Straining out a Gnat and Swallowing a Camel: The Convention, the Charter and Mrs May

“Eager litigators, understanding the Charter’s unrivalled power to overturn laws, may profess their enthusiasm. But, in truth, it has few devotees. It was neither needed, nor much wanted in 2007: it was – is – a hotchpotch of rights and political aspirations, uncertain in scope, which was intended to provide meaning to an ailing EU.

By contrast, the Convention on Human Rights, drafted in the wake of the Second World War, is a truly pan-European instrument binding Russia and Turkey, which embodies common fundamental values. There may be grounds for amending how we give effect to it via the Human Rights Act, but you have to look hard to find a jurist – as opposed to a politician – who sees value in our withdrawal.”

UK Human Rights Blog

Photo credit: Guardian

By Marina Wheeler QC

In a speech about Brexit last week, the Home Secretary shared what she called her “hard-headed analysis”: membership of an unreformed EU makes us safer, but – beware the non-sequitur – we must withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, which does not.

It is surely time for some clearer Government thinking about these questions. If politicians could put politics to one side, they might recognise that the Convention and the Strasbourg court are not enemies of our sovereignty, but there are aspects of EU law as applied by the Court of Justice in Luxembourg which are.

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