A Practical Guide to Your Human Rights and Civil Liberties by Dr Michael Arnheim
The book is wide ranging and certainly topical as we enter a new phase of our relationship with Europe. It will be invaluable to the layperson, student and professional alike.
This book is unique in revealing the negative effects of “political correctness” on the human rights of the law-abiding majority of the population.
Main areas covered: Where do rights come from? *A Fistful of Fallacies * The right to life * Right to freedom of expression * Right to privacy * From Rights to Privileges * Prohibition of torture * Right to a fair trial * Rights vs. Rights * Q&A – A Socratic Dialogue
A Fistful of Fallacies
British human rights law is surprisingly vague and uncertain. As a result, there is room for divergent approaches to the law. What is particularly worrying is a “liberal” approach best described as “politically correct” which favours certain special interest groups — including those perceived as underprivileged together with terror suspects, asylum seekers and even convicted killers — at your expense as a member of the law-abiding majority of the population. What is even more disquieting is that this “politically correct” approach to the law is now in the ascendant, enjoying support not only among the judges of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg but also, with some notable exceptions, among UK domestic judges.
In the USA people are very conscious of the different approaches to the law adopted by different Supreme Court justices. A presidential election is almost as much about future appointments to the Supreme Court as about the next occupant of the White House. It comes as no surprise to Americans that “liberal” justices tend to indulge in “judicial activism” or even “judicial supremacism”, while conservative justices are more likely to practice judicial self-restraint. [See Michael Arnheim, US Constitution for Dummies].
A similar dichotomy is actually in existence in Britain, but it is hardly noticed, as the dominant “liberal” or “politically correct” tendency is usually attributed to the judges of the Strasbourg court or the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg rather than to their emulators among the UK domestic judges. But it is actually not difficult to understand why a “liberal” or “politically correct” take on the law should be associated with a more assertive attitude generally, tending towards “judicial activism” or even “judicial supremacism”.
“Liberal” or “politically correct” judges almost by definition give themselves more latitude to interpret the law as they see fit, which can easily spill over into their encroaching on the preserve of the executive and even the legislature, especially in the face of a Government and Parliament whose dereliction of duty over hundreds of years has failed to recognize that it is their own duty to regularize the common law by means of legislation. As a result of this dereliction of duty on the part of the government and Parliament, a vacuum has opened up into which unelected judges who are responsible to nobody are almost inevitably drawn, resulting in “judicial activism”.
Why middle-aged middle-class judges should now be adherents of “political correctness” is not as puzzling as it may at first sight appear, as was shown in Chapter 1. The combination of a supine Government and Parliament coupled with “political correctness” among the judiciary leads almost inevitably to “judicial activism”, which in turn leads inexorably to “judicial supremacism”.
But why should that worry you? Those nice judges protect your rights against the big bad government, don’t they? Yes, especially if you are a terror suspect, an asylum seeker or a convicted killer. And, in a case not involving any of those categories, you can expect to be favoured if you belong to any of the groups protected by the Equality Act 2010: especially females, minorities, gays, “trans” people and the disabled.
Human Rights Hype
There’s a good deal of hype — or indeed propaganda — surrounding human rights. The human rights lobby or civil rights industry is anxious to persuade you that your human rights are protected by their “politically correct” approach to the law, which is not the case at all.
About the Author
Dr Michael Thomas Walter Arnheim is a practising London Barrister, Sometime Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge, and author. He has written nineteen published books to date, including most recently The God Book and Two Models of Government. Previously published books include The Handbook of Human Rights Law, Principles of the Common Law, The U.S. Constitution for Dummies and The Problem with Human Rights Law.
You can find Dr Arnheim’s Wikipedia biography here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Arnheim
Reviews for earlier work
The God Book
“This is a most interesting book. The author is a barrister, and it shows in his approach to the subject matter, providing reasoned arguments against both atheism and various popular religions… This book deserves to be very widely read.” – Ian Stirk
The U.S. Constitution for Dummies
“This is an excellent book for someone who has not had any schooling in the Constitution. I am just an average working man with a high school/tech school education but I do care about the direction our country is headed. This book explains the Constitution and many aspects of how government should operate so that even I can understand it. It is a big help to me to let me know if our elected officials are operating within the Constitution.” – T. D. Verzwyvelt
Principles of the Common Law
“An excellent discussion of common law principles… Dr Arnheim clearly explains the links of principles, precedent and history and is a clear and entertaining scholarly writer too.” – Dr M Meenagh