LETTERS: Human rights, British politicians and the European Court

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The Independent Online
From Mr Nick Hancock

Sir: Bill Cash's alternative leader on the topic of the European Court of Human Rights perfectly illustrates the need for that court - and, indeed, for the Convention on Human Rights to be incorporated into our domestic law. When he complains about awards in favour of avowed terrorists and convicted drug traffickers, he fails to appreciate that, however odious they may seem to us, they too have rights. It was to protect these rights after the excesses of the Second World War that the convention was drawn up.

Mr Cash is afraid of judges making politically motivated decisions; he does not appreciate that judges are guided, for the most part, by the law. Their constitutional function is to protect against politically motivated decisions - particularly those of politicians themselves. It is when political or public pressure is greatest that independent financial scrutiny is most needed. Maybe this was why the Government has recently had so many run-ins with the courts, both domestic and international.

Yours faithfully,

Nick Hancock


Scarcroft, West Yorkshire

29 September