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PACE rapporteurs react to vote on UK’s Illegal Migration Bill

Joint statement by George Katrougalos (Greece, UEL), rapporteur for “The European Convention on Human Rights and national constitutions” and Constantinos Efstathiou (Cyprus, SOC), rapporteur for “Implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights”

“In two resolutions adopted this week, based on reports we have prepared, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) calls on all Council of Europe member States to comply with interim measures issued by the European Court of Human Rights. The Court has made clear that failing to abide by interim measures is itself a breach of the Convention.

The Assembly also urges States to 'refrain from taking any steps which could exacerbate any potential conflict between the national constitutional order and the European Court of Human Rights'.

The UK Government’s amendment to the Illegal Migration Bill, voted on by the House of Commons tonight, would place on the statute book a provision that contemplates the UK Government deliberately breaching its international obligation to comply with interim measures.

It is of grave concern that this draft legislation foresees the UK breaching international law, thus undermining the rule of law. If such a provision becomes law, this would send a negative message, not only in the UK but also internationally.

We believe that, given the UK’s positive record before the Court to date and key role in developing this system, that is a matter of regret.

As this Bill continues its passage through Parliament, we urge UK parliamentarians in the House of Lords not to support the inclusion of this clause in the Bill.”