Press Release FEBRUARY 2022
THE VIEWS OF THE BRITISH ‘ARTISAN’ OF THE CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS LIVE ON
The grandson of David Maxwell Fyfe, Tom Blackmore, today makes a submission to Dominic Raab’s consultation on plans to review the Human Rights Act. Unusually it is a song cycle.
David Maxwell Fyfe was a barrister and Conservative Member of Parliament. He was a prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, and a champion of the European Convention on Human Rights at the nascent Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Mr Blackmore says:
‘Mr Raab makes repeated reference to the intentions of the ‘drafters’ of the Convention. Maxwell Fyfe was one of them. He was a passionate believer in the ‘natural law’ of the Scottish Enlightenment. This held that there was a stream of universal and inalienable law into which every generation could dip, interpreting it anew. He saw the law as a ‘living thing’. For him there was a clear distinction between his vision of this law in his time, what he was capable of, and his respect for the vision of those who would interpret it after him. That’s why he drafted a simple list and supported the establishment of the Court.
I submit the recording, filmed recording and livestream of DREAMS OF PEACE & FREEDOM as a way of properly understanding Maxwell Fyfe’s thoughts and beliefs. In addition, it acts as an obstacle to the degradation of the idea of human rights, and a tool for education as proposed by Sir Peter Gross in Robert Buckland’s previous independent consultation.’
In DREAMS OF PEACE & FREEDOM Sue Casson has woven Maxwell Fyfe’s words with the words that inspired him. She describes it like this:
‘In Dreams of Peace & Freedom, inspirational quotations from the speeches, letters and autobiography of David Maxwell Fyfe, naturally thread through musical settings of poetry he found inspiring. The melody infuses his chosen poetic words with another unspoken dimension – emotion to reinforce the story, rather as in his speeches, the poetry heightens the tenor of his legal argument.’