Brian Binley MP for Northampton South has called on the Council of Europe to review the powers, function and capacity of the European Court of Human Rights and has warned that not doing so would be to relinquish the Council’s responsibility.
Brian was leading the debate for the European Democrat Group (EDG) in a debate today on National Parliaments: Guarantors of Human Rights in Europe at the Third Plenary Session of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
Brian said: “I am pleased that this debate has highlighted the importance of National Parliaments as the key to effective implementation of international human rights norms at the national level.”
“I also welcome the report’s recommendations for regular monitoring and better training and was especially pleased with the statement that Parliaments make Laws and Courts implement them.”
“All of this is good, but fails to recognise the very primacy of the Parliamentary lawmaking process and ignores the 150,000 cases currently backed up before the Court, which bring the Court into disrepute and even derision.”
“From 1978 onward the Court of its own volition has stated that its job was not just to interpret and apply convention rights but to expand and update them.”
“Judges assumed the position of legislators and that’s when the trouble started. It was in defiance of International Law and yet the Assembly did nothing.”
“Impartiality and independence are the twin pillars of judicial function, but they fail if judges are interpreting and creating human rights law at the same time.”
Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, also spoke at the debate and told the assembly that the functions of the Court needed to be reviewed.
Brian said after the debate: “I am delighted that the Attorney General supported my line. If the Court of Human Rights isn’t reformed and continues to meddle in national issues, people will lose patience.”
“It has already made a fool of its self on the issues of immigration and prisoners voting rights and if it continues in that vein it will lose the support and confidence of the British people. Indeed I fear it might have already have done so.”