The House of Lords has once again resorted to the European Convention on Human Rights to undermine British national security. As the Daily Telegraph reports, the Law Lords have ruled that 18-hour-a-day home detention for terror suspects subject to control orders is a human rights violation. In their wisdom, the Lords indicated that 12-hour-a-day home detention would be permissible.
While the “draconian” 18-hour control-order policy was in effect, several suspected terrorists fled, and most are still unaccounted for.
Back in 2004, the Lords invalidated preventive detention. They reasoned that it was impermissible to detain aliens without trial when Britons were not subjected to such treatment. Lord Bingham, the chief Law Lord, explained that under the Human Rights Convention it was unlawful to “discriminate on the ground of nationality or immigration status” even for the benefit of British citizens in their own country.
As Melanie Phillips recounted in Londonistan, when, at Prime Minister Tony Blair’s urging in the late nineties, Parliament incorporated the Human Rights Convention into English law, “the public were reassured that the courts would not be able to strike down acts of Parliament if these were judged to be in conflict with human rights law.” Surprise!
But let’s hurry up and ratify that Law of the Sea Treaty. Foreign tribunals are doing a fabulous job protecting their own countries, so why wouldn’t we want to give them the last word on our security?