Beltrami & Company
Beltrami & Company is an acclaimed and recognised firm of specialist criminal law practitioners based in Glasgow.
ECHR judgments relating to UK government
Research released by the Equality and Human Rights Commission at the Brighton conference on the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), shows that just a tiny minority of rulings by the Strasbourg Court are against the UK government.
The research shows that of the nearly 12,000 applications brought against the UK between 1999 and 2010, the vast majority fell at the first hurdle. Only 3% (390 applications) were declared admissible. An even smaller proportion of applications - 1.8% (215) - eventually resulted in a judgment finding a violation. The latest figures for 2011 show a rate of defeat of just 0.5%, or one in 200.
The research also shows that, in a similar situation to the Human Rights Act, where the UK parliament has sovereignty over its implementation, UK courts have the flexibility to interpret the European Convention on Human Rights in a manner different to that of the Strasbourg court. A ‘margin of appreciation’ recognises that national authorities are in the main best placed to decide how human rights should be applied.
While judgments against the UK have been relatively few in number, a significant proportion involved basic civil liberties such as the right to a fair trial; around 8% of judgments related to the right to life and the prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment.
Other important rulings have led to better protection against unnecessary intrusion into privacy through the use of secret surveillance; legislation outlawing forced labour and servitude; equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people and protecting the freedom of the UK media, including the protection of journalists' sources and the importance of investigative journalism, as in the exposure by the Sunday Times of the thalidomide case.
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