The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that whole-life tariffs are a breach of Article 3 of a prisoner’s human rights – that which protects people from inhuman or degrading treatment. Every prisoner now has the chance to have their case reviewed and the potential for eventual release.
The Government of England and Wales now has 6 months to respond and decide if it wants to appeal. The BBC reports.
What could be the implications? Well, in what would amount to a disaster, it seems now likely that the current government – in the same way they responded to Hacked Off and the victims of phone hacking in the wake of the Leveson enquiry – will highlight the disappointment of a number of victims of the 49 killers who up until now have been receivers of whole-life tariffs, in order to drum up mass public support for a withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights and raise support for the proposed British Bill of Rights, which would only support the rights of ‘British’ people, and could easily be manipulated to exclude refugees and foreign nationals.
This would mark a change from a culture in which human rights applies to all humans, to one that reinforces nationalisms and supports only the rights of a majority, while legally partitioning them from the minority who are in many cases in the most dire need of such rights.