X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House

Improve human rights by quitting Strasbourg court, Tory Bill of Rights advisers argue

18 December 2012

6:37 PM

18 December 2012

6:37 PM

As expected, today’s report from the Commission on a Bill of Rights offered little. With a membership evenly split between Tory and Lib Dem nominees, it was set up to fail.

Michael Pinto-Duschinsky, who resigned from the Commission in March, tells me that this problem was exacerbated by the way in which it was run: it was barred from discussing either the European Court of Human Rights or the Convention. He says:

‘The Commission was not able to have a productive discussion because of the determination of the civil service to produce an artificial argument’.

[Alt-Text]


Attention now moves to what the Conservatives will say about the matter in their manifesto. In a paper published as part of today’s report entitled ‘Unfinished Business’ (p182 onwards), Lord Faulks QC and Jonathan Fisher QC warn that the Strasbourg Court’s  ‘judicially activist approach’ means ‘the notion of human rights has been devalued in the eyes of the public’. This report, which isn’t supported by all the members of the Commission, adds:

‘Mindful of the Court’s activist approach, there are strong arguments that the cause of human rights, both in the UK and internationally, would be better served by withdrawal from the Convention and the enactment of a domestic Bill of Rights, or at the very least a renegotiation of the UK’s terms of membership so as to free it from the strictures of the Court.’

Pinto-Duschinsky is pleased that this paper has moved the debate on to the role of the Court, and this is the opinion of a growing number of Conservative cabinet ministers. But we know that Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, disagrees with this view. Between now and the publication of the next Conservative manifesto, there’s going to be an almighty tussle over this issue.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close