The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Are Rights Wrong?

I am occasionally subjected to a pub rant from one or more of my pals about the iniquities of the government, or whatever subject has just exercised the Daily Mail, and one of the most common complaints is the dreaded Human Rights Act. There has been a sustained campaign against the Act, in which it is blamed for giving aid and comfort to terrorists and criminals, many of them foreign, and is held by some to be responsible for the rise of political correctness (usually suffixed with the expression 'gone mad'). In court, on a day to day basis, the Act has next to no effect, although every JP has had to do a full day's training on it. In an idle moment I looked up the Act and it led me to wonder just which of its rights the gloomsters would abolish:-

* the right to life
* freedom from torture and degrading treatment
* freedom from slavery and forced labour
* the right to liberty
* the right to a fair trial
* the right not to be punished for something that wasn't a crime when you did it
* the right to respect for private and family life
* freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and freedom to express your beliefs
* freedom of expression
* freedom of assembly and association
* the right to marry and to start a family
* the right not to be discriminated against in respect of these rights and freedoms
* the right to peaceful enjoyment of your property
* the right to an education
* the right to participate in free elections
* the right not to be subjected to the death penalty

There's nothing there that I can object to. Any suggestions?