A new report from Policy Exchange - Download a PDF of "Bringing Rights Back Home" – calls for Britain to leave the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg if the Court cannot reform itself. The report's recommendations have the backing of the vast majority of the British people. 66% agreed that ultimate authority on human rights should be with Britain's own Supreme Court. Only 19% said it should stay with Strasbourg.
The retired Law Lord, Lord Hoffman, backs the report in a foreword. “In the last few years," he writes, "human rights have become, like health and safety, a byword for foolish decisions by courts and administrators”.
The press release from Policy Exchange states:
"The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg no longer fulfils the function for which is was founded with judges both there and in the UK stretching the text of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to make it apply in situations where core human rights are not at stake. Judges too often now see their role as making, not interpreting. The Strasbourg court also fail to take sufficient account of the cultural and other differences between countries – such as the conflict between the Convention’s “right to privacy” and the British tradition of freedom of the press. The 47 Strasbourg judges also enjoy virtually no democratic legitimacy and are poorly qualified compared to Britain’s own senior judiciary."
On Saturday the Daily Mail highlighted how the Strasbourg judges were often very poorly qualified for their powerful positions. Many do not speak either of the Court's languages (English and French) or have even served as judges in their home nations. Read more here.