Monday, 28 February 2011

TV Programme on the European Court

Following the controversy in the United Kingdom on the Court's judgments on voting rights for prisoners, the BBC programme 'The Record Europe' has dedicated an episode to the European Court of Human Rights. It explains the controversy and the role and functioning of the Court. You can watch it on youtube (in two parts) here and here. This is the programme's own announcement:

The Record Europe has been to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, the institution at the centre of a storm in British politics about prisoner voting rights. Is it a model for the rest of the world, or an institution intent on expanding its reach into the territory of national parliaments and courts?

In his first broadcast interview since the furore, the court's most senior judge, Jean-Paul Costa talks to Shirin Wheeler. In Britain some have called for the UK to ignore the rulings of the Court and leave the Convention on Human Rights after the Court ruled the British blanket ban violated the convention. But Jean Paul Costa says that would be a disaster:

"The only country which denounced the convention actually was Greece in 1967 at the time of dictatorship of the Colonels....I cannot imagine even if I can understand some irritation, that UK which is a great country - I admire the UK - could be in the same situation as the Colonels in 1967".

Shirin also speaks to two ambassadors to the Council of Europe about their role in reform of the court, and deciding whether countries' responses to its rulings are adequate. She is joined by Urszula Gacek from Poland and Daryal Batibay from Turkey.
Finally, a debate is held to discuss where the powers of the court should begin and end.
HT to Ed Bates for pointing this out!


jailhouselawyer said...

I think it is disappointing to hear that the Committee of Ministers will give the UK an easy time over its non-compliance with Hirst v UK (No2). This just means that the human rights breach will continue!

Shame on the Committee of Ministers!

Unknown said...

it is ridiculous that some people are saying we should leave the ECHR, we would then have to leave the EU and would have severe economic and international consequences. In the UK we need more education on the role of the court and understanding its decisions. I wrote a bit about the right to vote on my blog here:

Anonymous said...

More than a decade of attacks and misinformation have worked very efficiently against the HRA (though it clearly is imperfect) and thus the ECtHR (same). The fact is the real issues are obscured by the populist 'foreign, unelected judges' spin - this following on from years of New Labour's attacks on the role of the UK judiciary. We know what the Tories think of those pesky Europeans (!), and this is one example of the government trying to show strength in defending national values against outside interference (presumably that's the intention). Saying that, lets not forget the recent spectacle of Hague lecturing Mubarrak / Qaddafi on human rights.

Jailhouse, what would you like the CoM to do? Fines? Remove voting rights?