This blog posting represents the views of the author, David Fosberry. Those opinions may change over time. They do not constitute an expert legal or financial opinion.

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No More Human Rights In Britain?

Posted on 23rd June 2022

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I am sure that I am not alone in being shocked by the UK government's decision to send illegal immigrants into Britain, many of whom are asylum seekers, to Rwanda.

The case, quite rightly, has been referred to the The European Court of Human Rights, which has blocked the deportations to Rwanda. The UK government is now seeking get around this situation by passing legislation that would allow them to ignore the court's rulings, as reported here by the BBC.

I shouldn't need to point this out, but apparently I do: The European Court of Human Rights is the only reason why many human rights exist in the UK, as this satirical sketch from 2016, starring Patrick Stewart, so aptly points out. The erosion of human rights in Britain is one of the many downsides of Brexit that I highlighted when Brexit was being discussed.

Another point to consider is that sending immigrants to Rwanda doesn't actually seem to work. As this BBC report explains, many immigrants previously sent to Rwanda by Israel are now in Europe, having been deported by Rwanda. This means that some of the people who Britain sends to could be back in Britain in a couple of years!

No Right To A Painless Death

Posted on 2nd April 2019

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This report on the BBC is very disappointing.

A prisoner, Russell Bucklew, on death row in Missouri has failed in his legal attempt to be executed by his preferred method. He claims that he has a medical condition, and that the state's standard execution technique, lethal injection, will cause him excessive pain and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. He wants to be executed by gas.

The US Supreme Court has just ruled that prisoners have no right to a painless death. This is really shocking.

"The eighth amendment [to the US constitution] forbids 'cruel and unusual' methods of capital punishment but does not guarantee a prisoner a painless death," wrote Justice Gorsuch, who was appointed by President Donald Trump in 2017.

Leaving aside for a moment the arguments about whether capital punishment is just and fair, the idea that the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment does not extend to executions is an utterly bizarre legal interpretation, and is simply downright wrong.

If the court which sentenced Mr. Bucklew felt that he should suffer during his death, then they should have sentenced him to a painful death (which could then have been legally challenged, since it is illegal under the constitution); the court, however, did not, and it should be beyond the authority of the Missouri penitentiary system to subject him to such a painful death.

It seems that the US legal system is broken. The US constitution is the ultimate law in the USA, and there is a vast difference between interpreting that law, and bending it to the political views of the supreme court judges.

It also again makes to the case that the USA, due to its lack of protection of human rights, and its demonstrated failure to uphold the rule of law, should be branded a rogue nation.

Human Rights in the USA

Posted on 9th July 2014

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The USA has been having some bad luck and bad press lately.

Not only did they get knocked out of the World Cup (but at least they put up a better fight than Brazil, last night), but also there was

  • this story about a California Highway Patrol officer beating up a woman who was walking on the free-way,
  • and this story about mentally ill inmates who died from abuse in custody.

It seems that human rights are not so well protected in the USA. Maybe what is needed is that some large and powerful nation with whom they have strong economic ties (like, maybe, China) to put their foot down with the Americans and make future trade agreements dependent upon improved human rights in the USA (just like the USA has tried so often with China).