I am, as your correspondent Dick Bellringer notes (Postbag, July 18), a passionate advocate for human rights.

Having been to places where there is little respect for the principles we take for granted, I understand they are vital to democracy. However, I believe there needs to be both respect for human rights and parliamentary sovereignty.

Nevertheless, fighting for the citizens of the Maldives to have the right to a free and fair election is very different to arguing the case for our most serious prisoners to have the prospect of release.

The 1998 Act requires British judges to interpret laws enacted by Parliament in line with the European Convention on Human Rights, and compels them to place the definitions within it before our own.

I do not think it is irrational to believe that MPs who are elected by the people in this country should be able to make the law in this country, without fear that appointed European judges will overturn those decisions. I also struggle to see the relevance of some cases that were taken to the ECHR.

Why, for instance, should it be asked to rule on whether night flights at Heathrow are a violation of the ‘right to family life’?

Or whether it is proportionate for a council to evict a family that is the subject of 57 allegations of antisocial behaviour against their neighbours? Or if prisoners who are in our jails should be allowed to vote?

It is not simply the will of parliament being challenged either: Abu Qatada remained in this country for 12 years and cost us £1.7m in legal fees. Such judgments do not, in my view, show a respect for human rights – they make a mockery of them, and demonstrate precisely why a radical overhaul of the system is needed: one that restores public confidence in the rights we should celebrate.

John Glen, MP for Salisbury