Andrew Boff is a Conservative member of the London Assembly
There have been some justified criticisms of the European Court of Human Rights made recently, but I think we need to put some of them in context. For example, consider a much-referenced passage in “Human rights: Making them work for the people of the UK”:
"Between when it first signed up to the Court‘s jurisdiction in 1966 and the end of 2010, the UK faced over 350 rulings from the judges in Strasbourg…In about three-quarters of these judgements the Court ruled that the UK had breached a Convention right."
This would amount to an average of less than eight rulings per year. According to the book, in “about three-quarters” of these judgements the Court ruled that the UK had breached a Convention right. It is insinuated that the Court is predisposed towards finding the UK guilty. The recent judgement regarding Abu Qatada will only reinforce sentiment against the Court.
The official statistics can be read another way. ECHR-published statistics go back to 1975. Of the 14,473 applications that have been lodged with the court against the UK, 97% have been dismissed; 271 violations have been found, being 1.9% of all 14,473 applications against the UK in that period, or 61% of all judgements made against the UK government (closer to half than three-quarters).