Human rights confusion

One of the many areas of deliberate confusion propagated in the Brexit campaign was the role of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

NUJ members who have successfully defended freedoms there include Bill Goodwin, on the right to protect sources, and Pennie Quinton, on detention without cause.

The ECHR is not a European Union institution: it is administered by the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states - and its early proponents included Winston Churchill.

When she was Home Secretary, Theresa May nevertheless proposed that the UK withdraw from the ECHR, annoyed that it had overruled her. Now she is Prime Minister, May seems to have dropped this, and tried, and failed, to delete from the Web the the speech in which she most recently suggested it.

5 September 2016

In the tail end of the silly season the Telegraph proclaimed "Human Rights Act will be scrapped in favour of British Bill of Rights", quoting the new UK Lord Chancellor Liz Truss.

Others have pointed out that she would say that, it having been a Tory manifesto commitment for most of this millennium so far. So we need to keep a watching brief... but the vast complexity of drawing up a British Bill of Rights may still not be at the top of the political agenda given the Ten Thousand Things of Brexit confusion.

Last modified: 19 Jul 2016 - © 2016 contributors
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