Dominic Raab has vowed to escape the “straitjacket” of European law, claiming that 70 percent of deportations from the UK are still blocked by Strasbourg. Speaking to the Justice Select Committee, Mr Raab said: “I don’t think its right that we have effectively straitjacket legislation coming in through the back door via a court.” He said that if the UK continues to “gold plate” the approach taken by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, Britain will be “unable to deport serious foreign national offenders”.
The Justice Secretary criticised the application of the Human Rights Act, saying: “The obvious one is the deportation of foreign national offenders.
“I think the use of Article 8, for example, the right to family, by foreign national offenders to frustrate deportation orders is wrong.
“If we gold plate the approach that Strasbourg takes we are going to be unable to deport serious foreign national offender.
“Some 70 percent of successful human rights appeals against deportation are still Article 8.”
But Mr Raab caveated his criticism warning that the UK should never “send someone back to the arms of a torturing state”, pledging that “the prohibition on torture is absolute, even pulling out of the ECHR”.
The Justice Secretary is currently preparing a UK Bill of Rights, which he said would “curb abuses of the system and inject a bit more common sense into human rights law.”
Announcing the plans, the Justice Secretary said it would “curb abuses of the system and inject a bit more common sense into human rights law.”
He said the legislation would “make crystal clear that the UK Supreme Court is not subordinate to the European Court of Human Rights”.
While the Government said Britain would not abandon the European Convention on Human Rights, the bill would see the UK Supreme Court in London become the ultimate arbiter on human rights over Strasbourg.
He told MPs that the bill is intended to curb “elastic interpretations” of human rights that have developed through court rulings.
Mr Raab said these had developed without “meaningful democratic oversight” by Parliament.
Former Prime Minister Liz Truss scrapped the Bill of Rights when she entered office but it has been championed by Mr Raab, who was reappointed to the Justice Department by Rishi Sunak.
Speaking to the Justice Select Committee this afternoon, Mr Raab signalled opposition to withdrawing from the European Convention on human rights, saying he could see “immediate downsides”.
He also claimed that withdrawing from the convention would not solve the issue of channel because the UK would still face legal obligations to protect asylum seekers.
The Deputy Prime Minister said he would want to see a proper cost-benefit analysis of any proposal to withdraw from the convention.