Saturday, 8 November 2008

More Lawyers..........

My daughter is doing her A2’s this year and has applied to Universities for a place to read Law. She’s been offered a place at Leeds without even going for an interview so her UCAS Form must have been good! Of course Cambridge is her first choice but so far they haven’t got back to her. If being a Lawyer is what she really wants to do then fair enough, but to quote Lionel Hutz (Attorney at Law in Springfield) “Just what this country needs, MORE Lawyers”

However, the UK has in fact needed over 1,000 new lawyers in the last 10 years just to keep up with the demand for defending the rights of convicted criminals, hate preachers, murderers and terrorists under the Human Rights Act.

This became British Law when NU Labour signed us up to the European Convention on Human Rights. This was originally intended to protect fundamental freedoms from slavery, torture and unfair trials. It was quickly abused by criminals who wanted to avoid punishment and remain in Britain, while lawyers were quick to realise the potential it had to keep them in work and earn them thousands in Legal Aid. One of the chief beneficiaries of the work generated by the Human Rights Act was of course Cherie Blair, the former Prime Minister's wife but research shows that there are at least 1,200 specialist human rights lawyers now practising in Britain and more than 130 textbooks have been published on the Act with another title added to the pile every week.

Human rights arguments have been used in at least 4,200 court cases over the past decade including the right of a Sikh schoolgirl to wear a religious bangle, and the right of Northern Rock shareholders not to see the bank nationalised.

Abu Qatada, the Muslim cleric dubbed Osama bin Laden's "right-hand man in Europe", won his fight against deportation to Jordan on human rights grounds, with the cost of his legal hearings, benefits and police monitoring put at £1.5m.

Learco Chindamo, the man who murdered headteacher Philip Lawrence, was allowed to stay in Britain after his lawyers argued that returning him to Italy, where he was born, would breach his right to a family life.

Convicted rapist Anthony Rice was released early from jail because probation staff feared his human rights would be breached if he were held any longer. He went on to murder again.

Around 200 drug-addicted prisoners have been awarded almost £700,000 after the Home Office agreed that their human rights were breached by the Prison Service trying to make them go "cold turkey" rather than giving them the heroin substitute methadone.

However, the most notorious case was the nine Afghan men who hijacked a passenger plane and forced it to land at Stansted. They were convicted but freed on appeal that human rights law meant they could not be deported in case they faced persecution from the Taliban in their home country. The cost of their court cases, asylum processing and benefits was put at £30m.

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