Solicitor General refuses to rule out UK rejection of international human rights standards

Michael Ellis, the Solicitor General, has refused to rule out the UK’s withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights during Parliamentary questioning.

21 Feb 2020| News

Labour MP for Swansea West, Geraint Davies, last week asked the Solicitor General to confirm that the UK’s break from the EU will not result its dropping its adherence to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Ellis refused to say that the UK would remain a signatory to the Convention, instead stating that “We practised human rights before the 1998 Act and we will continue to do so”.

Joanna Cherry – a senior lawyer, SNP MP and member of the Joint Committee for Human Rights – warned that Johnson’s government was trying to “weaken the rights of citizens”.

She told the Independent: “Membership of the ECHR and recognition of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights are fundamental guarantees of the rights of every citizen in the UK.”

“This should worry us all, particularly with the appointment of Suella Braverman as Attorney General, given her antipathy towards the judiciary and international rights protections,” she added.

Braverman was hired by Johnson to fill the senior role ahead of the launch of a new Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission, which the Prime Minister will establish to review the role of the Courts in public life. His sights have been trained on the judiciary since his unprecedented prorogation of Parliament was ruled unlawful.

Suella Braverman has previously criticised judges as being “unelected” and “unaccountable”, signalling her potential approval of constitutional change. It is feared Johnson’s plans for the justice system may include politically motivated appointments to the senior judiciary.