Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, has this month been attempting to persuade the public of the benefits of the Human Rights Act. He is aiming to dispel myths about the legislation, which some corners of the press portray as a 'terrorist's charter'.
In a speech given at Manchester University, the Lord Chancellor sought a common sense approach, which focuses on human rights as being reflective of the central values of British society. He cites as 'nonsense' apparent examples of human rights law in action such as the police giving in to the demands of a fugitive to be provided with a rooftop fried chicken meal. He also blames government ministers for using human rights legislation as an excuse for internal governmental failures.
The Lord Chancellor has admitted that there have been problems with the interpretation of the Human Rights legislation by courts in the past but he is keen to bring a more positive human rights message to the fore. He has hired a PR firm to assist with this, although with a budget rumoured to be around £25,000 it is unlikely to dent long-running media hostility.