Sex Offenders and the Human Rights Act

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Sex offenders will be able to apply, under the Human Rights Act, to get off the sex offenders register.

This has caused the usual amount of huffing and puffing from those who don’t understand the whole point of human rights. The basic story:

A Supreme Court ruling has forced the Government reluctantly to draw up new rules allowing serious sex offenders put on the register for life to have their place on the list reconsidered.

The Home Office plans were opposed by child protection campaigners and Conservative MPs, who said some offenders could never be considered completely “safe”. The new rules were drawn up because the Supreme Court ruled that automatic lifetime inclusion on the register breached the Human Rights Act.

What the Supreme Court is really saying here is that one law passed by MPs conflicts with another law passed by MPs. And in a country that is under the rule of law this cannot be allowed to happen. The law must be possible to follow after all: we can’t have it that you both must do something and cannot do something at the same time. Similarly, we cannot have it that we’ve a system of protecting people from politicians (which is what human rights are all about) and at the same time allow politicians to breach those rights for people they don’t like very much.

As usual, at least one MP decides to grandstand instead of grasping the point:

Priti Patel, a Tory MP, said the court ruling added to the case for reform of the Human Rights Act.

“Sex offenders are vile criminals,” she said. “Why are these people allowed to use human rights laws to protect themselves? What about their victims?”

Because human rights are for everyone, not just those you think are not vile criminals. They accrue by virtue of being human, thus the name. It really is a very basic point and slightly worrying that those who would make the law in our name don’t get it.

This Human Rights Act, Ms. Pratel, is to protect us from you. That’s why everyone gets those rights, not just the people you approve of.

This was originally published in Forbes.

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john77
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john77

Ms Patel would like to define as “human”, for the purposes of the “Human Rights Act”, those who behave in a manner that merits (in her view) their acceptance as “human beings”. This is a view that would get considerable support if it was put to a vote with a clear explanation of what it meant and what it implied. As you frequently say, mimicking Thomas More (“St Thomas More” at Downside), this is a very dangerous path to tread. OTOH, there is a case for amending the “Human Rights Act” so that it included giving some rights to the… Read more »

john77
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john77

Sorry.
That should read “as Tim Frequently says”

john77
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john77

Sorry.
That should read “as Tim Frequently says”

Spike
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Spike

US conservative talk radio, though it is good for a lot of other things, is notoriously bad for hosts doing that same “huffing and puffing” about sex offenders, virtue-signalling in lieu of intelligent discussion of public policy, comparable to what they do regarding the opioid “epidemic.” At the least, if the assumptions of the Registry are true, that we can predict that sex perverts will assault innocents, and that they will continue to do so regardless of the harshness and likelihood of punishment, then we should immediately disband the entire Department of “Corrections.” And perhaps widen use of the death… Read more »

Southerner
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That’s very virtuous of you but it ignores the simple fact that psychopaths cannot be rehabilitated.

Spike
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Spike

US conservative talk radio, though it is good for a lot of other things, is notoriously bad for hosts doing that same “huffing and puffing” about sex offenders, virtue-signalling in lieu of intelligent discussion of public policy, comparable to what they do regarding the opioid “epidemic.” At the least, if the assumptions of the Registry are true, that we can predict that sex perverts will assault innocents, and that they will continue to do so regardless of the harshness and likelihood of punishment, then we should immediately disband the entire Department of “Corrections.” And perhaps widen use of the death… Read more »

BniC
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BniC

But they aren’t saying they can’t be on there for life, just that you need a review/renewal process every so many years….and I’d like to think that someone on there for life is having at least some contact with the system on a routine basis anyway

BniC
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BniC

But they aren’t saying they can’t be on there for life, just that you need a review/renewal process every so many years….and I’d like to think that someone on there for life is having at least some contact with the system on a routine basis anyway