Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke today opened key international talks on the reform of the European Court of Human Rights.
The two day conference in Brighton sees representatives of 47 member nations of the Council of Europe gather to agree ways to improve the Court.
As current Chair of the Council of Europe the UK has made reform of the Court its priority.
Speaking to delegates in Brighton, Mr Clarke said:
‘As one of the founder members of the Council of Europe, and as the first State to ratify the European Convention on Human Rights, the UK is delighted to be holding the Chairmanship and hosting this conference. It is a huge honour, and a responsibility that we take very seriously.’
Mr Clarke told the conference that he was hopeful that agreement on reform would be reached:
‘We have all worked together, as 47 States Parties, to produce a package that helps sort out the delays and improve human rights on the ground.
‘The draft Declaration we have before us will help ensure more cases are resolved nationally, freeing the Strasbourg Court to focus its attention on the most serious ones.
Our shared priority is to show that it is possible to bring sensible and meaningful reform to the Court without weakening human rights, giving up on the Convention, or undermining decent standards across Europe.’
Read Kenneth Clarke’s full opening speech at the Brighton Conference