Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Human Rights under attack.

Human rights are unpopular in Britain. This is evident from the continuous stream of attacks on them by politicians and the press. Today those critical of human rights are speaking out against an immigration tribunal's decision to block the deportation of Learco Chindamo, an Italian citizen who murdered a school teacher in 1996. For more see this BBC article, or this Guardian aricle.

The right wing Daily Mail is having a field day with the story, and the first reader comments are already in. John from Lancashire thinks it an "Absolute disgrace", while Frank from England (?), writes: "How can a murderer have any human rights. The rules are ludicrous and only benefit criminals." Chris from Surrey simply writes: "Kick the useless scum out."

In my opinion, the he tribunal's decision is correct, both in its application of the European Convention of Human Rights and EU law, but also in being right and fair. Chindamo's foreign citizenship is mere formality. He was raised in, and has lived almost his entire life, in Britain and has no significant ties to Italy. Deporting Chindamo would therefore be an extra punishment that would not have been meted out to a British citizen and cannot be justified on security grounds.

What the critics of human rights in general, and this decision in particular, are in essence advocating that the criminal justice system should discriminate against foreigners in the punishment of crime.

I fear that cases like this will harden the will of British politicians to depart from a commitment to Human Rights.


At 21 August, 2007 15:31, Blogger Andrew said...

Couldn't agree more. Not having a lot else to do I found this blog which covers the story in more detail...
congrats on finishing your degree- hope you enjoy the LLM!


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