Snippets on the UK and the ECHR

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Some brief notices on the UK, the ECHR, the planned repeal of the UK’s Human Rights Act and its replacement with a British Bill of Rights that our non-UK readers in particular might find of interest: almost all is quiet on the Western front, but not quite. From today’s Queen’s Speech in Parliament we could only learn that the Government still plans to scrap the HRA and replace with the British Bill of Rights, but we still have no inkling about what exactly that would entail and when. Basically the whole matter is on hold at least while Britain ponders Brexit, and even then it is likely that the new Bill (after extensive consultations) will not make radical changes to the existing HRA framework, other than for appearances’ sake.

Cambridge’s Mark Elliott has more, as does Rightsinfo. Also at Rightsinfo, Adam Wagner and Rebecca Hacker have an excellent post with a bit of colourful statistics showing just how gentle Strasbourg has been to the UK in recent years – which demonstrates not only how much damage the UK has inflicted on the ECHR system over very little real-world intrusion in its affairs, i.e. mostly for petty domestic politics, but perhaps also how (regrettably? consciously?) responsive Strasbourg can be to some state-administered spanking.

Finally, readers might be interested in a new website/blog launched by the estimable Conor Gearty of the LSE, who has a forthcoming book with OUP on the relationship between Britain and Strasbourg, On Fantasy Island. Conor will blog with excerpts from the book, working his way through its main themes: the fantasies, the facts, and the future.

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Jakob Cornides says

May 18, 2016

I for one, believe that Strasbourg is not getting half the spanking it deserves. The frustration over the sheerly endless series of apalling judicial miscarriages that the ECtHR has produced over the last years (and in particular since 1998, the year in which the 11th Protocol came into force, is very understandable. But it is the Court that causes this problem, not the Convention (which as such is a reasonably well-drafted document).

If the UK is dissatisfied with the Court, it might try to work towards a reform of the Court, or seek a way to opt out of the ECtHR's jurisdiction. Another catalogue of rights is not needed.