Six prisoners in British jails have applied to have children with their partners following a landmark European court ruling that their human rights would be breached if they are prevented from becoming fathers.As opposed to receiving it from Big Ron in the prison showers instead, that is…
The inmates, all serving long sentences and including at least one murderer, claim they or their partners will be too old once they are released and should be allowed to donate sperm now for artificial insemination.
It follows a long legal battle over whether their right to fatherhood is guaranteed by the Human Rights Act.Oh, yeah. These are the people that should be breeding, are they…?
The case was brought by Kirk Dickson, 34, who is serving a minimum 15 years sentence for kicking a man to death, and his wife Lorraine, 48, who he met through a prison penpal scheme while she was in prison for benefits fraud.
This is the culmination of a long battle, that at first the prisoners were losing:
Their original request under the Human Rights Act in 2001 was blocked by the then Home Secretary, David Blunkett. The High Court, Court of Appeal and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg also rejected the claim.And the government should have had the courage to say said ‘Yes. Yes, it is. So what..?’
But Strasbourg's final appeal court, the Grand Chamber, then concluded that blocking the request was a denial of the couple's right to become parents.
But we don’t make our own laws now in this country, instead being beholden to the EU in all things:
The Government's current policy is to refuse permission unless there are "exceptional" circumstances, but the Grand Chamber said that was setting the bar "too high to allow proper consideration of the proportionality of any such decision".Which doesn’t mean they can’t still throw it out, but they lay themselves open to legal challenges if their reasons aren’t watertight.
That means the Government must now consider each prisoner's application to have a baby on a case-by-case basis.
And ‘Because they are in prison, for god’s sake!’ isn’t considered a good enough reason, though the public would almost certainly disagree…
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said applications from six prisoners have already been received and are awaiting a decision by Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary.It’s certainly proving to be so here, isn’t it?
Mr Straw has previously described being "frustrated" by the way the Human Rights Act has been interpreted by some judges. He said: "There is a sense that it is a villains' charter."
And even worse, win or lose, we are paying for these prisoners to indulge their dreams of a little bundle of joy:
The Dickson legal challenge has already cost the taxpayer more than £20,000 in legal aid.And as far as the public are concerned, having a little Dickson running around isn’t of public benefit, so why are they permitted to bathe in taxpayers money?
Dickson and a friend killed 41-year-old George Askins because he refused to hand over his cigarettes in Lincolnshire in 1994.