Saturday 29 January 2011

Thought for the day

Lord Hoffman has at times demonstrated considerable prescience on the issues of fundamental rights and democracy. Consider today's thought in light of both recent changes to control orders and the current situation on the North African peninsula.This extract forms part of the opinion Hoffman gave in ex parte Alconbury [2001] UKHL 23.

"There is no conflict between human rights and the democratic principle. Respect for human rights requires that certain basic rights of individuals should not be capable in any circumstances of being overridden by the majority, even if they think that the public interest so requires. Other rights should be capable of being overridden only in very restricted circumstances. These are rights which belong to individuals simply by virtue of their humanity, independently of any utilitarian calculation."

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