Not just jazz and bird-watching…

A sharp-eyed colleague spotted this exchange at Oral Questions in the Commons yesterday between the Lord Chancellor and one of the House’s more Evangelical Members:

Dr William McCrea (South Antrim) (DUP): Is it not long overdue that the Government move to ensure that the courts of the United Kingdom, rather than the European Court [of Human Rights], have supremacy in the area of human rights, including protection of Christian liberties and freedoms?

Mr Clarke: We are taken to the Court much less than other members and we lose only about 2 per cent. Sometimes that 2 per cent includes cases where there is widespread support here for the decision, such as the holding of DNA and other information belonging to people who have never been convicted of a criminal offence, which was a recent judgment.

The Convention still has a very important role to play across Europe. It is hugely significant in the 47 member states and it enables standards to be applied in places all the way from Russia, Turkey and Azerbaijan across to us and Iceland. We have always been subject to the rule of law. We have always bound ourselves under the Convention to accept the judgments. These are the standards that we all agreed upon after the Second World War, which were not challenged in this country till 10 or 15 years ago, when some judgments here began to annoy sections of the media.” [Commons Hansard 3 July 2012: emphasis added]

Comment is on this occasion superfluous…

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