Posts Tagged ‘HRA’

ECHR Puts a Stop to Police Stop & Search

January 12th, 2010

I am supposed to be writing a dissertation, but I will take a short break to perform a small dance of thanks and appreciation to the European Court of Human Rights.
Today the court ruled in Gillian & Quinton v. The United Kingdom that ss.44-47 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (the part that allows Police to detain and search individuals in the absence of the suspicion they have behaved or are about to behave unlawfully) was incompatible with Art. 8, which states:

“1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”

This is excellent. Of course, as with our home-grown version of house arrest, the government may simply ignore the ruling, but surely there is far less scope to do that here.

Sadly, although the court found in favour of the Art. 8 arguments put by the claimants, they did not consider the argument made in respect of Art. 10:

“The applicants further alleged that their rights to freedom of expression under Article 10, and freedom of assembly under Article 11, of the Convention were violated. It was argued that a stop and search which had the effect of delaying, even temporarily, contemporaneous reporting or filming of a protest amounted to an interference with Article 10 rights”

See the full judgement here and a hat-tip to Charon QC for saving me the effort of searching for it. Watch for a further analysis by him in the future.

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Daily Little Law Links

November 22nd, 2009
  • MSPs are trying to cajole Westminster into giving them the power to lower the drink-drive limit in Scotland which sounds problematic both constitutionally, and for those unfortunate enough to straddle the the border.
  • On the Conservative’s website, Michael Howard tries to scare me out of voting for them by suggesting the repeal of the Human Rights Act.
  • I do enjoy reading Alastair Campbell’s blog, but it’s hard to make his writing fit within an legal issue most of the time.  Today is no exception, but as most of the TV news today used the story I do think he makes a lot of sense.
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