Downing Street will today set out sweeping plans to override the power of Europe’s human rights court just days after a judge in Strasbourg blocked the deportation of asylum seekers from Britain to Rwanda. The Guardian has more – although its report is a tad one-sided.
The abolition of the Human Rights Act (HRA), including reducing the influence of the European court of human rights (ECHR), will be introduced before parliament in what the government described as a restatement of Britain’s sovereignty.
But campaigners and leading lawyers decried the historic move, saying the government was systematically eroding people’s rights in an attempt to make itself “untouchable” by the courts.
The new British bill of rights will not have the same protections, they fear.
Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s chief executive, said: “The [Strasbourg] court’s intervention in the Rwanda deportation last week was an example of it enacting its fundamental role in ensuring basic human rights aren’t violated, stating nothing more than that the UK should pause removals to Rwanda pending the outcome of our own domestic judicial review process.
“It’s very troubling that the UK government is prepared to damage respect for the authority of the European court of human rights because of a single decision that it doesn’t like.
“This is not about tinkering with rights, it’s about removing them.
“From the Hillsborough disaster, to the right to a proper Covid inquiry, to the right to challenge the way police investigate endemic violence against women, the Human Rights Act is the cornerstone of people power in this country. It’s no coincidence that the very politicians it holds to account want to see it fatally weakened.”
A senior government source admitted last week’s Rwanda ruling, which humiliated ministers, had been a factor.
“Some of the problems or the challenges we’ve had (with respect to Rwanda) reinforced and strengthened the case for what we’re doing,” the source said.
Worth reading in full.