It’s a bleak Raabian vision of an apocalyptic post-ECHR world in which gangsters are able to murder one another, scattering their rivals’ bodies around Britain’s cities while the police ignore them because they have better things to do. And apparently, the UK Justice Secretary is all in favour of it.
Here’s Dominic Raab’s logic: the European Convention on Human Rights requires states to protect their citizens’ right to life (Article 2). The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has ruled this requires, in some circumstances, proactive actions by state agents such as the police. British police are therefore running around to gangsters’ houses bearing warnings that other gangsters are planning to off them. Raab wants to spare the police this job so they can concentrate on rapes (an unfortunate choice on Raab’s part: there is also ECHR law on police not properly investigating rape – the John Worboys case: see below.)
Raab explained all this on Radio 4’s Today programme on 22 June, the day he was introducing his “British Bill of Rights bill” (sic) to the House of Commons. He pointed to a 1998 ECHR case, Osman v UK, in which Ali Osman was shot dead and his son wounded. They weren’t gangsters, nor was the killer, who was a teacher with a disturbing fascination for the boy. The police had been made aware of “a series of clear warning signs” of the killer’s intention. The court was told no further attempt was made to find the man after an attempted arrest failed and he disappered – only to emerge and shoot Osman and his son.