European Human Rights Court - the UK response
We've seen the UK push back on the European Convention on Human Rights and question compliance with the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights - notably over prisoner voting rights - so what happens next.
Some may say this is another example of the UK being dictated over by Europe while others - notably European Court Judges - say the UK is being dictatorial by not wishing to comply with the dictats of the pan-European justice system.
Justice Secretary Ken Clarke today hinted at what might turn out to be the neatest solution namely, reform the bits we don't like. From what he was saying to Andrew Marr, he sees the UK's turn at taking over the Chair of the Council of Europe later this year as providing a good opportunity to pay the Human Rights Court a visit and do some rearranging. His approach would not be to change the law itself but to address the way it gets implemented and by whom. So read between the lines and - if the UK gets its way - it could engineer some great procedural protocols to get around some of the human rights rulngs that are too 'right on' for the UK's liking.
While its not a European Human Rights Court case as such there is a ruling in the pipeline from the European Court of Justice which on the 1 March is expected to hand down its decision on the issue of gender discrimination as applied to pricing differentials in the financial services and insurance sector. It will be interesting to see how that goes down at a country level given that the implications of the case would force all of Europe' insurers to offer gender neutral pricing.
The UK has - belatedly - woken up to the impact of human rights law and now wants to rewrite the rules.