'Interfering with our sovereignty!' ECHR slapped down for 'meddling' after issuing another Rwanda plan warning

'Interfering with our sovereignty!' ECHR slapped down for 'meddling' after issuing another Rwanda plan warning
'Unelected NOBODIES' in the Lords inflict DEFEAT on Rwanda treaty
Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke


Published: 25/01/2024

- 11:57

Updated: 26/01/2024

- 09:09

Speaking to GB News, Lord Frost accused the ECHR of a 'clear attempt to influence the UK's debate on the Rwanda Bill'

The ECHR has been accused of "meddling" in UK policy after its president Síofra O'Leary warned that the UK would be in breach of the convention if it ignores rule 39 orders - something Rishi Sunak has threatened to do.

Giving a press conference this morning, the EHCR President said the UK has a "clear legal obligation" to comply with rule 39 orders, saying it would be "violating its obligations" if it ignores them.



Rule 39 orders were previously used to block the removal of migrants to Rwanda in June 2022.

She also pointed out that the UK has in the past encouraged other countries to fulfil their obligations under the ECHR, such as when it "urged the russian federation to comply with the court's rule 39 measures" in relation to the release of Alexei Navalny in 2021.

Sunak/O'Leary

The ECHR has been accused of "meddling" in UK policy after its president Síofra O'Leary warned that the UK would be in breach of the convention if it ignores rule 39 orders

PA

But hitting back at O'Leary's remarks, former Brexit negotiator Lord Frost told GB News: "It's a clear attempt to influence the UK's debate on the Rwanda Bill at a sensitive moment.

"Many distinguished international lawyers would disagree with the President's views, as would I. She is entitled to her views and we are entitled to ignore them.

"It's important to disregard rule 39 orders if the Rwanda plan is to work and I hope that, if it comes to it, the government will act accordingly."

Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis said: “The goes to the heart of precisely why I, and 60 other colleagues, were concerned in this foreign court meddling with our ability to control our own borders and laws related to it.

“These Rule 39’s were never part of the convention we signed up to in the 1950’s. They were first used in the mid 2000’s. We need to be more like other signatories and ignore this non legally binding attempt to interfere in our nation’s sovereignty.”

Meanwhile, David Jones, Deputy Chairman of the eurosceptic European Research Group added: "Rule 39 indications are frequently made at the dead of night, without considering evidence or hearing argument, by European judges who do not have a strong understanding of the United Kingdom legal system.

"They are not binding and there is no reason why the UK should consider itself bound by them."

But Tobias Ellwood, who has previously expressed concerns about the UK breaking international law with its plan to send migrants to Rwanda, told GB News that "this is what should happen if we follow international law".

O'Leary told the ECHR press conference this morning: "There is a clear legal obligation under the convention for states to comply with rule 39 measures. Where states have in past failed to comply with rule 39 implications, the grand chamber or chambers or committees of three judges have found that the states have violated their obligations under article 34 of the convention.

"Just last year, there was a case of this nature against the russian federation, where the court found a violation of Article 34.

"In relation to the UK, I should state that it has always complied with rule 39 measures, going all the way back to the old commission in the 1950s. The UK has also publicly declared the need for other states to comply with rule 39 indications.

"The most recent example of this was in 2021, when the UK urged the russian federation to comply with the courts rule 39 measure adopted in relation to the release of Alexei Navalny."

She added: "The Rwanda Bill has gone through the House of Commons, it has had its third reading. But it is presently before the House of Lords and a general debate will take place next week.

Sunak

Rishi Sunak has threatened to ignore rule 39 orders

PA

"As president of a court, as judge, I can take no position on draft legislation. This would be to interfere with the democratic processes within a high contracting party and it's not my role or my desire to do such a thing.

"I know there's a very healthy debate in the United Kingdom relating to the content of the bill. It's a country which is blessed with many international legal experts and a very active civil society so I am sure that all of those issues can be fully examined.

"The court - when it is seized of a case which relates to an individual and individual circumstances - would of course be in a position to examine any convention questions which may arise."

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