......So after the rant, and the frustration whats to be done?
Its easy to blame the HRA for the fuss, but on reading (and it was largly written by British lawyers) you get the impression that something has gone very wrong.
Does HRA put Privacy infront of Free Speech? the answer is pretty obvious that it does not. I cant remember anyone going to war for privacy rights can you? Its an add on to balance the rights of free speech.
Free Speech is never absolute, you can scream fire in a full cinema, but if folks head for the exit and crush themselves and injure themselves and you screamed "fire" without good reason you will and should be punished. This is how the law deals with the issue, or has done upto 1998.
So why when we have a clear direction from the HRA and common law custom that has worked pretty well in the real world the change of direction?
There is little doubt in my mind that the judiciary have joined in the general left liberal anti "Gutter press" snobbery and decided to make law up with the new tools they have, this is judicial activism of the worst kind.
It seems to me we in the end have two clear choices,no doubt Parliament will cobble together some sort of "lets do something" solution. But in a globalised world we live in, where the US has just strengthened its legal statute in order to counter British judicial imperialism the choice are in fact very narrow.
1. Turn the clock back and dump the HRA
2, Elect judges
Personal choice is number two, I have meet a few judges in my time and by far the two most impressive ones where ones I meet in the USA. In short the first rungs on the ladder are where the elections are. You are subjected to election a couple of times then you are elected for life and are subjected to scrutiny by gaining a large majority of politicians support. Yup its messy, and is more political but we are supposed to be grown ups are we not?
The simple fact is judges in this country have a job for life with little chance of them ever being sacked in any shape or form, the last one to be sacked was 1983 I believe. We sack incompetent doctors and Pilots all the time (teachers would be nice as well but thats another story) why not judges? Its time to bite the bullet.
As a footnote, I was once told by a journalist that the tabloids never ran stories on Judges, who is to bet we will be hearing a lot more about the personal transgressions of the learned friends much more in future. Maybe they shaped these laws for their own interests?
Its simple, judges want to make law, then we must elect them in some way directly or indirectly.