Whole Life Sentences European Judgement – here we go again

18 July 2013

Last week’s ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Vinter v UK decided that those serving whole life sentences (i.e. life meaning life) should have a right to have their sentence reviewed by a court. It was not a surprising decision, nor is it one which will affect a huge number of people. Yet it provoked the usual reaction of horror and revulsion from the government to decisions made by the Strasbourg Court.

This response shows the striking inconsistency between the stance of the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office towards human rights. Whilst in some areas, the government trumpets their commitment to human rights, in others (such as this one), human rights are an unwelcome continental invention aimed at encroaching on the sovereignty of the UK.

Rebecca Niblock’s full article on this subject can be found on the Public Service Europe website 'UK must protect human rights of all - even criminals'

Her comments have also been published in the following articles in the Guardian 'Whole-life jail terms without review breach human rights - European court' and the Telegraph 'Jeremy Bamber wins human rights victory over 'life means life' sentences'.

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