cruel, inhumane or degrading punishments and the right to a fair trial by a competent and independent court
  • freedom to enjoy lawfully acquired property
  • equality of opportunity (including freedom from discrimination)
  • freedom of assembly and association (including public meeting and withdrawal of labour)
  • freedom of thought, conscience and religion freedom to contract
  • freedom to engage in a trade, profession or occupation
  • freedom of movement within a nation and across national borders.

The other more complex stuff would need distinctions 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, one example being the right to a family life so beloved of illegal immigrants though such rights, are not really rights at all, simply social needs and shouldn’t have be enshrined as a right at all.

As a convicted criminal though you should only have very basic rights, basically the right to be housed and fed safely and securely at Her Majesties pleasure until your sentence is over. You get no legal aid other than to appeal, you do not get to vote and you do not get special treatment over and above that of any other prisoner save only that which is earned within the system.

General declarations of human rights are great things, but there does need to be qualitative distinctions 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.

This is something the legislators in the EU and the fools/traitors in our own government who blindly give assent to such laws have foisted on us to our detriment.

Sooner we leave, sooner we can sort it, but until we leave, we’re at the mercy of a set of laws that give criminals exactly the same rights as the law abiding with no qualified distinctions in-between.

9 comments for “When a right is a wrong

  1. ivan
    June 20, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Sooner we leave, sooner we can sort it, but until we leave, we’re at the mercy of a set of laws that give criminals exactly the same rights as the law abiding with no qualified distinctions in-between.

    So why be law abiding? Most of the ‘laws’ are arrant nonsense and need to be ignored – but then the UK is a cat’s whisker away from being an overt police state.

    • PPS
      June 21, 2011 at 6:57 am

      Leave What?

  2. June 21, 2011 at 12:15 am

    I don’t like your list.

    What is wrong with degrading punishment?

    Why a right to withdraw labour? Why should there be a right to breech a contract? Why should the tossers who work for BA, for example, have a right to disrupt other people’s lives? There should be a right to terminate an employment contract by either party.

    Equality of opportunity? That will be abused by the courts. Discrimination? I remember being advised 20 years ago that when making people redundant you couldn’t do last in first out because it discriminated against women.

    • June 21, 2011 at 5:33 am

      If you don’t have a right to withdraw labour, aren’t you just a slave in all but name?

      • June 21, 2011 at 10:32 am

        You should have the right to leave a job. But I don’t see why there should be a right for Bob Crowe et al to say “all out, lets stuff the public and by the way you can’t fire us and employ someone who wants to work.”

  3. June 21, 2011 at 12:35 am

    “This is something the legislators in the EU and the fools/traitors in our own government who blindly give assent to such laws have foisted on us to our detriment.”

    Bzzt. Wrong. The EU is not involved with ruling on the European Convention. Rather, it is a document firstly interpreted by national courts, and then where needed applied following the judgements of the Euro Court of Human Rights- which is not, and which has never been, an EU institution.

    Also, if you regard “freedom of movement within a nation and across national borders.” as a basic right, why are you so upset with people being dealt with in this country’s justice system being able to remove?

    • June 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm

      And it was the courts who passed the Human Rights Act? I think not. They interpret law they don’t pass it.

      I have no problem with freedom of movement for the law abiding, a rather large distinction you must admit.

  4. June 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    “And it was the courts who passed the Human Rights Act? I think not. They interpret law they don’t pass it.”
    No, it was Parliament. Which is, you know, kind of the other important part of the law making system.

  5. jorb
    June 22, 2011 at 4:01 am

    There is an important distinction being missed here. The rights enumerated in the list above are all things government (the people) (or others, still the people) cant do to you. Human rights, as currently enacted, are all things owed you by somebody else, usually through the agency of the govt (usually the courts). Bollocks to the second as they’re all based on the use of coercion to get you something you’re “entitled” to. Right to withdraw labour (not actually mentioned in the article) is the right to quit. Right to not show up for work and still expect to get paid/have a job (again, bollox). Also known (in extreme cases) as the right to starve.

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