Friday, July 20, 2007

Human Rights Fiasco

A man who got one of the lightest sentences ever imposed in Scotland for murder told a court yesterday that a two-month delay to his parole hearing breached his human rights. He stabbed a rival fan to death after an Old Firm Cup final, and was told he would have to serve at least eight years of a life sentence before he could apply for parole. The eight years are up, but a hearing to decide if he should be freed is not due until next month. He claims the nine-week wait is a breach of his human rights.

What is the world coming to? Human Rights are being touted ever more frequently as the basis for some legal challenge or another. Of course the law is there, but it's the lawyers who make them work for them. What about the dead man's Human Rights?

4 comments:

Tom Paine said...

I must demur on behalf of m'learned friends. We lawyers are supposed to test the boundaries of the law on behalf of our clients. It's not for us to tell a client that he has rights, but should not exercise them.

Your beef, Richard, is with Parliament and the electorate. Most lawyers are, through greater experience of the everyday idiocies of the law, much more contemptuous of it than you are.

Richard Havers said...

Tom, I take our point :)

But, and isn't there always? It just feels like there are issues with some of your learned friends testing the boundaries a bit too much.

My beef is also with the EU on this I feel. It seems that things have gotten worse with their help.

Lord Straf-Bilderberg said...

And it breaches my human rights to have the front bumper of my car all skewed when I accidentally run into our football hooligan friend.

David Ross said...

Tut tut gentlemen, all this talk about the law, stabbings, sentences, learned friends, governments, EU and bumper damage. All are embraced by all three of Newton's Laws.

1. (Law of inertia): A body at rest remains at rest and a body in motion continues to move at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force.

2. A force F acting on a body gives it an acceleration a which is in the direction of the force and has magnitude inversely proportional to the mass m of the body.

3. Whenever a body exerts a force on another body, the latter exerts a force of equal magnitude and opposite direction on the former. This is known as the weak law of action and reaction.

I rest my case.