Monday, 27 October 2008

"Victim's Rights"

The Sun today has an article about Jack Straw's plans to, as the Sun puts it, "put the victims first".

It mentions the usual suspects - the Human Rights Act, political correctness and Labour being "soft on crime". The only scrapegoat it misses out is the Data Protection Act, presumably because it doesn't naturally fall within this particular group.

It quotes a victim of crime, who, while I am sympathetic to them, doesn't seem to be basing her views on any rational or half-way intelligent position. She seem to completely ignore or be oblivious to the fact that the Human Rights Act applies to everyone - that why it's called the "Human Rights Act" not the "Human Privileges Act" - not just people with an unblemished record. She must be completely unaware of the good that the HRA has done to the UK (a pdf from 2006 is available).

What the Sun doesn't seem to realise is that - as bad as it sounds - victims are probably the last people you should think of when designing laws. What counts is that there is a fair trial in which the Defendant is able to give his case - not what makes you seem hard in front of the tabloids or to try and out-do your opponents.

1 comment:

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Indeed but do such well balanced and genuine arguments sell really shitty papers?