Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Ben Emmerson QC: The bête noire of the right wing press with a 'leviathan intellect'

Ben Emmerson QC: The bête noire of the right wing press with a 'leviathan intellect' - Profiles - People - The Independent: " Emmerson laughs at the comparison with the trade union leader and brushes aside the debacle, simply stating that he is “philosophical” and remains a great supporter of the European court.

He is, he explains, troubled by the fact that some politicians seem at loggerheads with the ECHR, which despite finding in Britain's favour in most cases, has rattled cages back home by defying the UK on such high profile matters at Abu Qatada's deportation and the voting rights of prisoners.

“The European court has been, since its establishment, the most effective standard setting institution for human rights in the world, albeit in a limited geographical region. With the expansion of the Council of Europe to encompass many of the states of the former Soviet Union, its jurisdiction now covers 800 million people and extends across areas that are conflict torn,” he says, insisting that it’s Euros 60 million budget needs to be boosted.

 “It has become popular for UK government ministers to make public attacks on the judiciary about decisions they don't like. At the end of the day exaggerated attacks on the legitimacy of the court have the capacity to undermine respect for rule of law,” he warns.

“It is a frightening prospect. Attacks on the independence of the judiciary, once they begin, gain momentum and don't stop at an international level. The Supreme Court (the highest domestic court) still has the respect of the ordinary person in the street but it is a very short step from the type of gratuitous attack we have seen directed towards an international institution to a situation in which right wing politicians and newspapers start pointing guns against the senior independent judiciary of England and Wales.

“Politically motivated attacks on the independent judiciary could cause a real crisis of public confidence" 'via Blog this'

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