WAR ON HUMAN RIGHTS JUDGES; CAMERON RAGES AT 'APPALLING' SEX OFFENDERS PRIVACY RULING; 'It's Time Decisions Were Made in Parliament Rather Than in Courts'

The Evening Standard (London, England), February 16, 2011 | Go to article overview

WAR ON HUMAN RIGHTS JUDGES; CAMERON RAGES AT 'APPALLING' SEX OFFENDERS PRIVACY RULING; 'It's Time Decisions Were Made in Parliament Rather Than in Courts'


Byline: Joe Murphy and Martin Bentham

The Prime Minister declared war on the Supreme Court this afternoon over its decision to let sex offenders appeal against being kept on a police register for life.

Clearly angered, David Cameron described the ruling by leading judges as "offensive and appalling". Thousands of sex offenders could start moves to have their names removed after the Supreme Court said that not giving them the right of appeal was incompatible with their human rights to privacy. home Secretary Theresa May vowed to restore "sanity" to Britain's legal system in the wake of the ruling.

Mr Cameron signalled he will launch a commission "to look at a British bill of rights" to strengthen Parliament's say in such matters. "It's about time we started making sure decisions are made in this Parliament rather than in the courts," he told the Commons. Mr Cameron broadened his attack to encompass over-regulation by the European Commission and even a ruling that it was sexist to give women drivers a discount on their motoring insurance.

His fiery comments imply that he is prepared to risk a Cabinet split to establish that elected MPs should be able to trump the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights which was behind a separate ruling to allow prisoners to vote.

In squaring up to the courts, he risks upsetting Nick Clegg and other Liberal Democrats as well as Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke.

The Prime Minister said there was "broad support" across the country to make sex offenders sign the register for life. "I am appalled by the Supreme Court ruling," he said. "We will take the minimum possible approach to this ruling."

Tory MP Philip Davies said voters were "sick to the back teeth" at seeing criminals get human rights rulings in their favour.

The Prime Minister replied: "You speak for many people when you say how completely offensive it is to have, once again, a ruling by a court that seems to fly completely in the face of common sense."

Mrs May told MPs the judgment put the rights of offenders involved in the "cruellest and most degrading" of crimes ahead of those of the public to be protected from their "predatory" behaviour. …

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