Barry Tempest: to its credit, the European Union has adopted the Convention as a condition of EU membership

Defendants at the Nuremberg trials

The claim about the “totally alien form of justice” is just plain wrong … the erroneous belief that European forms of justice are somehow at fundamental variance with British traditions has gained some currency, and it creates entirely unnecessary unease.

As part of the Second World War settlement, this country was a key proponent of the European Convention of Human Rights. It was largely drafted by a British government lawyer, Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, whose previous role had been British Deputy Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremburg war trials. It created an international treaty in which the basic rights already largely enshrined in British law were fundamental.

Subsequently, to its credit, the European Union has adopted the Convention as a condition of EU membership. [The author] should be grateful that access to the principles that he rightly wishes to protect has now been much more widely extended.

Barry Tempest, Dorchester and District Amnesty Group

In the Western Gazette, 5 November 2009

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