Judges and people smugglers disregard the importance of borders - by Charles Moore for the Telegraph
Judicial overreach by UK lawyers in their interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) lies at the heart of the current crisis according to Charles Moore who describes how the original charter has 'evolved' into the abusive instrument it has now become:
"In an interesting study – titled Immigration, Strasbourg and Judicial Overreach – published by the think tank Policy Exchange earlier this year, Professor John Finnis, the distinguished legal philosopher, and Simon Murray, a barrister practising in the immigration field, explained what has gone wrong with “human rights”.
To avoid renewing the horrors of the Second World War, the victors, with Britain playing the leading role, drew up the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in 1950. With similar aims, the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees was signed the following year.
Finnis and Murray argue that the original documents understood their limits. Their authors sensed danger if rights were too absolute for sovereign states to handle. Thus they contained no obligation to let in refugees if they arrived at borders en masse, no legal (as opposed to moral) obligation to accept refugees at all and no absolute obligation to provide refuge to asylum seekers who were a danger to the community.
Many years later, however, judges began to develop the doctrine that the ECHR is a “living instrument” – a lawyer’s way of saying that judges are free to make it mean whatever they think the spirit of the age demands. They used this latitude to expand enormously all the definitions – what is meant, for example, by the right to privacy and family life in Article 8.
Gradually, their judgments incentivised illegal immigration because they meant that, once you got into the country of your choice, no one could get you out. In Britain, Tony Blair gold-plated the “living instrument”, turning the ECHR into our Human Rights Act."
He ends with these blunt words:
That, unfortunately, is where we are. It is pretty much where we shall remain unless we in Britain – and preferably the entire free world – decide the law should respect the borders and wishes of democracies instead of disregarding them.
The task of reining back judicial overreach is similar to the “taking back control” sought by Brexit. So far, our leaders have lacked the stomach for it."
The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it: