Hollywood star George Clooney’s wife, celebrity human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, 37, has been told to “shut up” by historian Dr David Starkey. The Daily Mail reports that Starkey believes judges and lawyers like Mrs Clooney have together created a society where people are too concerned about their own human rights and do not think enough about their wider duties to others.
Dr Starkey, 70, recently published ‘Magna Carta: The True Story Behind The Charter‘. He believes that the 800 year-old balance in Britain between individual rights on the one hand and duties to society on the other, which began with the Magna Carta, has now been thrown off-kilter.
Starkey blames activist judges and lawyers for this, accusing them of having hijacked the European Convention on Human Rights to take it way beyond the purpose proposed by the likes of Sir Winston Churchill. Churchill helped devise the document after the Second World War intending that human rights be “guarded by freedom and sustained by law.”
Starkey did not limit his criticism to Mrs Clooney, he also brought in Shami Chakrabarti, Director of human rights campaign group Liberty. He said balance could be restored if “the Amal Clooneys and Shami Chakrabartis would shut up.”
Starkey’s claim that the likes of Mrs Clooney and Chakrabarti over-promote human rights comes as debate begins regarding the Conservative government’s pledge to repeal the 1998 Human Rights Act. The government believes that a rebalancing is needed as the Act allows the Convention to be extended way beyond the original intent – tackling the serious human rights abuses of totalitarian states such as torture and mass murder – into domestic policy matters such as whether or not criminal prisoners are allowed to vote.