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’

Comments are closed.

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.




Aarhus Abortion Abu Qatada Abuse Access to justice adoption AI air pollution air travel ALBA Allergy Al Qaeda Amnesty International animal rights Animals Anne Sacoolas 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 article 263 TFEU Artificial Intelligence Asbestos Assange assisted suicide asylum asylum seekers Australia autism badgers benefits Bill of Rights biotechnology blogging Bloody Sunday brexit Bribery British Waterways Board care homes Catholic Church Catholicism Chagos Islanders Charter of Fundamental Rights child protection Children children's rights China christianity citizenship civil liberties campaigners civil partnerships climate change clinical negligence closed material procedure Coercion Commission on a Bill of Rights common law communications competition confidentiality consent conservation constitution contact order contact tracing contempt of court Control orders Copyright coronavirus costs costs budgets Court of Protection crime criminal law Cybersecurity Damages data protection death penalty defamation DEFRA deportation deprivation of liberty derogations Detention Dignitas diplomacy diplomatic relations disability disclosure Discrimination disease divorce DNA domestic violence duty of care ECHR ECtHR Education election Employment Environment Equality Act Equality Act 2010 Ethiopia EU EU Charter of Fundamental Rights EU costs EU law European Convention on Human Rights European Court of Human Rights European Court of Justice evidence extradition extraordinary rendition Facebook Facial Recognition Family Fatal Accidents Fertility FGM Finance foreign criminals foreign office foreign policy France freedom of assembly Freedom of Expression freedom of information freedom of speech Gay marriage gay rights Gaza Gender genetics Germany Google Grenfell Gun Control hague convention Harry Dunn Health HIV home office Housing HRLA human rights Human Rights Act human rights news Human Rights Watch Huntington's Disease immigration India Indonesia injunction Inquests insurance international law internet inuit Iran Iraq Ireland islam Israel Italy IVF ivory ban Japan joint enterprise judaism judicial review Judicial Review reform Julian Assange jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Bill Law Pod UK legal aid legal aid cuts Leveson Inquiry lgbtq liability Libel Liberty Libya lisbon treaty Lithuania local authorities marriage Media and Censorship mental capacity Mental Capacity Act Mental Health military Ministry of Justice modern slavery morocco murder music Muslim nationality national security naturism neuroscience NHS Northern Ireland nuclear challenges nuisance Obituary ouster clauses parental rights parliamentary expenses scandal patents Pensions Personal Injury physician assisted death Piracy Plagiarism planning planning system Poland Police Politics Pope press prison Prisoners prisoner votes Prisons privacy procurement Professional Discipline Property proportionality prosecutions prostituton Protection of Freedoms Bill Protest Public/Private public access public authorities public inquiries quarantine Radicalisation refugee rehabilitation Reith Lectures Religion RightsInfo right to die right to family life Right to Privacy right to swim riots Roma Romania round-up Round Up Royals Russia saudi arabia Scotland secrecy secret justice Secret trials sexual offence shamima begum Sikhism Smoking social media social workers South Africa Spain special advocates Sports Standing starvation statelessness stem cells stop and search Strasbourg super injunctions Supreme Court Supreme Court of Canada surrogacy surveillance sweatshops Syria Tax technology Terrorism The Round Up tort Torture travel treason treaty accession trial by jury TTIP Turkey Twitter UK Ukraine universal credit universal jurisdiction unlawful detention USA US Supreme Court vicarious liability Wales War Crimes Wars Weekly Round-up Welfare Western Sahara Whistleblowing Wikileaks wildlife wind farms WomenInLaw Worboys wrongful birth YearInReview Zimbabwe


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.

%d bloggers like this: