a1 Dean Emeritus of Newcastle
The spat at the 2011 Conservative Party conference between the Home Secretary and the Lord Chancellor showed how contentious human rights legislation remains. Although Theresa May portrayed the claimant as having won the Article 8 right to remain in Britain because of his relationship with his cat, the judge had simply accepted the cat as one piece of evidence that the claimant had a genuine family life with his partner. The Home Secretary's principal point was that the right to respect for private and family life under section 8.1 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) should be read in conjunction with section 8.2, which adds that such rights should not be overridden except where it is
necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety, or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
(Online publication April 16 2012)