Wednesday, 22 December 2010

“Asylum seeker death driver” case was deliberately misunderstood and distorted for political ends

Given all the media hysteria and political comment on this case it is refreshing to find a sober and detailed analysis of what the courts actually had to consider and the human rights issues involved. This can be found at:

What is clear, as this report states, is that "arguments that the Human Rights Act is unjust or that it perversely favours the human rights of terrorists, criminals or villains over law-abiding citizens and victims are misplaced". Politicians and some sections of the media are also (and should we be surprised about this?) prepared quite deliberately to simplify and distort a complex situation in order to play to the popularist,  anti-immigration, anti-asylum and "hang um and flog um" brigade.When it comes to judicial decisions combined with such a clear right-wing political agenda for ditching the Human Rights Act, reality is more complex than the "sound-bites" of the popular media would suggest.

This article takes a bit of concentration and time to read, but it successfully unpicks what were the actual issues at stake and how the courts approached them. At the end of the day, if we seriously believe in universal human rights underpinning a decent society, this decision was the correct one. But there is a continuing need to inform and educate about what human rights means both in law and practice and how such basic principles are applied in often very emotional cases.


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