UK Tory ambitions of HRC withdrawal blocked

| 15/03/2011

(The Guardian): Conservative hopes of pulling out of the European convention on human rights in response to its perceived interference in issues such as UK prisoners’ votes have been dashed by Liberal Democrat objections. Nick Clegg has won a battle to prevent the inclusion of total withdrawal from the convention in the terms of reference of an expected seven-strong commission of inquiry in UK human rights law. The decision will infuriate Tory right-wingers angered at the way in which they believe the Strasbourg judges have interfered with UK rights. Some Tory backbenchers have argued that withdrawal is not as complex as some human rights lawyers claim.

The commission, due to be announced shortly, will discuss reform of the court’s procedures, and the possibility of a British bill of rights acting as a supplement, but not as a replacement for the European convention. It would also look at a bill’s relationship with the Human Rights Act that incorporates the European convention into British law.

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