Cameron hits Strasbourg – The Human Rights Roundup

29 January 2012 by

Updated | Welcome back to the human rights roundup, your regular human rights bullet. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

by Wessen Jazrawi

In the news

Mr Cameron goes to Strasbourg

This week, the European Court of Human Rights released its 2011 annual report and Prime Minister David Cameron paid Strasbourg a visit, where (amongst other things) he accused the Court of having become a “small claims court”.

Unsurprisingly, this has been heavily commented on in the press. Adam Wagner posted on the build-up, Professor Francesca Klug minced no words in the follow-up and Joshua Rozenberg  reported on the ensuing discussion between Cameron and the secretary-general of the Council of Europe – see also Deciding the future of human rights court … in Brighton. Also worth reading is The Small Places heartfelt and insightful defence of human rights, Obiter J’s excellent post and Beyond Abu Qatada: Why The UK Shouldn’t Split From the European Court of Human Rights in the Huffington Post (UK edition).

Reports from the European Court 

The figures released by the Court in its annual report tell us that the top five countries against which judgments are issued are: Turkey (174 judgments), Russia (133), Ukraine (105), Greece (73) and Romania (68). They also reveal that more than a third of the judgments in which the Court found a violation included a violation of Article 6, whether on account of the fairness or the length of the proceedings.

At a press conference announcing the release of the figures, the President of the Court, Nicholas Bratza, reminded member states that human rights were a “shared responsibility” and that any criticism of Court should rely on reasoned argument rather than “emotion and exaggeration”, a possible rebuke to Cameron as the Guardian noted. Also from Strasbourg, PACE adopted a report and resolution on the authority and effectiveness of the Court, which drew attention to, amongst other things, the greater role that national parliaments must play as well as to the budgetary predicament of the Court.

Admissibility of decisions before the European Court

An interesting debate is taking place on the UK Human Rights Blog as to whether the Strasbourg Court is obsessively interventionist, including a response from a Registry lawyer, and another post on whether the admissions system was transparent enough.

[Update] The Court has now posted this flashy YouTube video about admissibility:

Last week’s judgment on Abu Qatada

The Justice Gap has posted an excellent analysis of the Abu Qatada judgment, suggesting that the victory for British justice is not so great as is being claimed. This is because the Court did not go so far as to say that whole life tariffs would never violate Article 3 – on the contrary, it said that they may do so but that they did not reach the threshold in this instance.

Secret evidence

And finally, the Guardian has reported on Dinah Rose QC’s comments to the Joint Committee on Human Rights on the government’s Justice and Security green paper, which recommends introducing so-called ‘closed material procedures’ into civil court cases to ensure that sensitive security information is not disclosed. She has warned that this legislation would violate the right to a fair trial and would undermine the idea that no one should be a judge in their own cause.

Inquiry into prison deaths

The Guardian reports on the demand by parents of a teenager who died in custody for a public inquiry into the number of deaths of vulnerable youngsters in the UK’s penal system.

In the courts

The Queen on the Application of Medical Justice v Secretary of State for the Home Department  [2011] EWCA Civ 1710. People who make unsuccessful claims to enter or remain in the United Kingdom cannot be removed without being given sufficient time for a lawyer to prepare a proper challenge to their claim.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change v. Friends of the Earth and others [2012] EWCA Civ 28. The Court of Appeal held that the Minister had no power to make a modification to the rules on solar panels which would take away an existing entitlement to a fixed rate of return for capital investment incurred by a small-scale low-carbon generator.

UK Human Rights Blog posts

Sign up to free human rights update s by email, Facebook, Twitter or RSS

Welcome to the UKHRB

This blog is run by 1 Crown Office Row barristers' chambers. Subscribe for free updates here. The blog's editorial team is:
Commissioning Editor: Jonathan Metzer
Editorial Team: Rosalind English
Angus McCullough QC David Hart QC
Martin Downs
Jim Duffy

Free email updates

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog for free and receive weekly notifications of new posts by email.




This blog is maintained for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a source of legal advice and must not be relied upon as such. Blog posts reflect the views and opinions of their individual authors, not of chambers as a whole.

Our privacy policy can be found on our ‘subscribe’ page or by clicking here.


Aarhus Abortion Abu Qatada Abuse Access to justice adoption ALBA Al Qaeda animal rights anonymity Article 1 Protocol 1 Article 2 article 3 Article 4 article 5 Article 6 Article 8 Article 9 article 10 Article 11 article 13 Article 14 Artificial Intelligence Asbestos assisted suicide asylum Australia autism benefits Bill of Rights biotechnology blogging Bloody Sunday brexit Bribery Catholicism Chagos Islanders Children children's rights China christianity citizenship civil liberties campaigners climate change clinical negligence Coercion common law confidentiality consent conservation constitution contempt of court Control orders Copyright coronavirus costs Court of Protection crime Cybersecurity Damages data protection death penalty defamation deportation deprivation of liberty Detention disability disclosure Discrimination disease divorce DNA domestic violence duty of care ECHR ECtHR Education election Employment Environment Equality Act Ethiopia EU EU Charter of Fundamental Rights EU costs EU law European Court of Justice evidence extradition extraordinary rendition Family Fertility FGM Finance foreign criminals foreign office France freedom of assembly Freedom of Expression freedom of information freedom of speech Gay marriage Gaza genetics Germany Google Grenfell Health HIV home office Housing HRLA human rights Human Rights Act human rights news Huntington's Disease immigration India Indonesia injunction Inquests international law internet Inuit Iran Iraq Ireland Islam Israel Italy IVF Japan Judaism judicial review jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Bill Law Pod UK legal aid Leveson Inquiry LGBTQ Rights liability Libel Liberty Libya Lithuania local authorities marriage mental capacity Mental Health military Ministry of Justice modern slavery music Muslim nationality national security NHS Northern Ireland nuclear challenges Obituary ouster clauses parental rights parliamentary expenses scandal patents Pensions Personal Injury Piracy Plagiarism planning Poland Police Politics pollution press Prisoners Prisons privacy Professional Discipline Property proportionality Protection of Freedoms Bill Protest Public/Private public access public authorities public inquiries rehabilitation Reith Lectures Religion RightsInfo right to die right to family life Right to Privacy right to swim riots Roma Romania Round Up Royals Russia Saudi Arabia Scotland secrecy secret justice sexual offence Sikhism Smoking social media South Africa Spain special advocates Sports Standing statelessness stop and search Strasbourg Supreme Court Supreme Court of Canada surrogacy surveillance Syria Tax technology Terrorism tort Torture travel treaty TTIP Turkey UK Ukraine USA US Supreme Court vicarious liability Wales War Crimes Wars Welfare Western Sahara Whistleblowing Wikileaks wind farms WomenInLaw YearInReview Zimbabwe
%d bloggers like this: