Hayley Dixon, Telegraph (London), October 7, 2013
Britain has lost 202 cases in the European Court of Human Rights including to murderers, terrorists, paedophiles and rapists, resulting in payouts of £4.4 million, it has emerged.
The taxpayer funded compensation awarded by Strasbourg judges since 1998 averages at around £22,000 a head, and recipients have included British double agent George Blake and extremist cleric Abu Hamza.
The figures, released by the House of Commons and seen by the Daily Mail, have increased pressure on the Government to pull out of the European Convention in order to reform human rights law.
Blake, who was jailed for 42 years after betraying up to 40 MI6 agents to the Soviet Union, some of whom were executed, was paid £4,700 after Britain was found to have breached his right to freedom of expression by preventing him publishing a memoir of his treachery.
Qatada, once described by a judge as “Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe”, who finally left the country earlier this year, was paid £2,000 when the court ruled he was unlawfully detained.
Kirk Dickson, who kicked a man to death because he would not give him a cigarette, was awarded £18,000 after the court ruled he was refused the right to father a child through artificial insemination.
Barrister Rupert Massey, jailed for six years for abusing three boys over a 14 year period, received a payout of £5,496 after judges found he had suffered “distress and frustration” because of the “unreasonable” length of the four-year proceedings against him.
IRA killer Liam Averill, who was dubbed Mrs Doubtfire after escaping from the Maze prison in drag in 1997, was awarded £5,000 in 2000, whilst still on the run, because he had not been given a lawyer for 24 hours after his arrest.
Mustafa Abdi, a Somali national who was jailed for eight years in 1998 for rape and indecency with a child, received damages of £7,237 after judges ruled he was unlawfully detained for two-and-a-half years as he awaited deportation.
Tory MP Philip Davies, who obtained the figures, said that it was “an absolutely scandalous waste of money”.
He added: “I’m not aware of my decent law-abiding constituents running off to the European Court of Human Rights. It is a charter for illegal immigrants and criminals.”
He called for the Human Rights Act to be scrapped and for Britain to leave the ECHR “as soon as possible”.
The Government is forced to defend cases which are taken to Strasbourg when the complainant fails to get the answer they want in the British courts.
This means that the Government, and therefore the taxpayer, is liable even when dispute involved a private company.
After being ordered to pay rapist Robert Greens £4,230 as he complained about prisoners not having the vote, Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, has ordered a review into whether the convention should be dropped in favour of a new Bill of Rights, in which the Supreme Court is the ultimate arbitrator.