European arguments are open to dispute
I READ N.J. Cubitt’s letter “Not a reasoned argument” (Letters April 25) with interest.
The arguments of N.J. Cubitt are set out rationally but I would suggest are open to disputation.
In particular the statement that “some rulings of the European Court of Justice have been odd to say the least and could be interpreted as being hostile to the UK.
An example is that we have been prevented from deporting known terrorists.”
The role of the European Court of Justice is ensuring that EU law is interpreted and applied the same in every EU country.
It has not usually been involved in disputes about the deportation of terrorists. It is proposed that the UK remove itself from the jurisdiction of this court as part of the Brexit process.
There is another European Court, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). This is a supranational court established by the European Convention on Human Rights.
The court hears applications alleging that a contracting state has breached one or more of the human rights provisions concerning civil and political rights set out in the Convention and its protocols. It is this court that makes rulings regarding the deportation of terrorists.
The membership of ECHR extends beyond the EU and incorporates 47 states including Russia and Turkey (see goo.gl/WfgRMi).
The European Convention on Human Rights was actually drafted by a team led by a British lawyer, Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, and follows the English tradition, first set out in the Magna Carta, that provides protection for the individual against the state, and the basis for government by rule of law.
This approach to liberty was to a large degree foreign to continental thinking, where often the state acted as prosecutor, judge and jury.
The custom in England is “better that 10 guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”. By way of contrast Bismarck is believed to have stated that “it is better that 10 innocent men suffer than one guilty man escape”, which was more in line with continental custom at the time.
Hence our problems with the deportation of terrorists have far more to do with our traditions of justice than with European interference.
In 2017 the Court ruled on 5 cases relating to the UK and ruled against the UK in two of these. By way of contrast it ruled on 305 relating to Russia and ruled against it in 293 cases (see goo.gl/WR2rLE).
Even after we have left the European Union, we will remain subject to the European Court of Human Rights unless Parliament decrees otherwise. John Catt
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