What David Cameron said at the Council of Europe

January 31, 2012

Following last week’s blogs, constituents have asked me what David Cameron said to the Council of Europe about the European Court of Human Rights.

When I was at the Council of Europe last week, the Prime Minister gave a convincing argument why the European Court of Human Rights must change. For a long time the Court has been viewed as a last judicial resort, when previous court hearings in their home countries, have not ruled in their favour; indeed for those in the UK, the issue of the possible deportation of the radical cleric Abu Qatada is a case in point. As the Prime Minister pointed out to politicians from the 47 member states: “The problem today is that you can end up with someone who has no right to live in your country, who you are convinced means to do your country harm. And yet there are circumstances in which you cannot try them, you cannot detain them and you cannot deport them;” and this is surely not a way in which you wish the country in which you live, to be governed?
So what is needed:
The Court needs to allow more subsidiarity to national supreme courts.
The Court has a backlog of 160,000 cases. A better filter is needed to screen out cases which are not in the Court’s jurisdiction.
Some countries need to implement human rights more effectively.
These are the key points made by the Prime Minister.

David Cameron taking Questions at the Council of Europe

January 25, 2012

David Cameron’s speech has been well received and he is now answering questions.

David Cameron Addresses Council of Europe

January 25, 2012

Here is David Cameron making his long awaited speech to the Council of Europe about the European Court, setting out Britain’s love of human rights, but the need to reform the European Court.

Reform of European Court of Human Rights

January 24, 2012

The photograph shows Europe Minister David Lidington speaking to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg about Britain’s plans, as this year’s Council Chairman, to reform the European Court of Human Rights. It is good to be here helping to argue for common sense change. The Prime Minister arrives tomorrow.

David Cameron reporting to the House about the EU Council

June 28, 2011

Yesterday the Prime Minister reported back to the House about the EU Council and I was able to ask him about the problem of migration into the southern part of Europe from North Africa. I thanked him for upholding the principle in the Dublin 2 process whereby asylum cases have to be dealt with in the first country of arrival. Without this, it would be unclear where asylum claims should be dealt with and “forum shopping” – deciding to apply in a particular country because it is perceived to be more liberal than another –would become commonplace. This would lead to an even more chaotic situation. I also raised with him the need to police the Mediterranean more effectively with patrols able to detain ships and catch people traffickers. Apparently, there are moves in the EU’s border force Frontex to strengthen this.

He also made the point that southern European countries do need effective administrative arrangements to deal with asylum cases properly. So, a useful exchange of views took place.