May: We need to 'balance human rights against each other'

Home Secretary Theresa May added judges who allowed prisoners to remain were also guilty of reinforcing public perceptions of human right as "legal dodges that allow criminals to escape proper punishment and to continue to prey on the public.

This is not a dispute about respect for human rights, which I certainly agree is an essential part of any decent legal system.

It is about how to balance rights against each other: in particular, the individual's right to family life, the right of the individual to be free from violent crime, and the right of society to protect itself against foreign criminals.

Mrs May insisted that she was "a great admirer of most of the judges in Britain" and accepted the need for the power of government ministers to be "reviewed and restrained" by the judiciary.

"But the law in this country is made by the elected representatives of the people in Parliament. And our democracy is subverted when judges decide to take on that role for themselves."

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May's deportation warning

Home Secretary Theresa May accused judges of "subverting" British democracy and making the streets of Britain more dangerous by ignoring new rules aimed at deporting more foreign criminals.