Debate, Politics | Nationalism follows its flag

opinion This is a debate post. The post expresses the author’s attitude.

new The bill has created controversy in the UK. That could have huge consequences for Europe. Former Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who was transferred to the Ministry of Justice last year, has advocated for years that Britain should withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights.

Formerly not only Brexit, but also the exit from the Council of Europe will “take the decision home”, as the conservative party’s rhetoric calls it. International organizations and conventions have gained too much power.

When is it In the case of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 8 of the Convention in particular protects the right to family reunification for refugees, which has caused outrage. The fact that the Strasbourg courts, which are responsible for ensuring that member states of the Convention comply with their obligations, have also prevented the deportation of people to countries outside Europe because they could be subjected to torture or the death penalty, has caused outrage. .

That court in his time ordered changes in English law that deprived prisoners of the right to vote, causing the cup to overflow. The law is such that even a misdemeanor leading to imprisonment results in the loss of the right to vote – something which is completely impossible in the understanding of European law.

Now have Domiqc Raab got his wish. The government has submitted proposals for a new human rights law to the lower house, which would give British courts priority over the European Court of Human Rights. This means that UK courts can choose to ignore the Convention on Human Rights and the Strasbourg Court case law when deciding. After this, England can also refuse to make judgments coming from Strasbourg.

It’s a break fundamentally with the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights. The basic principle in it is, firstly, all citizens of the 47 Council of Europe countries have the right to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. Therefore, the second principle is that the member states which have acceded to the Convention faithfully implement the decisions of the Court.

From 47 member states are collectively responsible for this happening. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, on which 47 governments sit, is responsible for enforcing the decision.

When England will prioritize its own courts, override the Convention on Human Rights and the Court of Justice, and deprive British citizens of the right to seek justice in Strasbourg if they believe that their own courts or authorities have acted in violation of the Convention on Human Rights.

From the previous Russia has made similar progress. The Duma has adopted a law that gives Russia’s Constitutional Court the right to decide whether or not the Russian constitution allows the application of the Strasbourg decision. When this became known, I said as Secretary General of the Council of Europe at the time that if the Constitutional Court concluded that a decision could not be made for the sake of the Constitution, the Duma should amend the point in the Constitution preventing implementation.

This not only for the sake of the European Convention on Human Rights, which obliges member states. This is also in accordance with the Vienna Convention on International Treaties, which requires the “High Contracting Parties” to every international convention to carry out the objectives of the Convention.

I let that if Russia reaches a point where the Duma and the government refuse to make judgments under its own constitution and are unwilling to change it, Russia cannot join the Council of Europe.

Europe can in other words it has reached a turning point. The UK Government bill, together with a new law in Russia, could be the starting point for the unique system we have built in Europe to protect fundamental human rights to begin to unravel.

He many other member states may be tempted to follow suit. The Strasbourg Court has disturbed many authorities. We saw this during the Presidency of the Danish Council of Europe, which made progress in limiting the powers of the Court. Here too, Article 8 of the Convention was particularly deemed by Denmark to have been interpreted too broadly by the Court.

But Denmark did not arrive. When England now goes easy, it may be different. After all, it was Winston Churchill who took the initiative for the “London Statutes” which founded the Council of Europe. The UK was at the forefront when the Council of Europe began work on drafting the European Convention on Human Rights, creating a large number of bodies, including the Court, to ensure that the provisions of the Convention are adhered to. .

In Norway Human rights organizations always refer to the UN conventions and the Universal Human Rights Convention, and often forget that we in Europe have something much more powerful.

We have human rights conventions that are under judicial control. Which means that everyone can eventually go to a court that is above the national court.

He it is time for the Norwegian government and Norwegian human rights organizations to come to their senses.

Matt Thompson

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