Gavin Mortimer Gavin Mortimer

The ECHR has become a danger to Europe 

The European Court of Human Rights (photo: iStock)

Rishi Sunak will never stop the boats, just as Giorgia Meloni won’t nor Emmanuel Macron, not that the president of France seems inclined to do so.  

No president or prime minister will be able to take back control of their borders until, as O’Flynn states in today’s Coffee House, they leave the European Court of Human Rights. The Court, aided and abetted by its allies in individual countries, is now wilfully interfering with government policy. And in the process it is endangering the lives of Europeans.  

You may remember an article written in these pages a week ago by Andrew Tettenborn, professor of law at Swansea Law School. It was titled ‘If France can ignore the ECHR, why can’t we?’  

Tettenborn described the case of a man known only as ‘MA’, a 39-year-old Uzbek exile, whom the French intelligence service considered ‘radicalised’ and ‘very dangerous’ on account of his Islamic extremism, which he denies. The man had fled Uzbekistan after facing criminal proceedings in 2015 and ended up in France having been denied refugee status in Estonia.   

France served him with a deportation order, which he contested at the European Court of Human Rights. The Court prevented the Uzbek’s deportation on the grounds that he might face torture in Uzbekistan, despite the fact he had returned voluntarily to his homeland for short periods in 2018 and 2019 without molestation (although this is contested by his lawyer). The French interior minister, Gerald Darmanin, ignored the ECHR ruling, deeming Uzbekistan safe, and the man was deported on November 14 in defiance of the ECHR. 

Expressing his support of Darmanin’s decision, Tettenborn wrote that ‘it’s hard to see why anyone in France should be expected to lift a finger to protect someone subject to the allegations faced by MA.’ 

But a finger was lifted. Last Thursday, France’s Council of State ordered the return of the Uzbek and informed Darmanin that he must ‘take all necessary measures as soon as possible’ to achieve this – and ‘at the State’s expense’.

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