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Monday, September 25, 2006 

Scum-watch: Selective reporting about human rights.

There's barely a week that goes by without the Human Rights Act getting savaged in the Sun, wrongly being blamed for more or less all the woes that currently afflict the world. Last Monday was no exception, with a typical scare piece being written about how many lifers are being released by parole boards. Right before the end, the Human Rights Act gets the blame, without any evidence being presented to actually show why it seems have such a huge influence over the court system.

That would be because the only evidence there is that suggests the Human Rights Act may have something of an impact is because staff are not being trained properly in what the Human Rights Act actually says - the chief inspector of probation, Andrew Bridges, in his report into the failings that freed Anthony Rice to kill Naomi Bryant, found that considerations on his human rights had been given too much importance, rather than the safety of the public at large. As Obsolete has argued before, this is down to a failure with the probation service, not a failing of the Human Rights Act. Indeed, Bridges said that there had been "substantial mistakes and misjudgments" by all three of the services involved in Rice's release.

Vera Bryant, Naomi's mother, was quoted in the Sun's 18th of September article. Before they quote her again for a similar report, they might want to ask what her views on the Human Rights Act actually are, as thanks to that piece of legislation she's just won the battle to have a full inquest into the death of her daughter. Bryant's challenge to the original ruling was brought by Liberty, another of the Sun's favourite organisations, who successfully argued that Article 2 - the right to life, requires the state to hold a public investigation by an independent body where it appears that state authorities may be involved in the death of a person.

Has the Sun bothered to report this good piece of news, both about Bryant and the fact that the Human Rights Act isn't just used by terrorists and criminals? Take a wild guess.

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I'm interested in the Sun's take on the claim that the use of speed cameras is a violation of the ECHR, as someone has gone to the Euro Court of Human Rights to plead...

God, talk about split loyalties on that issue. I don't think there's much chance of them finding in favour, but should interesting nonetheless.

Her claim's based on the right against self-incrimination


"Proponents of the case argue that this section violates the ancient 'right to silence' because the recipient of the notice is forced to fill in the form detailing who was driving at the time. If he or she fails to do so, then they are guilty of a separate offence."

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