Judges must beware of hard constructions and strained inferences, for there is no worse torture than that of laws.
So wrote Sir Francis Bacon four hundred years ago. Not that much has changed; for some laws are torture and the interpretation of law even more tortuous, the interpretation specifically of the Human Rights Act. This legislation, part of the European Convention on Human Rights, was swallowed whole by the government of Tony Blair, which allowed it to pass into British law without any attempt at digestion. The result has been a huge stomach ache, with a headache added as a bonus.
It’s really difficult for me to convey the absurdity here, the absurdity of a judiciary overruling acts of government, a judiciary so immersed in one-dimensional stupidity that it pursues a course of action which puts the general community at risk; a judiciary that works against established precedent in government and common law. It’s almost as if Congress had wholesale adopted, without reflection, some foreign law or other, say a statute from Cuba or Mexico, which the Supreme Court then used to undermine the executive, or even the Constitution itself.
It might help you to understand if I say that we now have over a hundred foreign criminals in England that the Home Secretary, the government minister responsible for law and order, can’t deport, no matter how dangerous they happen to be. Why? Because they have ‘a right to a family life’ under article eight of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Yes, absolutely, and this includes one man, a drug dealer of West Indian nationality, who assaulted his girlfriend and failed to pay maintenance for his child. No matter; in appealing the Home Secretary’s deportation order he laid claim to a ‘right to a family life’, a claim that was upheld by the courts.
It’s asinine but, as I wrote in a previous article, the law here truly is a braying ass. There is an Iraqi man, a convicted killer, who can’t be deported because he would be a risk to people in his homeland. There is a Bolivian man, an illegal immigrant, who can’t be deported because he bought a cat, and therefore stands by his ‘right to have a family life.’
It’s obvious that the law is being taken advantage of, obvious to anyone, that is, not quite as blinkered as the English judiciary. They have their own unique interpretation of human rights, not just in respect of the laughable ‘family life’ clause but in relation to welfare provision.
The government has now been prevented from restricting welfare benefits to so-called asylum seekers – economic migrants in the main -, with the result that more and more people come, guaranteed a full range of tax-funded benefits. Almost no other country in the world behaves like this, with the result that the problem of illegal immigration, already bad, gets considerably worse.
It defies common sense. More seriously, it increases contempt for the law, contempt for the mantra of ‘human rights’, now little more than a fig leaf hiding so many human wrongs.