Supreme, or Super Supreme?

Much rejoicing across the blogosphere earlier this week, with the news that a highly dodgy, widely disliked piece of NuLab legislation had been overturned.

The UK's police powers to use terror laws to stop and search people without grounds for suspicion are illegal, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.

This, on the face of it, is good news. This woeful government has misused legislation, especially the knee-jerk Terrorism legislation, to achieve its own warped ends on far too many occasions.

Old Holborn, among many others, was delighted:

"Oh joy. The harrassment of choice of our friendly Police "service" has just been found illegal under European Human Rights Legislation"

Well, yes, up to a point, Lord Copper.

But shouldn't we be more concerned about some distant European Court overturning the Laws of (what should be) our Land?

It's all very well having the much-derided and frequently abused terrorism laws overridden, but what happens when our European masters decide that a law of which we generally approve should no longer apply?

Doesn't Europe already have far too much say over 'our' legislation and its enforcement? Shouldn't our Government, who we vote in, set our laws?

As The Spectator points out, regarding the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

"We have, in Parliament Square, a new building entitled the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. A lawyer looking for a wheeze should consider instigating an action under the Trade Description Act, because supreme it isn’t. England is not sovereign over its own law"

And isn't that a fuck sight more worrying?



Martin Budden said...

I don't really think this is a case of England not being 'sovereign over its own law'. The UK signed the European Convention on Human Rights back in the 1950s. This convention guarantees the rights of UK citizens throughout Europe. Would you be complaining if the European Court ruled that an innocent English person had to be released because they were being illegally held in a foreign European jail?

Signing up to the European Convention on Human Rights is no more giving up sovereignty than is, say, signing up to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Jill said...

Martin beat me to it. It's only the same as the Geneva Conventions (not that we appear to abide by those either).

I'm all for anything that preserves civil liberties, wherever it comes from, and it seems to me to be to our shame that our administration had to be told so from outside.

I am not big on the EU - unpleasant and unelected trade cartel masquerading as government and shitting on poor countries - but I think the Court of Human Rights is about the only good thing to come of it.

Ha. That won't be a popular view around here.

JohnRS said...

One thing at a time.

Let's get rid of the control freaking, anti libertarian, spy-on-your-neighbour, universal database, communications tapping, police state that's being implemented all around us first. Then lets sort out the EU control of our laws.

At the meoment the EU definitely seems the lesser of two evils. After all they've found in favour of us little people twice recently (this plus DNA).

Anonymous said...

Good point well made Sir.

doctor baloney said...

Yes, well said John R. The enema of my enema is my friend after all....

JuliaM said...

"At the meoment the EU definitely seems the lesser of two evils."

Got to agree. When the forest fire is encroaching on your house, it seems a bit pointless to be arguing about the laws preventing you from paining it the colour you prefer...

microdave said...

"After all they've found in favour of us little people twice recently (this plus DNA)."

Unfortunately neither of these rulings are going to make any difference, as the government is ignoring them.....

Anonymous said...

But I thought we were IN Europe?? So it's not "the EU" as some abstract outside organisation telling "us" what to do. WE signed up to it, it is OURS.
So, erm, go fuck yourself =)

Old Holborn said...

Someone wants to know who you are

Jack of Kent said...

1. This is the European Court of Human Rights, not the European Union's Court.

2. Its decisions are not binding and need not be followed by UK courts. Thereby your blogpost seems misconceived; OH has it about right and seems well-informed.

3. It is actually rather sad that our police legislation is so crap that the European Court of Human Rights holds it unanimously to be in breach of the citizens' basic privacy rights.

4. Indeed, it is shameful: if this is really the best we can do with parliamentary sovereignty (and s.44 is entirely domestic legislation), then the premise of your blogpost seems misconceived too. We would be better off in...

Best wishes, Jack of Kent

Lee Griffin said...

When our country makes law that can't be passed until it goes through a proper test of the convention of human rights, then I think I'll cry about a European court rectifying our parliaments mistakes over half a decade after the fact.

Constantly Furious said...


That's nice, isn't it? Do you think I should tell him?

Constantly Furious said...

"WE signed up to it, it is OURS".

I didn't. It ain't mine.

"So, erm, go fuck yourself".

You too, brave 'anonymous'

banned said...

It is a sorry state of affairs when the ECHR has to save us from our own evil masters but are we yet in a position to tell plod to get lost if he attempts a 'stop & search ss40'?

Anon 19:16 neither did I. What we voted to join was described by the dead traitor Heath as a trading body with free movement of workers, not a self selecting Selectocracy governing without a mandate.