Letter: Obsolete rights

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The Independent Online
From Mr Robert Armstrong

Sir: In seeking to promote the European Convention of Human Rights as a halfway house to a full-scale UK Bill of Rights, John Wadham of Liberty (Letters, 21 February) inadvertently exposes the fatal flaw common in all such documents.

The European version, he complains, has nothing in it about information from public bodies or immigration. Of course not. The convention was drawn up in the late Forties and early Fifties. Mistakes are made, matters are left out, because they do not seem important at the time. But Bills of Rights take on a special aura, almost become holy writ, and are therefore difficult to amend or improve.

If Mr Wadham has his way and there is a UK Bill of Rights, it will also become obsolete in 10, 20, 50 years' time. Far better to have Acts of Parliament granting specific rights - freedom of information, for example - which can be amended or replaced as circumstances require.

Yours faithfully,

Robert Armstrong

Bromley, Kent

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