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The Bill of Rights leak shows draft plans are plainly flawed

Replacing ECHR jurisprudence with comparative law is a Ministry of Justice exercise in legal fiction, writes Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos

24 November 2015

Following the leak of a 'blueprint' for the replacement of the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights, The Sunday Times reported earlier this month that, under the new system, judges would not have to follow rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) 'slavishly' any longer.

Instead, they will be able to rely on the common law or rulings by courts in other Commonwealth countries, such as Australia and Canada, when making their judgments. The argument may sound plausible to the uninitiated - the anti-European voter may readily accept it - but, from a legal perspective, it is plainly flawed.

The proposals reveal grave misconceptions about the nature of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and its relationship with comparative law, if not a cynical attempt to trivialise the effects of putting in place a UK human rights system à la carte.

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