LETTERS: Human rights, British politicians and the European Court

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From Mr Donald Cape

Sir: From the 1950s, acceptance of the European Convention on Human Rights has been regarded as necessary to qualify for membership of the Council of Europe, whose statute Britain helped to draft. In recent years acceptance of the jurisdiction of the court and of the right of individual petition has been required of would-be new members, such as the formerly Communist countries of Eastern Europe.

To withdraw now would be to proclaim to the world that Britain, alone of all the countries of Europe (including Turkey), is unwilling to offer "all persons within its jurisdiction" an international guarantee of "their human rights and fundamental freedoms".

Is this what Bill Cash, MP, (Another View, 29 September) really wants?

Yours faithfully,

Donald Cape

Guildford, Surrey

30 September

The writer was the UK Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, 1978-83.