Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Theresa May: Clearly Not A Lawyer

The always-excellent UK Human Rights Blog has rightfully taken Theresa May to task for her idiotic comments in the Mail on Sunday with regards to the judiciary:
But however wrong-headed Theresa May’s critique might be, it forms part of a much wider public discourse about the nature and acceptability of human rights in contemporary Britain. This is so because May’s argument, shorn of its baseless analysis of the specific matter that she has in her sights, reduces to the bald propositions that the UK Parliament, not the judiciary, should and does have the ultimate say over matters pertaining to human rights. The former claim – a normative one – is contestable. The latter claim – a factual one – is demonstrably false.
What's more, any primary legislation enacted in order to give more weight to Theresa May's pandering to right-wing tabloid papers would still need to be read in a way which is compatible with Article 8 of the Human Rights Act. Any legislation, further still, would be subject to a challenge at the European Court of Human Rights - so the only way for the Home Secretary to get what she wants - favourable judgments in all cases without interference from human rights legislation, is to repeal the Human Rights Act and withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights. This, by the way, is now a mainstream policy option amongst the right-wing in the UK.

So there you have it: the profoundly illiberal bleating of a legally illiterate Home Secretary desiring to remove international checks and balances on executive power, all because she lost a couple of cases and doesn't seem to understand the constitutional process. Anyone else think appointing Home Secretaries with no legal experience might be something of a bad move?

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