Abu Qatada

Part of Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons at 11:36 am on 19th April 2012.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Chair, European Scrutiny Committee 11:36 am, 19th April 2012

The Home Secretary is trying her best—there is no question about that—but unfortunately it is not working. The root causes of this problem are the questions of what the rule of law is, whose rule of law is applicable and who interprets it. Those questions should be decided in this House. We should withdraw from the European convention, repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 and get the matter straight because the people of this country demand it.

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Richard William Castle
Posted on 21 Apr 2012 5:59 pm (Report this annotation)

I entirely agree with William Cash's statement relating to the Abu Qatada affair, except in one small respect. The Home secretary was badly advised about interpretation of the European Convention. It is well established that in private documents and statutes (and I presume in international conventions) the word "from" excludes the date in question.

So in the absence of an indication to the contrary "three months from the date of judgment" excludes the date of judgment itself. That being so, the deadline was the last moment of 17 April. Mrs May thinks it was a day earlier. It wasn't.

But the best of luck to Bill Cash in his campaign to withdraw from the Convention and repeal the Human Rights Act. Anything I can do to help?