Reform of Strasbourg Court: a modest proposal – Aidan O’Neill QC

From the UK Human Rights Blog run by 1COR, an important issue has been highlighted.  The coalition Government has appointed an independent Commission to investigate the case for a UK Bill of Rights.  This Commission has also been tasked with providing advice to the Government on the possible reform of the European Court of Human Rights – as part of on the ongoing Interlaken process – ahead of and following the UK’s coming Chairmanship of the Council of Europe.

In our view a government appointed commission defeats the whole object of a ‘Bill of Rights’ as it is for the people to determine their fate and not for the government to decide what constitutes a “right” upon which the people can defend against an oppressive government.

Given the nature of legislation such as the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 which has stripped people of rights such as a fair hearing; equality under law and innocence before guilt, is it blatantly clear that governments will seek only to give those ‘rights’ to the people that they deem appropriate and withhold rights that do not serve their purpose.

Perhaps this is why the European courts have become so contentious; perhaps this is why so many absurd human rights applications have been publicised; perhaps this is why the government now seeks to pull away from the European courts because there is at least some external examination of rights issues in this country, however absurd some of the decisions may appear to be.

We’d rather have a few absurd decisions being made than to have no rights at all; we’d rather have a voice that can be heard than to have no voice at all.

In the USA, the Patriot Act has all but eradicated their constitution and Bill of Rights – all in the name of protecting the population from the spectre of ‘terrorism’.  While there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the very nature of the atrocities carried out on their soil have been carried out at the hands of their own government with those who seek an explanation for the anomalies being thrown in prison, ostracised or even murdered.

In the UK there is great scepticism about our own 7/7 attack yet anyone who dares to suggest that our government had a hand in what happened is treated in similar fashion.  We’re being led down the path of complete totalitarianism in order to protect us from ‘terrorism’ yet we’re entering into yet another illegal war to (laughably) uphold democracy thus drawing further attention to this country as a target for any potential terrorist threat.

In truth, we have less to fear from terrorists than we do our own government(s); we lived for years with the ‘cold war’ and the IRA bomb threats in London yet we never had imposed upon us the draconian laws and legislations that have more to do with giving power to the authorities than to do with protecting the people from the phantoms introduced into our daily lives by the government and the media.

There has to be an independent authority which people can draw upon; there has to be a place where our concerns can be heard and where our voices will not be ignored – no matter how many seemingly daft decisions come from that independent authority.

Even if you don’t believe the conspiracies, ask yourself the question as often as you can – “what if the conspiracy theorists are right?”


One thought on “Reform of Strasbourg Court: a modest proposal – Aidan O’Neill QC

  1. A bill of rights is as diogenese states not just another Law it should have the support of the people, not there “representatives“. The Magna Carta was imposed on the King by the people not the other way round. As was the bill of rights imposed during the accession of William and Mary. Whilst we all talk of dumbing down I would point out that most European countries have a long history of revolution, I do not believe that the Greek people will allow the implementation of the current measures to ensure a europe wide experiment will survive. I would say to any government Look at history it has a habit of repeating itself. To the present government remember when a certain Charles the first wished to impose his will at the expense of his people. I believe he lost his head. I salutary lesson for all would be “king and king maker“

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