I wrote last about the nonsense from the Daily Mail’s columnist Max Hastings about the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in connection with the application by three convicted murderers challenging the practice in England and Wales of imposing life sentences where there was no prospect of release. The so-called “whole life tariff” was determined by the Court to be in breach of the murderers’ human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (“the Convention”).
This prompted various outpourings of rubbish from newspapers and politicians. Much of the comment was undoubtedly ill-informed, rather than being deliberately twisted to suit political purposes. Ignorance of the issues is slightly more excusable than deliberate misrepresentation of the decision.
The piece I quote in full below is (a) an example of a politician in the media talking nonsense and (b) almost certainly a deliberate misrepresentation. I say “almost certainly” as the writer in question, unlike every one of his predecessors for the last 300 years, has not got a legal training and therefore, being charitable, one must keep in mind the chance that he simply does not understand the verdict. Continue reading