Lord Mackay meets EU chiefs to tackle human rights set-up

The Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay, is in Strasbourg this week to discuss how improvements can be made to the way the human rights convention machinery works.

He will meet the president of the European Court of Human Rights, Rolv Ryssdal, and the secretary general of the Council of Europe, Daniel Tarschys.

Discussions will centre on the procedure of the European Court of Human Rights following the proposed merger of the court and the European Commission of Human Rights into a single permanent court.

The appointment of European judges will also be addressed and Lord Mackay will look at how the court's doctrine, which allows member states discretion in the way they implement the convention's standards, should be applied in the future.

Lord Mackay said: “It is sadly necessary to have a system by which human rights have to be monitored. The UK government has always been a strong supporter of the European Commission of Human Rights . The present court must continue to recognise the need for states to manage their own affairs in full recognition of their national character.

“I am looking forward to putting forward the UK's ideas and hearing the views of others.”