UK Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said on Sunday that an upcoming review of UK human rights law will include a “mechanism” to “correct” decisions of the European Court of Human Rights .
“We want the Supreme Court to have the final say on the interpretation of the country’s laws, not the Strasbourg court,” Raab told The Telegraph, adding that he would work to “protect and preserve the prerogatives of [the British] Parliament to be chipped away by judicial legislation, abroad or even at home.
Arguing that public services, such as the National Health Service, should be governed by “elected lawmakers” rather than “judicial legislation”, the minister questioned the legitimacy of the European Court to render judgments on cases domestic in the UK
“I don’t think it’s the job of the European Court in Strasbourg to dictate … whether it’s the NHS, whether it’s our social protection or whether it’s our police force,” he said.
The minister also said British troops serving overseas were “in danger” for fear of prosecution under the European Convention on Human Rights.
“We identify the issues and make sure we fix them,” Raab said. “Where there have been judgments which, although correctly and duly rendered by the courts, we believe to be wrong, the good thing is that Parliament is legislating to correct them.”
The interview drew criticism from several jurists.
“Another Sunday, another story from the Sunday Telegraph demonstrating the fragile state of respect for the rule of law on the part of the British government,” wrote on Twitter Mark Elliott, chairman of the University of Cambridge Law School. . “The Minister of Justice is proposing to allow ministers to ‘correct’ court rulings they consider ‘incorrect’. This raises deep constitutional concerns.
The UK was among the first countries to ratify the European Convention on Human Rights in 1949 and has accepted the jurisdiction of the Stasbourg court since 1966.