Experts say the UK could not just ignore ECHR, HRA

Experts say the UK could not just ignore ECHR, HRA

We may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. The Prime Minister's ex-adviser took to Twitter to accuse the Government of failing to explain the facts included in the European Convention on Human Rights ECHR and the Human Rights Act HRA that make it illegal to halt the flow of migrants trying to cross the English Channel in small boats. Cummings claimed that the ECHR and HRA need setting aside, but legal experts say that even with those out of the way No 10 could not just do whatever it wants. Cummings was not the first to suggest that the UK look away from the laws included in the HRA and ECHR. Yasmine Ahmed, UK Director of Human Rights Watch, told They could, practically. There have been long-run discussions about the possibility of amending the HRA or getting rid of it altogether. The problem is that there is still a party to the European Convention of Human Rights ECHR and that ECHR requires states to domestically implement the rights. We would firstly be in breach of giving effect to those rights domestically. People would still be able to go directly to the European court because there was no domestic remedy. Despite the UK leaving, it remains committed to its commitments to the ECHR. The Government could follow Mr Cummings advice and turn a blind eye on the ECHR as well.

Priti Patel POLL: Has the Home Secretary failed in the migrant crisis? VOTE Macron backlash over French drone laws stall migrant crisis breakthrough: ''Very disturbing' INSIGHT Channel deaths: Any pretence French are our friends is dead, says Paul Baldwin COMMENT If you're trying to push people back and endanger their lives, that would be in breach of your obligations under the ICCPR, which mirrors what is in the ECHR so you're not getting rid of it. You still have other obligations that exist anyway. There is also a refugee law that states you can't send someone back. We also have the Law of the Sea, which is about this idea that there is a long-standing duty to rescue people at sea. It is not as simple as saying 'Let's get rid of it' because the UK Government still has international obligations. If you get rid of the HRA and you withdrew from the ECHR, it's very hard for people to get a remedy. The Conservatives have urged Home Secretary Priti Patel to take control of the crisis by ignoring human rights and international law.

Emilie McDonald, a refugee law expert with a PhD from the University of Oxford, is a UK Advocacy and Communications Coordinator at Human Rights Watch. She explained that irregular asylum seekers can't be ignored under the principle of non-penalisation. Ms McDonald said that this is a core principle under refugee law and the 1951 Refugee Convention, which the UK helped draft and is bound under the UK Immigration Act. By repealing the HRA, Dominic Cummings wants to push people to take more dangerous and hidden routes and push them into people smugglers and traffickers. Even if the HRA was repealed, there would still be legal regimes that the Government would have to follow. She stressed that the Convention protects the individuals' right to flee by any means and the UK and other governments have a duty to protect those individuals when they arrive at their borders.