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Blair wants overhaul to UK Human Rights Act after hijacker asylum decision

[JURIST] UK Prime Minister Tony Blair [official profile] has sent a letter [PDF] to new Home Secretary John Reid [official profile] suggesting that "we...need to look again at whether primary legislation is needed to address the issue of Court rulings which over-rule the Government in a way that is inconsistent with other EU countries interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights."

Blair's letter comes after a judge's ruling Wednesday authorized temporary asylum for nine Afghan nationals who hijacked a plane from Afghanistan to the UK in 2000. The decision drew direct criticism from Blair [JURIST report], and on Friday prompted British Conservative Party leader David Cameron to say that he would press to repeal the Act [JURIST report] if it were not rewritten to address the government's apparent inability to effectively deal with criminals. UK Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer said Saturday that the government was considering introducing legislation that would prevent the Human Rights Act [text] from interfering with public safety matters [JURIST report]. Supporters of the initiative say the law implementing the European Convention on Human Rights [PDF text] serves as an important reminder to the courts of the importance of human rights, but does not permit the courts to override the decisions of parliament. The Guardian has more.

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