Friday, September 17, 2004

Unintended consequences

In the Telegraph (R), an interview with Prof Bogdanor. He discusses the fundamental nature of the European Convention on Human Rights and how in adopting it, the government may have changed the nature of our constitution. Before, our constitution could be summed up as follows: 'What the Queen in Parliament enacts is law'. Now, we are more dependent on the ruling of judges here and in continental Europe.
The author of the piece states: 'Prof Bogdanor thinks that the full consequences were probably not understood' when the government adopted the ECHR.

Such unintended consequences have been documented by Thomas Sowell in his latest book Affirmative Action, (I cannot recommend it highly enough) which shows how well intentioned policies have disastrous effects later on. Not least of these is how preferential politics caused the civil war in Sri Lanka. Hopefully, the ECHR will not turn out to be so deleterious.

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