Ed Bates: The Senior Judiciary on ‘Strasbourg’ – More Supportive Than Some Would Have You Believe

UK Constitutional Law Association

Editors’ note: This blog post is followed by a lengthy annex of substantial quotations from judicial lectures.

Ed BatesThe Conservative party’s manifesto promise to make ‘our own Supreme Court the ultimate arbiter of human rights matters in the UK’, and their previous references to making the Supreme Court ‘supreme’ on human rights issues, suggests a high level of trust in the domestic judiciary to resolve human rights issues. If so, their views on the role of the ECHR should be taken very seriously. They should in any case, of course, for judges have been at the coalface, so to speak, applying ‘Convention rights’ in domestic law for nearly fifteen years now. Over that time the judiciary have evolved and adapted their approach. There have been examples of fruitful judicial dialogues between the UK courts and Strasbourg on certain human rights questions, demonstrating that the relationship is not a ‘top-down’ one, but one…

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