The Home Secretary (Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP) wants the UK out of the European Convention on Human Rights - The Guardian 25th April.   The full speech is here.  As far as the EU is concerned, she wishes the UK to remain a member.

The Secretary of State for Justice (Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP) wants the UK to remain in the European Convention on Human Rights - The Telegraph 26th April.   He wishes the UK to leave the EU.  Mr Gove spoke to Parliament about human rights recently - post of 2nd February.  In December 2015 Mr Gove attended the House of Lords Constitution Committee - previous post



The European Convention stems from the separate Council of Europe and not from the EU.

Little wonder that the general public wonders just what is going on!  Rights Info has looked at the Ministerial disagreement - "So what does the government want to do about the European Convention now?"  For more detailed analysis of Theresa May's speech see the post by Professor Mark Elliot on the Public Law for Everyone blog.

The European Convention places certain constraints on Ministerial power.  Mrs May doesn't seem to like that but it is the whole point of the convention: the protection of the basic rights of the individual against unfettered State power.

: Hillsborough Inquest and Human Rights :

It is also worth reflecting on the fact that the Hillsborough Inquest was able to consider not just how the 96 died but the circumstances in which they died.  At the opening hearing of the inquest Sir John Goldring told the jury:   "As was said by our highest court in one important case - and, again, I am going to quote something:

"The purposes of such an investigation are clear: to ensure, so far as possible, that the full facts are brought to light; that culpable and discreditable conduct is exposed and brought to public notice; that suspicion of wrongdoing, if unjustified, is allayed; that dangerous practices and procedures are rectified; and that those who have lost their relative may at least have the satisfaction of knowing that lessons learned from his death may save the lives of others."  

As I have said, and as you know, having heard the names read out to you, 96 people died. The purpose of the inquest in respect of each of them is, first, to identify, as far as possible, the medical cause of death and, second, to answer four important questions: who the person who died was; when the person died; where the person died; and how the person died. How the person died is the most difficult and important question.  How a person dies is not simply a question of the physical causes of death, it covers the means and circumstances of death. As part of your task, you will, I anticipate, have to consider the underlying circumstances which contributed to the cause of these deaths, whether opportunities were lost which might have prevented the deaths or saved lives. I have said that an inquest is an investigation, that it isn't criminal or civil by way of a trial. That means that you can't decide, or appear to decide, the criminal responsibility of any named person. You cannot decide any question of civil liability. What you can do, however, is reach significant and critical judgments about the circumstances in which the deaths occurred, where that is appropriate."

The case referred to by the learned Coroner was R (Middleton) v HM Coroner for West Somerset [2004] 2 AC 182.  The House of Lords judgment was based on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and it now has the recognition of Parliament in the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 section 5

It is fair to say that the Hillsborough Inquest would not have taken such a detailed look at all the circumstances but for the impact of human rights. 

When Inquests raise a question of human rights - Jeremy Hyam, January 2010.

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