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
News
One Direction's Zayn Malik gazes at a bouquet of flowers in the 'Night Changes' music video
people
News
people
News
'Free the Nipple' film screening after party with We Are The XX, New York, America - 04 Feb 2014
news
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished
tvReview: The latest episode was a smidgen less depressing... but it’s hardly a bonza beach party
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

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

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Manager

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Manager - Production

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Manager

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

Blair has joined a strange and exclusive club

A new tomb has just gone up in the Middle East's graveyard of US and British political reputations, says Patrick Cockburn
Election 2015: Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May

Election 2015

Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May