HL Deb 11 October 2000 vol 617 c37WA
Lord Lester of Herne Hill

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 27 September (WA169), why they have no present plans to sign and ratify Protocol No. 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights at the Rome Meeting on 4 November 2000 (commemorating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the convention). [HL3980]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton)

The Government are in principle in favour of extending Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights to provide a free-standing right against discrimination. But we consider that the text of Protocol 12 is too general and open-ended. In particular, it does not make clear whether "rights set forth by law" include international as well as national law; it does not make provision for positive measures; and it does not follow the case law of the European Court of Human Rights in allowing objective and reasonably justified distinctions.