Shropshire Star

Raab to hold fresh talks with Strasbourg court on injunction reform

The Justice Secretary said other European countries are experiencing problems with rule 39 orders used to block the Rwanda deportation fight.

Dominic Raab

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has said he is “heartened” by the response to the UK’s efforts to overhaul the European Court of Human Rights’ system of injunctions.

Mr Raab, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, said many other European countries had experienced problems with the so-called rule 39 orders which were used to block the inaugural deportation flight taking asylum seekers to Rwanda.

He said that he would be returning to Strasbourg for further talks with the court after receiving a “positive” response to his first meeting.

“The first brush had a much better landing than expected,” he said in a briefing for reporters in London.

“One thing I was heartened by is how many other European nations are saying the same. There are lots of countries having similar problems around it.

“As a result, I thought that my experience of discussing it with both the secretary general (of the Council of Europe) and the judiciary in Strasbourg was very positive.”

The move comes as the Government is facing pressure from some Tory MPs to further dilute the role of the court in its Illegal Migration Bill currently going through Parliament.

Mr Raab said that while the Government was committed “to do everything we can” to remain in the European Convention on Human Rights, the issue needed to be dealt with.

He said they wanted to reverse the “mission creep” which had increasingly seen the orders regarded as binding.

“To begin with, they were only regarded by the Strasbourg Court as advisory. In the noughties, the court, without any mandate from states parties, said they’re going to treat them as binding,” he said.

“I think there’s a good argument for saying that they should do so only when, for example, there’s a serious and irreversible risk to life. These are the kinds of clarifications we would like to secure.”

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