This week has seen Abu Qatada doing what he does best. The media has been swamped by his undoubted right to a fair trial whilst the rights of Britain’s population have been eclipsed. Be in no doubt, whatever the results – whether he is deported or not – he and Terror Unlimited have won a victory. The architects of his victory are, of course, the European Judges.
I fully endorse the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), as do a great many of my colleagues. The rights set out in this Treaty, signed by the UK in 1951, were inspired by Sir Winston Churchill after he witnessed the appalling human rights violations committed by the Nazis during the 1930s and 1940s. I absolutely agree with Churchill that the UK should not torture people (enshrined in Article 3) and that we should ensure people receive a fair trial (Article 6).
What I do not agree with is the gross distortion of these important legal principles by unelected judges sitting in Strasbourg. What these judges are now saying is that not only does Article 3 or Article 6 mean that the British authorities must not torture people or cause unfair trials, but the very act of deporting someone found in Britain to a country which might not plan to abide by the ECHR is itself a breach of human rights!