Flight to Rwanda stopped – London wants to free itself from the European Court of Human Rights
According to the government, the European Court of Human Rights should no longer have the last word in the UK. The court stopped a flight to Rwanda with asylum seekers. The opposition criticized the new law.
DThe British government no longer wants to accept the European Court of Human Rights as the ultimate authority on human rights issues. British Justice Secretary Dominic Raab made this clear in a London parliament on Wednesday when a bill was tabled.
The law, known as the Bill of Rights, will ensure that the British Supreme Court has the final say on human rights issues in the future, Raab told the House of Commons. In addition, the forthcoming law should also ensure that court orders based in Strasbourg, UK, are no longer binding. The aim is to strengthen the British tradition of freedom and breathe into the system a “good deal of common sense”.
I note that last week, the Human Rights Court halted the first flight of asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda under a new asylum policy through an interim injunction. The government in London has expressed outrage as British courts have previously rejected requests to stop the flight in all cases.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government wants to deter people from entering the English Channel illegally on small boats by denying them access to the asylum procedure in the United Kingdom. Instead, migrants are to be sent to Rwanda and seek asylum there. No return planned. Interior Minister Priti Patel signed the corresponding agreement in April. London originally agreed to transfer 120 million pounds (almost 140 million euros) to the East African country.
Prince Charles calls new asylum policy “appalling”
Johnson wanted to go to the Rwandan capital Kigali for a meeting of Commonwealth heads of state and government on Wednesday. He is expected to meet the heir to the throne, Prince Charles. Royal reportedly called the new asylum policy “appalling.”
The European Court of Human Rights is a European court, but not a European Union court. Instead, it belongs to the Council of Europe, of which the United Kingdom is still a member. Actions against all 46 Member States can be brought to court for suspected violations of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The government has so far refused to withdraw from the human rights convention, as Russia has recently done, and repeated conservative politicians in Britain have demanded it. I would like to point out, among other things, that participation in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is explicitly regulated by the peace agreement in Northern Ireland known as the Good Friday Agreement and the Brexit Trade Agreement between London and Brussels.
But instead of leaving, there is now a risk of erosion, critics fear. The opposition sharply criticized the proposal. Labor law spokeswoman Rachel Reeves called the Bill of Rights a “fraud.” Reeves said the proposed law relieves the government of responsibility for preventing human rights violations. Referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, she said: “What wonderful hypocrisy on the part of this government to preach to others, how important it is to defend rights abroad while being taken away from the British at home.”
Human rights organizations were also concerned. Amnesty International UK described the plan as “a huge step backwards for ordinary people’s rights.” The proposed legislation has also been criticized by the Law Society. This will make some human rights violations in Britain acceptable, according to the BBC, President Stephanie Boyce said. It also gives the state more power over its citizens – a power that all future governments would have, regardless of their goals and values.