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UK agrees to Human Rights reform

UK Government has agreed to a number of reforms to the Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights, designed to ensure that the Court only hears cases about serious violations or those requiring major points of interpretation.

The Secretary of State for Justice, Kenneth Clarke confirmed that a substantial package of reforms had been agreed at the Council of Europe Conference in Brighton meaning that fewer cases will be considered by the European Court of Human Rights and it will not normally intervene where national courts have clearly applied the Convention properly. The declaration makes clear that the primary responsibility for guaranteeing human rights rests with the government, parliament and courts of a country. The reforms include: (i) amending the Convention to include the principle of local assignment of power and tightening the admissibility criteria, so that trivial cases can be thrown out and the focus of the Court can be on serious abuses; (ii) reducing the time limit for claims from six months to four; and (iii) improving the selection process for judges.

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