Britain has no intentions to abandon the European Convention on Human Rights, but the Strasbourg court that implements it overstepped its authority by preventing asylum seekers from being deported to Rwanda, said deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab on Thursday.
The government’s effort to deport a handful of migrants on a charter jet more than 4,000 miles (6,4000 kilometers) to Rwanda was halted on Tuesday when the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued injunctions, canceling the trip.
Raab, who is also Britain’s justice minister, slammed the Strasbourg-based court for effectively halting the flight as part of a program aimed at reducing the number of migrants crossing the English Channel from France.
Raab said the flights will go on despite criticism from the UN, Church of England officials, and Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, who has privately denounced the idea as “appalling” according to media reports.
“Our plans involve staying within the Convention, the European Convention. It is also important the Strasbourg court reflects and stays faithful to its mandate as part of the convention,” he told BBC television.
“The Strasbourg court itself has said for many years that there’s no binding power of injunction. And then later on they said: ‘Well actually, we can issue such binding injunctions.’ It is not grounded in the Convention,” Raab told Sky News.
Because of the European Court’s late involvement, some members of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party have called for Britain to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights entirely. more info
When asked about death threats to human rights attorneys on social media, Raab said they were undesirable, but Britain’s Human Rights Act had created a “industry” of lawyers pushing “elastic interpretations” of the law on behalf of their clients.
He went on to say that the administration couldn’t say when it would be able to transport asylum seekers to Rwanda.