Britain pays out millions to criminals after losing 202 human rights cases since 1998

European Court of Human Rights attacked by MP as an 'absolute racket'

Britain has had to pay out £4.4 million in taxpayers' money as a result of losing 202 cases at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg since 1998, figures from the House of Commons reveal.

Those who have won cases against Britain include terrorists, sex offenders and murderers, the Daily Mail reports.

Recent high profile cases include that of Abu Qatada, the radical islamic cleric, who received £2,000 in damages after the ECHR ruled he had been detained unlawfully. He was eventually deported from Britain to Jordan this year.

The figures were obtained by Conservative MP Philip Davies and placed in the House of Commons Library.

Speaking to the newspaper, Mr Davies said, “To me, it’s just an absolutely scandalous waste of money. I’m not aware of my decent law-abiding constituents running off to the European Court of Human Rights.

“It is a charter for illegal immigrants and criminals.”

Other individuals who have been paid damages by the ECHR include George Blake, a Soviet double agent jailed for 42 years who appealed to the court and was awarded £4,700 in 2006.

The ECHR ruled that Britain's attempts to prevent him profiting from the memoirs he wrote after fleeing to Russia breached the enemy spy's right to free expression.

Liam Averill, a convicted IRA killer who escaped from Northern Ireland's Maze prison in 1997 disguised as a woman was awarded £5,000 by the court, which ruled that it was wrong he had no lawyer for 24 hours following his arrest.

Kirk Dickson, who was convicted of murder after kicking a man to death for refusing to give him cigarettes, won £18,000 from the ECHR after it ruled that he had been denied the right to father a child by artificial insemination.

As a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, Britain played a key role in the creation of the court in 1959.

The court allows individuals with a grievance against a member state to challenge their treatment at an international level.

ECHR judges are elected, not appointed, by the Council of Europe - a human rights organisation. The judges are chosen among those nominated by governments signed up to the European Convention.

The ECHR has been the subject of much controversy in recent years, with government ministers condeming a number of its rulings which have prevented criminals being deported from Britain and attacked whole-life prison sentences.

MPs have attacked the Strasbourg court for what they see as it readiness to allow criminals to abuse international human rights laws for their own gain.

“We’re in a situation where we’ve got pseudo judges who are making decisions about this country. These cases highlight what an absolute racket it has become. The sooner we scrap the Human Rights Act and leave the European Convention on Human Rights the better,” said Mr Davies.

The Conservative Party has indicated that it is prepared to withdraw from the human rights convention after the next election and repeal the Human Rights Act, which enshrines the conventions provisions into UK law, to replace it with a British 'Bill of Rights'.

Video: Cameron on 'snooping' and transparency

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Bookkeeper - German Speaking - Part Time

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...

Ashdown Group: Field Service Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...

Recruitment Genius: Sales & Marketing Co-Ordinator

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...

Day In a Page

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk
Nepal earthquake: One man's desperate escape from Everest base camp after the disaster

Escape from Everest base camp

Nick Talbot was sitting in his tent when the tsunami of snow and rock hit. He was lucky to live, unlike his climbing partner just feet away...
Adopting high fibre diet could dramatically cut risk of bowel cancer, says study

What happened when 20 Americans swapped diets with 20 Africans?

Innovative study in the US produces remarkable results
Blake Lively and 'The Age of Adaline': Gossip Girl comes
of age

Gossip girl comes of age

Blake Lively is best known for playing an affluent teenager. Her role as a woman who is trapped forever at 29 is a greater challenge
Goat cuisine: Kid meat is coming to Ocado

Goat cuisine

It's loved by chefs, ethical, low in fat and delicious. So, will kid meat give lamb a run for its money?
14 best coat hooks

Hang on: 14 best coat hooks

Set the tone for the rest of your house with a stylish and functional coat rack in the hallway
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?