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Home Secretary under fire following criticism of the ECHR

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Civil liberties campaigners have heavily criticised the Home Secretary for giving a speech which advocated the UK leaving the European Convention on Human Rights.

In a speech earlier this week, Theresa May suggested Britain should walk away because the institution has the power to “bind the hands of Parliament.”

Bella Sankey, policy director for Liberty, said: “It was only a matter of time before the ECHR got dragged into the EU referendum debate. But the convention doesn’t bind Parliament and – despite Theresa May’s best efforts at mud-slinging and myth-spreading over the years – the case for remaining a signatory is unequivocal.

“Britain founded it, it is the most successful system for the enforcement of human rights in the history of the world, and every day it helps bring freedom, justice and the Rule of Law to 820 million people.”

Rachel Logan, legal programme director at Amnesty, was similarly concerned.

“Mrs May’s proposal to tear away from the European Convention on Human Rights would strike at the very architecture of international protections, and betray the British people who built the convention at the end of the Second World War.”

The rights laid out in the ECHR were enshrined in UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998.

Prime Minister David Cameron had previously refused to rule out leaving, although Mrs May’s comments went a step further, prompting a number of questions from the opposition benches about the Government’s current policy.

At Lester Morrill, our Public Law team has brought numerous successful challenges where we have relied on the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Human Rights Act, to protect our clients’ fundamental rights. To find out more about our services, please contact us today.