The problem of ‘rebalancing’ Article 8

8 May 2013 by

Queen delivers speechI have written an article for the New Statesman  on the announcement in today’s Queen’s Speech about Article 8 ECHR. It is here. Enjoy!

For more, see:


  1. RightsGoneWrong says:

    Having read the New Statesman article, I can’t say it has changed my mind on Article 8. Firstly wasn’t article 8 supposed to be about preventing the Gestapo or KGB taking away a member of your family in the middle of the night, never to be seen again? The authorities would then refuse to say what happened to them. That is a long way from a footballer using article 8 to hide an affair with a model, or a drug dealing foreign gangster getting a British citizen pregnant and using article 8 as his get out of jail card, when it comes to deportation, even if he pays no maintenance and has no interest in the family life that is supposedly being protected by the judge.

    The problem with human rights is they are between an individual and the state, but the state also has the duty to care for the many, not just the individual. Politicians such as Theresa May also have democratic legitimacy, unlike judges. That probably didn’t matter so much when politicians made laws and judges interpreted them, but human rights are not laws, they are simply statements of principle. Its not far from giving a single unelected person a piece of blank paper and asking then to say what the law is. Judges have political and personal views, like any one else. OK judges make case law, but usually when there is no law, not in defiance of the legislature.

    The only law here is the Human Rights Act created by parliament and what parliament gives, parliament can take away. If parliament agrees that article 8 needs to be pre-interpreted by parliament then that is their democratic right. In a way the judges only have themselves to blame, one day the Conservatives will form a majority government and the HRA, ECtHR will be toast anyway. Perhaps defining what article 8 actually means in Britain, may save human rights law here, as the abuses will be reduced and political and public anger subsides.

    What is really happening, is what should have happened in the first place. Human Rights are being converted in to acts of parliament or law. The judges are going back to interpreting the law, as they will be able to decide what is exceptional. If they find too many cases exceptional then their decisions will be open to challenge by the government. Its odd that the political right want a balance between rights and the good of the nation and the liberals want absolute human rights in its purest form, no matter what the consequences. Whose the extremists now?

  2. Tim says:

    I sometimes wonder whether this country is being run by David Cameron or Paul Dacre.

  3. JonDanzig says:

    A good article, and there needs to be more understanding about Article 8, which has been unjustly vilified in recent years by various media and politicians.

    Human rights are supposed to be universal, applying to all humans. It appears to me that that either our judiciary is not properly interpreting the European Convention on Human Rights, or else these cases are not being properly, or fully, reported in the media. Either way, it’s essential that conventions on human rights are not undermined.

    I have written my own blog about this called, ‘Europe: foreign criminals and human rights’

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: