Churchill and the European Court For Human Rights

Posted on June 15, 2022

The British government is looking at the possibility of removing the UK as a member of the ECHR so it can deport people to Rwanda.

The first thing people do not seem to understand is that the ECHR is nothing to do with the European Union. It was established after the atrocities of WWII by, amongst others, lawyers engaged by Winston Churchill. This was when the appalling human tragedy in Nazi Germany was still becoming fully understood.

Churchill – Johnson’s Hero?

Churchill was s strong advocate for the implementation of the court. He felt that it would not allow a single European state to act alone and with impunity with regards to human rights. The idea being that a nation such as Nazi Germany, would not be tolerated again. They would be held accountable for their actions.

We are told that Churchill is Boris Johnson’s hero and perhaps this is the case. Maybe Johnson is a big fan of Churchill’s, but only his chaotic and drunken character flaws and strategic military cock-ups. The ones we are not often told about in gushing history books, films and documentaries.

Churchill’s ECHR Role

However, whatever people choose to think of Churchill, one thing goes without saying. The establishment of the European Council and the ECHR was, on balance, a very good idea. Even his fiercest critics accept that Churchill deserves credit for being a major player in its inception.

In his speech of 19 September 1946 in Zurich, Churchill was the first to demand a need for, “a remedy which, as if by miracle, would transform the whole scene and in a few years make all Europe as free and happy as Switzerland is today. We must build a kind of United States of Europe”.

The Founder Fathers

In 1949 a European Council was established and the EHCR came into force in 1953. Its founding fathers were, Winston Churchill (UK PM) Konrad Adeneaur (German Chancellor) Robert Schuman (French Foreign Affairs) Paul Henri-Spaak (Belgian PM) Alcide de Gaspiri (Italy PM) Ernest Bevin (UK Secretary of State).

Whilst bar stool philosophers might think that Britain becoming a rogue state that breaks international law, is funny, it’s not really is it? It’s dangerous, destabilising and economically disastrous, carrying the threat of trade, or even physical wars.

Not funny at all, in my opinion.

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