Devil’s in details

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My READING of the 1950 draft of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms was that its locus was fundamental values and not petty details.

Fundamental values possess an irreducible minimum so the ­balance between policy and rights (or judiciary and government) is surely a matter for ­national “constitutions”.

Originally there was a “margin of appreciation” which allowed member states some latitude in interpreting Strasbourg court judgments according to national traditions.

So decisions on minutiae should not be seen as binding but simply taken into account and our courts should stop deferring to Strasbourg on every issue and develop their own rulings.

(Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews