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Human rights law and the police

Posted: 12 June 2017

The Times

Sir,

Human rights are a fundamental part of what defines Britain, British values, and our global reputation. They are also a key part of what separates us from the terrorists who seek to harm us.

Suggestions ahead of this week's election that human rights prevent the police fighting terrorism are misguided.

Human rights laws have not prevented police and security services from responding quickly and heroically to the recent attacks, nor have they hampered the courts in handing down tough sentences to those convicted of terrorism offences.

Human rights exist to protect us all. Weakening human rights laws will not make us safer. Terrorists cannot take away our freedoms – and we must not do so ourselves.

Robert Bourns, president, the Law Society of England and Wales
Andrew Langdon QC, chair, Bar Council
David Mepham, director, Human Rights Watch
Martha Spurrier, director, Liberty
Andrea Coomber, director, Justice
Martin Callan, president, Chartered Institute of Legal Executives 
Sandra Fredman, Rhodes Professor of Law, University of Oxford and director, Oxford Human Rights Hub
Conor Gearty, Professor of Human Rights Law, London School of Economics
Kate O'Regan, director, Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, University of Oxford