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Isle Of Man (Birching)

Volume 958: debated on Tuesday 21 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he has taken with the Government of the Isle of Man following the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the recent birching case.

As soon as the decision of the court was known, I communicated it to the Government of the Isle of Man, and thereafter informed the lieutenant governor of the island that, having studied the judgment, the United Kingdom Government took the view that judicial corporal punishment in the Isle of Man must now be held to be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Chief Justice of the Isle of Man—the First Deemster—subsequently took action to bring the judgment to the attention of all persons who, under the existing legislation, could pass a sentence of birching. He has informed them that the effect of the judgment is that judicial corporal punishment must now be held to be in breach of the convention.Article 54 of the convention provides that judgments of the court shall be transmitted to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which shall supervise their execution. The committee was informed of the action taken in consequence of the judgment, and completed its consideration of the case at its meeting on 13th October with the adoption of a resolution declaring that, having taken note of the information supplied by the United Kingdom Government, it had exercised its functions under the convention.