Grieve rejects withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights
The Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, has recently asserted that there is ‘no question’ of leaving the European Convention on Human Rights and he may, in fact, block a conservative plan to leave the convention. This is enlightened news following Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling’s interview with the Daily Telegraph where he stated "the current human rights framework under which we are operating has gone badly wrong” and he "ruled nothing in and nothing out" in regards to leaving the ECHR.”
Grieve rejected withdrawal from the convention saying: “The policy, as I understand it, is what I was talking about it, a continuing review of how the Human Rights Act and the ECHR function. There is no government policy on withdrawing from the Convention on Human Rights." Mr Grieve pointed out that if the UK left the ECHR it would become a ‘pariah state,’ adding that the only European country not bound by the ECHR is Belarus, which has a poor human rights record. "It would put us in a group of countries that would make very odd bedfellows," said Mr Grieve, warning that such a move would "jeopardise the UK’s international standing.” (www.telegraph.co.uk 9/10/2012)
Grieve asserted his position whilst speaking during a debate in the Commons, last week: “we helped to draft it and we support it strongly... It has already contributed to widespread changes across Europe, including the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the recognition of the freedom of religion in the former Soviet countries, the prevention of ill treatment in police stations and elsewhere, and the removal of military judges from civilian courts.”
“Those are all very good reasons for it continuing its very good work.” (Law Society Gazette 17/10/2012)
The Human Rights Act protects many of the fundamental rights we enjoy in this country and this is especially important for those who are vulnerable in society. Just last week we saw Home Secretary, Theresa May, utilise the act to prevent the extradition to the US of Gary McKinnon on Human Rights grounds because of medical reports regarding his mental health.
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