All international legislativeinstitutions often find the challenge to their power on the basis of politicalcredibility. The UK is one of the foremost members of the Council of Europe,which led to the ratification of the Statute of the Council of Europe in 1949.This led to the further ratification of the European Convention of Human Rights(ECHR) in 1951. However, after consenting to the obligation for individuals topetition the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in 1966, the politicalbands have suffered a perpetual malaise1.
Whereas the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has been accused for makinga general, irrational and non-conciliatory approach to the questions of humanrights abuses and justice; individual member states, particularly the UK hasfelt it is maligned in the jurisdictions. The case of Gillan and Quinton v United Kingdom (2010) is a particularlyindicative case showing a not adequately keen concord with the precise detailedmanner in which litigation should be advanced. For instance, the Court atStrasbourg made its ruling on the first examination of culpability without anexhaustive examination of the entire application and all its content.
Thedelicate balance the UK should demonstrate is that is can progressively advanceits safeguards to human rights at the national level and at the internationallevels through appropriate internal laws and external affiliations as foundedon the applications of the ECtHR. Provide a brief summary of the facts of the case. 10 marks The right of individuals to petition the European Courtof Human Rights on matters domestic have raised both legal and politicalquestions about the legitimacy, impact and the value of the latter inaddressing issues of human rights violations. In the case of Gillan and Quinton v United Kingdom (2010),two individuals submitted application (no. 4158/05) to the court under Article34 of the convention citing a violation of their rights by the UK police force.The two British nationals identified as Mr.
Kevin Gillian and Ms. Pennie Quintonand born 1977 and 1971 respectively, alleged that the London police exercisingthe powers to stop and search violated their rights under the statutes of theconvention2.They cited that in particular, their rights afforded in the Articles 5, 8, 10and 11 were violated. It was obtained that between 9th and 12thSeptember, 2003, there was a Defense Systems and Equipment InternationalExhibition at the Excel Centre in Dockland, East London. The event dabbed “thearms fair” was the subject of protests and demonstration which prompted the twoapplicants hitherto to attend. At about 10:30 am on September 9th,2003, the first applicant was intercepted by the police while riding a bicycleand carrying a rucksack near the venue of the arms fair.
The two policeofficers handed him a notice and told him that he was being searched under Section44 of the 2000 act. As the crowds increased, the police were concerned thattrouble would be inevitable and therefore carried out the search. The applicantwas found in possession of computer prints of the demonstrations and was releasedafter a period of about 20 minutes. On the same day of September 9th, 2003 at 1:15pm, the second appeared holding a camera in hand, a small bag and wearing aphotographer’s jacket. Since she emerged from some bushes, the police stoppedher close to the arms fair. Having come to film the event, the police officersfrom the Metropolitan department stopped and searched her in the ordinaryroutines despite having shown her press card. The police explained that she wasusing her powers obtained under Section 44 and 45 of the Terrorist Act of 2000.Nothing incriminating was collected by the police and the applicant was setfree.
She later declared that she felt intimidated and distressed to a pointshe could not proceed with the business of the day, which was to make adocumentary of film the event and sell raw footage. The applicant sued for reparations demanding GBP 500 eachfor pecuniary damages. On the contrary, the government submitted that in thelight of the shortness of the stoppage and search, the violations did notconstitute a sufficient just satisfaction for the stated reparations citingthat the cases had been adequately addressed in the domestic courts.
The courteventually considered to award the sums of EUR 35,000 covering proceedingsbefore it, less EUR 1,150 already paid to the legal aide. It was held that thedomestic legislation violated Article 8. 1Mowbray Alastair, Cases,materials, and commentary on the European Convention on Human Rights(Oxford University Press 2012) 2Almasan, Adriana, and StefanBogrea. “The application of Article 8 of the European Convention on HumanRights to Legal Persons in the Investigations of the Romanian CompetitionCouncil.” Analele Universitatii din Bucuresti: Seria Drept (2016):46.