What about human rights?
Will the next PM pull the bill — or pull out of the ECHR?
I have been looking for evidence to support or refute the suggestion I made here 10 days ago that Dominic Raab’s Bill of Rights Bill, currently before parliament, is “slowly fading away”.
If readers have spotted any suggestion that either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak would let Raab remain justice secretary or would allow his bill to proceed, I would be grateful if they would let me know. Today’s Times tips Raab as Sunak’s choice for home secretary. Truss would appoint Suella Braverman to the post currently held by Priti Patel, the paper reports.
Whoever gets the job will have to deal with immigration. In today’s Telegraph, Theresa May’s former adviser Nick Timothy has a piece about the European Convention of Human Rights.
As published online last night, it contains what is either a Freudian slip or a schoolboy howler:
The European Court of Justice is the EU court. It is based in Luxembourg. The court that issued “interim measures” is the European Court of Human Rights, which sits in Strasbourg. Perhaps the error was introduced in the editing process.
Timothy is on stronger ground when he says this:
Even if the Human Rights Act is replaced by a British Bill of Rights, claimants will be free to make convention-based appeals in British courts, and free to petition Strasbourg, regardless of the content of any domestic legislation. In particular, the government will be unable to remove the requirement to assess the individual circumstances of all removals to Rwanda without leaving the convention.
That leads him to an inevitable conclusion:
…both candidates should know, if they really are prepared to do “whatever it takes” to sort out the immigration system, they must in the end be prepared to leave the European convention and the jurisdiction of its court.
This was not Raab’s policy. It is not Boris Johnson’s policy. As far as I can see, it is not a policy supported by either Truss or Sunak — although Timothy cites tough talking from both of them about the human rights convention.
It was, however, a policy supported by Braverman, who is currently attorney general. But pulling out of the human rights convention would not be a decision for her — even if she does become home secretary.
Forty-six countries are signed up to the human rights convention. Russia and Belarus are the only European countries that are not. It would be good to know whether Truss and Sunak could contemplate the UK joining them.
Update 1020: the reference to “European Court of Justice” has now been corrected online.
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