PRIME MINISTER TO MAKE STRASBOURG VISIT
David Cameron will re-iterate his tough stance when he visits Strasbourg this week
Sunday January 22,2012
By Roddy Ashworth
THE Prime Minister is planning to travel to Strasbourg this week to demand the European Court of Human Rights should stop its level of interference in British justice.
David Cameron’s tough stance comes after the French-based court ruled last week that radical preacher Abu Qatada, described as Al Osama bin Laden’s right hand man in Europe, could not be deported to Jordan to face terrorism charges in case evidence obtained through torture might be used against him.
A British court has already called the Muslim cleric “truly dangerous” and he has spent more than six years in jail fighting deportation to the Arab country, where he is wanted on suspicion of conspiracy to carry out bombings.
Mr Cameron will use a speech to insist that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) should not be allowed to act as a court of appeal on cases that have already been dealt with in Britain.
He will also call for a reform of the court, at which Britain lose three quarters of the cases it fights.
David Cameron will re-iterate his position to the European Court of Human Rights
He aims to try and ensure that the institution does not interfere with “petty” cases, but instead focuses only on cases in which serious breaches of human rights are suspected of being breached.
And he believes the court should take more notice of public opinion, which is often set in stark opposition to many of the decisions it makes.
Mr Cameron is expected to say that there should be a “filtering system” that would stop the ECHR from taking on cases that have already been dealt with “properly” in national courts. This would save time and money, he will argue.
Britain also wants to see reform of the way in which judges are appointed to the ECHR. In its present form, the court has 47 judges representing every country or state in the Council of Europe, including Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco and Luxembourg. Mr Cameron is expected to demand there should be fewer.
He also reportedly agrees with a think-tank that recommended last year that judges should not be appointed by the Council of Europe, which currently chooses from three judges put forward by each member state, but by MPs.
Each potential judge should be asked whether they thought the ECHR was too powerful and asked to explain their “outlook and judicial philosophy”.