Former senior Law Lord, Lord Bingham of Cornhill, gave the key note speech at Liberty’s 75th anniversary conference on 6 June 2009.

In his Speech Lord Bingham entered the debate on the Human Rights Act 1998.  He made ten points in relation to the question as to whether the Act should be repealed.   He drew attention to the point that renunciation of the Act is not practial politics.   His final, and what he describes as his “strongest” point is that  “The rights protected by the Convention and the Act deserve to be protected because they are …  the basic and fundamental rights which everyone in this country ought to enjoy simply by virtue of their existence as a human being”.

He goes on to say “There may be those who would like to live in a country where these rights are not protected, but I am not of their number. Human rights are not, however, protected for the likes of people like me – or most of you. They are protected for the benefit above all of society’s outcasts, those who need legal protection because they have no other voice – the prisoners, the mentally ill, the gipsies, the homosexuals, the immigrants, the asylum-seekers, those who are at any time the subject of public obloquy”.

It remains to be seen whether the Conservative proponents of repeal of the Act will take these points on board.

Tags: , , ,