European Court of Human Rights — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:22 am on 24th March 2011.

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Photo of Lord Marlesford Lord Marlesford Conservative 11:22 am, 24th March 2011

My Lords, I thank my noble and learned friend for that Answer. While we all obviously favour and support human rights, and endorse the role of the judiciary in supporting them, does he agree that the performance of the European Court of Human Rights has done little to enhance its reputation? Perhaps I may give him an example from an Answer given recently to the noble Lord, Lord Hylton, about seven people whom the previous Government sought to have extradited to the United States on terrorist accusations. This was between 2007 and 2009, and the European Court of Human Rights is still considering those cases. Is it really conceivable that it can take up to four years to consider such a case and is it surprising that, as a result, people are beginning to think that the European Court of Human Rights is weak on law but strong on politics?