Judge accuses Government of breaching soldiers’ human rights
The government is appealing against the court's decision on human rights.
Cranmer deplores the fact that British servicemen and women were sent into a war zone without adequate equipment, and considers it a government’s moral obligation to ensure that such troops are properly and fully equipped, not least because they are risking and sometimes losing their lives in order to ensure that future generations enjoy the rights and liberties which our fathers and grandfathers fought two world wars to defend.
But Cranmer is with the Labour Government on this one (and you will not hear that very often; indeed, His Grace hopes never again).
Lawyers for the Ministry of Defence had argued it was impossible to give soldiers on active service the benefits of the Human Rights Act.
How can it be?
The Human Rights Acts has enshrined within it the right to life.
If a soldier is killed on active service, will his or her dependents have the right to sue the MoD for breach of this right?
And there is also freedom of expression, so solidiers can freely tell their colleagues what they think of their superiors and their military objectives. And freedom to practise their religion, so all the Muslims can demand Fridays off, the Jews Saturday, and the Christians Sunday. Fantastic - half a week of ceasefire while the MoD sorts out a human-rights-friendly rota. And the MoD must always ensure that Muslims and Jews are catered for while the Christians are tucking in to their bacon sandwiches. And let us not forget the ceasing of hostilities to accommodate prayer times, and parental rights to leave when babies are born, and the right to take time off if a relative is sick, and the right to take industrial action...
O yes, all of this is wholly compatible with military discipline and vital issues of national security.
Recourse to the courts each time ‘human rights’ are violated undermines Parliament and the political process; indeed, we are increasingly being ruled by judges instead of by our elected representatives.
Yet the Labour Government has only itself to blame for this, for it was they who enshrined the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law.