Sunday, 6 December 2020

Why European issues are so darned confusing

Your two correspondents, John Smith and Paul Ruane ( Daily Mail, Thursday), both complain about the intention of Boris Johnson to retain British adherence to the European Convention on Human Rights, apparently believing the ECHR is part of the European Union. It isn’t! The EHCR was drafted in 1950, and came into force in 1953, four years before the European Union ( then called the European Economic Communities, EEC) was established. The EHCR is part of the Council of Europe apparatus, which predates the EU, and has a much wider membership, including Russia. The confusion arises because the ECHR has an arbitration body, the the European Court of Human Rights, which sits in the French city of Strasbourg, which is also the location of the EU’s arbitration body, the European Court of Justice. In my view all civilised Governments need to ensure continued membership if the ECHR. It gives us leverage over some less open societies, like Putin’s Russia

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