Everything you should know about the European Court of Human Rights, but dont.

The Judges of the European Court of Human Rights

The truth about a foreign court which effectively overrules the UK’s Supreme Court

The Government’s latest attempt to solve the illegal boat migrant crisis created by President Macron’s refusal to take back his migrants hinges on deporting the people who arrive, at a processing centre in Rwanda.

It is well-known that this was stopped by UK lawyers appealing to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, France.

One single ECHR judge sitting in France overruled the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Here are some facts about the ECHR that readers might wish to know.

The European Court of Human Rights — some basic facts

  • ECHR is based in a grandiose suite of buildings in Strasbourg, France — purpose-built
  • The whole thing cost a fortune, with over 300,000 sq ft of floor space
  • The courtroom alone covers over 9,250 sq ft
  • Context: Average property size in the UK is circa 730 sq ft — 1/12th the size of the courtroom
  • There are 46 member countries, 27 of which are EU members
  • The EU insisted the UK submitted to the rulings of the ECHR
  • However, the EU has not submitted itself
  • It is not possible to bring any legal case against the EU at the ECHR
  • It is, however, possible to bring a legal case against the UK
  • There are currently 11 cases pending against the UK
  • There have been 936 cases in total against the UK
  • Until March it was still possible for a Russian judge to rule on ‘human rights violations in the UK

[Sources: ECHR | EU Commission]

Here's a good question

If the ECHR is so independent of the EU, how come it has the EU carpet in its courtroom?

It is often said that the ECHR is part of the Council of Europe, not the European Union. Technically this is true. However, I invite readers to study the photograph below, which comes from the ECHR’s website.

If the ECHR is so independent of the EU, readers might question why the main judging chamber of the ECHR has an enormous EU flag on its floor. Why not an amalgam of all the flags of countries which are members, including the United Kingdom?

The EU insisted the UK submitted to the ECHR but won’t submit itself

“At present, all 46 Council of Europe member states, including the 27 EU Member States, are already parties to the European Convention on Human Rights. However, the EU itself is not. This means that actions of the EU’s institutions, agencies and other bodies cannot currently be challenged at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.”

- European External Action Service (EU Commission), 18 Oct 2021

In its Opinion 2/13 of 18 December 2014, the Court of Justice of the EU (commonly known as the ECJ) held that the draft agreement of 2013 was incompatible with the EU Treaties. The most recent negotiating meeting took place on 10–13 May 2022 but still, the EU is not subject to the rulings of the ECHR, unlike the UK.

Does the UK’s Supreme Court have to obey the ECHR? Yes

It has been suggested by some commentators that the UK does not have to obey the rulings of the ECHR, but merely treats them as ‘advisory’. Below is what the ECHR has to say about this.

“[The Court’s] judgments are binding on the countries concerned and have led governments to alter their legislation and administrative practice in a wide range of areas.”

- ECHR document, accessed 14 Aug 2022

So, the rulings are indeed binding.

Putin’s Russia, ruling on UK's human rights violations

Russia has long been a pariah state when it comes to human rights. The list of atrocities is endless. Readers will remember the killing in London by Russian security services of the dissident Alexander Litvinenko using a radioactive substance, to say nothing of the attack in Salisbury several years later.

Russia has also violated other nations’ territories (eg Crimea, Chechnya, Ukraine) in contravention of international law and yet it continued to be a member of the European Council and has a judge on the ECHR.

Finally this year, Russia was excluded. Incredibly, until March 2022 it was possible for a Russian judge to rule on ‘human rights violations in the UK. Yes, you read that right, Russia, which has the worst human right in Europe and whose agents go around Europe knocking off its citizens if they dare to criticise Putin could rule on human rights violations in the UK while at the same time slot people in the UK.

‘Rule of law’? — What law?

The UK gave the world the Magna Carta, Habeas Corpus, and the principle of Common Law.

Conversely, the ECHR operates under the principle of the Napoleonic code of Corpus Juris, where you are in essence assumed to be guilty, can be held in detention for very long periods, have no right to silence, and none of the other rights which the British people take for granted.

I have analysed the judges of the ECHR. I also looked at the ‘seniority’ as defined by the ECHR.

The sole British judge on the ECHR was born and educated in Germany.

The sole British judge was born and educated in Germany and sits down at №21 in terms of preference, below the judge from the tiny country of Cyprus. He moved to the UK in 1988, after completing legal studies in Germany.

In 2016 ECHR judges were paid €200,000 per annum tax-free. In today’s terms in pounds for a normally-taxed person that would be the equivalent of around £300,000 per year.

Judge Eicke, the British judge

It’s difficult to know where to start with the absurdity that is the European Court of Human Rights

Like the European Court of Justice (CJEU) to which the United Kingdom is subservient under the terms of the UK-EU Withdrawal Treaty, the ECHR is a highly-politicised court. You don’t get elected as a judge unless you’re a fully paid-up member of the left-leaning human rights fraternity. I am firmly against the ‘open borders’ and ‘all migrants are refugees’ mentality that exists in most Establishments. I believe in looking at the facts.

The EU’s total hypocrisy

Bizarrely, the EU requires all its member countries (which included the UK) to submit to this Court, but then its own ECJ blocked the EU from doing the same thing. It is therefore impossible to take the EU to the ECHR. The UK can be tried and convicted — the EU can’t.

I constantly hear the claim that “The ECHR is not part of the EU”. Really? So why does it have the floor of its main judging chamber carpeted with an enormous EU flag?

The British lion must roar

The United Kingdom has a very proud record of standing up for human rights. Real human rights. We also have a proud record of taking in vast numbers of refugees.

https://medium.com/@graham100200/from-referendum-to-covid-uk-has-resettled-more-refugees-than-any-eu27-country-985f35df625b

It has barely been mentioned in the media, for example, that the UK has already taken in 104,000 refugees from Ukraine.

The UK has courts, the High Courts, the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court. We have no need for yet another court — with some questionable judges sitting on it — to dictate its views to the United Kingdom.

We should stand tall and demand fundamental changes to organisations such as the European Council, the ECHR, the United Nations and all its innumerable agencies.

If these are not immediately taken seriously we must ultimately withdraw. Resiling from the ECHR would be a good first step.

Sources: ECHR | EU Commission | Court of Justice of the EU (ECJ)

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Sir Ron Harrison

Sir Ron Harrison

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What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.