One third of those who won cases against the UK in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) are terrorists, criminals and prisoners. The figure is being promoted by a pro-human rights group as proof of the court’s good work, but instead has prompted calls to sever ties with the court amid concerns that it was “spiralling out of control”.
Of the 297 claimants who won cases against the UK between 1975 and 2015, 14 were terrorists, 35 were criminals, and 45 were prisoners. The figures, which include murderers, IRA gunmen, and Islamic terror suspects, therefore make up nearly 32 percent of all cases in which Strasbourg finds against the UK.
The figures were released by RightsInfo, a pro-migration campaigning group which seeks to put a positive spin on the work of the ECHR, within a new series of infographics designed to bring “to light some important facts.”
Hitting back at the negative spin of newspapers such as The Sun, and The Daily Mail, the group asserts: “Two thirds of the people who have won cases against the UK since 1959 (sic) are not terrorists, criminals or prisoners. Again, contrary to what you might have read in the newspapers.”
However, it appears not to have realised that this means one third of people who win cases against the UK are terrorists, criminals and prisoners.
That fact has not escaped the notice of Ukip’s deputy leader, Paul Nuttall MEP, who told the Express: “It’s clear that the European Convention on Human Rights has spiralled out of control.
“It was meant to be about protecting Europe’s citizens against dictatorship and fascism, not forcing us to give votes to criminals or protecting the rights of terrorists.”
Commons justice committee chairman Bob Neill has also slammed the figures, accusing the court of “mission creep”, and saying that it “has gone well beyond what any sensible person would say is real human rights”.
Many of the court’s judges are “from countries with questionable human rights and with very little judicial experience,” he said, adding: “Political pressure groups take advantage of that naivety which costs the British taxpayer considerable sums of money.”
Citing another “fact”, the group asserts: “The UK only loses around 1 out of 100 cases at the court (card 9) The Daily Mail and Sun have reported that the UK loses 3 out of 4 and 3 out of 5 cases at the court respectively.”
But the group’s own figures prove that The Sun at least is correct. On its first card in the series, RightsInfo explains that, as anyone can bring a case to the court, the court first sifts the cases, throwing about 85 per cent of claims out before they make it to a panel of judges.
RightsInfo then lists the UK third in terms of countries that win the most cases which go to full judgement, informing us that Denmark wins 67 per cent of her cases, Sweden 59 per cent and the UK 41 per cent.
That statistic is repeated in the next card, which reads: “UK is doing well with 41 per cent of cases in its favour”. Again, that means that 59 per cent of cases, or three in five, go against the UK.
Follow Donna Rachel Edmunds on Twitter: Follow @Donna_R_E or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org