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Tories all at sea on Human Rights Act and ECHR as inconsistencies become clear
Date 01/06/2015 15:22  Author webmaster  Hits 2167  Language Global
The UK is bound by international treaties, and being a signatory of the ECHR is a requirement of EU membership. European Commissioner Viviane Reding confirmed this in an answer to a written question from Nigel Farage two years ago - UKIP MEP Diane James

Press Release

Responding to news of a cabinet split as it emerged that David Cameron has disagreed with Theresa May and Michael Gove over withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights, Diane James MEP, UKIP’s Justice and Home Affairs spokeswoman said:

“The inconsistencies and dishonesty of the Tory position is today becoming clear to all as Gove and May have a public spat with the Prime Minister.

“The plain facts are, while we are members of the EU the UK must be signatories of the ECHR and our Supreme Court is subservient to the European Court in Strasbourg on human rights matters.

“Chris Grayling's eight-page strategy, now taken off-line, promised to 'restore sovereignty to Westminster' through a parliamentary override, breaking the formal link between British courts and the European court of human rights
 
“Before the election, David Cameron claimed he would reform Britain’s relations with the ECHR.
Once again, Mr Cameron was not occupying the landscape of fact but of PR and spin.


“The facts are these: the UK is bound by international treaties, and being a signatory of the ECHR is a requirement of EU membership. European Commissioner Viviane Reding confirmed this in an answer to a written question from Nigel Farage two years ago (see below).

“And just to drive the point home, Article 1 of the European Convention requires the UK to ‘secure to everyone within [its] jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined in Section I of this Convention.’

“And if that was not clear, the UK is bound by Article 46.1 of the Convention which requires us “to abide by the final judgment of the Court in any case” to which we are a party.

“The Human Rights Act is basically a summation of the ECHR in British law.

“While we are members of the EU and signatory of the European Convention there is no scope for our Supreme Court to be just that – supreme.

“So once again David Cameron tried to buy public support by promising something which he should knew in advance he could not deliver.

“Only UKIP's plan to pull out of the EU and ECHR can deliver the necessary change the British people need and want.”


Parliamentary questions (link)

• 3 March 2011 (E-001800/2011)

Question for written answer to the Commission
Rule 117
Nigel Farage (EFD)

Does the United Kingdom have an opt-out of any kind from Articles 6.2 and 6.3 of the Treaty on European Union? If so, what is the legal basis of that opt-out?

• 31 March 2011 (E-001800/2011)

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission:

There exist no such provisions as mentioned by the Honourable Member in relation to Articles 6(2) or 6 (3) of the Treaty on European Union.

• 4 March 2011 (E-001801/2011

Question for written answer to the Commission
Rule 117
Nigel Farage (EFD)

Once the European Union has acceded to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, will a Member State which has denounced the Convention under Article 58 thereof remain bound by the Convention, notwithstanding that denunciation, by virtue of Article 6.3 of the Treaty on European Union?

• 8 April 2011 (E-001801/2011)

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

The Commission recalls that irrespective of the accession of the Union to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, respect for fundamental rights as guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights is an explicit obligation for the Union under Article 6(3) of the Treaty on European Union.

The Court of Justice of the European Union has held that the Convention is of special importance for determining the fundamental rights that must be respected by the Member States as general principles of law when they act within the scope of Union law.

• 3 March 2011 (E-001802/2011)

Question for written answer to the Commission
Rule 117
Nigel Farage (EFD)

Once the European Union has acceded to the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, does the Convention become part of the primary law of the European Union?

• 14 April 2011 (E-001802/2011)

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission:

According to Article 6(3) of the Treaty on European Union, the fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms constitute general principles of the Union's law. The general principles of the Union's law are part of the Union's primary law. In that context, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms — just as the ‘constitutional traditions common to the Member States’ which are likewise referred to in Article 6(3) of the Treaty on European Union — are a source of inspiration for the formulation by the Union judicature of general principles of the Union's law. The Union's accession to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms will confer to the latter the same legal value within the Union's legal order as that which any other agreement concluded by the Union enjoys pursuant Article 216(2) TFEU. Such agreements have a lower rank than the Treaties but a higher rank than any other act of the institutions

• 3 March 2011 (E-001803/2011)

Question for written answer to the Commission
Rule 117
Nigel Farage (EFD)

Is it the view of the Commission that the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms is already part of the Primary Law of the European Union by virtue of the declaration in Protocol 24 to the Treaties that, ‘pursuant to Article 6(3) of the Treaty on European Union, fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, constitute part of the Union’s law as general principles’?

• 7 April 2011 (E-001803/2011)

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission:

The preamble of Protocol No 24 on asylum for nationals of Member States of the European Union merely repeats the wording of Article 6(3) of the Treaty on European Union in so far as the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms is concerned. Therefore, Protocol No 24 cannot be understood as affecting the interpretation of Article 6(3) of the Treaty on European Union.

• 3 March 2011 (E-001804/2011)

Question for written answer to the Commission
Rule 117
Nigel Farage (EFD)

Does Protocol 30 to the Treaties have any application to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms?

• 4 April 2011 (E-001804/2011)

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission:

Protocol (No 30) on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union to Poland and to the United Kingdom does not address the question of the application of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

• 6 December 2013 (E-013937-13)

Question for written answer to the Commission
Rule 117
Nigel Farage (EFD)
 
Bearing in mind its answer to Question E-001802/2011, namely:

‘According to Article 6(3) of the Treaty on European Union, the fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms constitute general principles of the Union’s law. The general principles of the Union’s law are part of the Union’s primary law’,

can the Commission confirm that the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights underpins and explains the general principles of the Union’s law and thus also forms part of the Union’s primary law?

• 24 February 2014 (E-013937/2013)

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission:

As mentioned in the reply to Question E-001802/2011, under Article 6(3) of the Treaty on European Union, the fundamental rights as guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) constitute general principles of Union’s law.

Furthermore, according to Article 52(3) of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, in so far as the Charter contains rights which correspond to rights guaranteed by the ECHR, the meaning and scope of those rights shall be the same as those laid down by the ECHR. This provision shall not prevent Union law providing more extensive protection.

As a result, the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights is of particular relevance for the system of fundamental rights protection in Union law. The link between Union law and the ECHR will be reinforced with the planned accession of the European Union to the ECHR.
 
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Related:
Conservatives plan to scrap Human Rights Act – read the full document
Michael Gove to proceed with Tories' plans to scrap human rights act
www.ukip.org
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