New TPA Research: Britain and the ECHR

December 06, 2010 9:00 PM

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) remains controversial as it forces changes in legislation that the British public and politicians do not want, such as allowing prisoners to vote. This new research, based on a detailed investigation of cases that the British Government has lost, provides new insight into the cost of complying with the court’s decisions:


 

  • The UK has to date lost three quarters (331 out of 418) of the rulings that have progressed to the top Strasbourg court, a trend that has increased despite the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998.
  • 80 per cent of all judgments (246 out of 331) Britain has ever lost under the ECHR have been reached since we signed the HRA.
  • The cost of complying with judgements under the ECHR is £2.1 billion a year, with an additional £1.8 billion in one off costs. The total cost to date is £17.3 billion.
  • The growth of a “compensation culture” fostered by the Court costs a further £7.1 billion a year, £25 billion to date.
  • True reform can only take place by the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights, or the European Court changing its stance to respect a new British Bill of Rights.


Some of the changes made in response to court decisions may, in time, have been made anyway. But many would not and the Government is clearly being pushed into decisions that have significant costs for taxpayers by the ECHR.

To read the report, which includes a full list of cases involving the UK, click here

 

UPDATE: THE INITIAL VERSION OF THIS REPORT CONTAINED AN ERRONEOUS DESCRIPTION OF THE CRIME COMMITTED BY JOHN HIRST. THAT HAS NOW BEEN AMENDED AND WE REGRET IF ANYONE WAS MISLED.



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