The first deportation flight of migrants to Rwanda was cancelled at the last minute on Tuesday night following interventions from the European Court of Human Rights.
Here, the PA news agency looks at key questions surrounding the European Court and how it relates to the UK and this case.
– What is the European Court of Human Rights?
The European Court of Human Rights is an international court set up in 1959 to rule on individual or state applications alleging violations of the civil and political rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights.
– What is the difference between the Council of Europe and the European Union?
The Council of Europe is the continent’s leading human rights organisation, while the European Union is an economic and political partnership.
While Brexit represented the UK’s departure from the European Union, it is still a member of the Council of Europe and therefore remains beholden to the European Court and European Convention on Human Rights.
The European Convention on Human Rights was developed amid World War Two to ensure that governments would never again be allowed to dehumanise and abuse people’s rights with impunity.
It came into full effect in 1953 and intends to serve as a simple and flexible roundup of universal rights, which could be adapted over time.
Articles listed in the Convention include the right to a fair trial, right to liberty and security, and the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
The European Court of Human Rights confirmed that it had granted an urgent interim measure in regards to an Iraqi national, and it is understood the Court was considering a number of further requests.
PA understands that the appeals were considered by an out-of-hours judge on papers, overruling the UK rulings.
The European Court has indicated to the UK Government that the Iraqi national should not be removed to Rwanda until three weeks after the delivery of the final domestic decision in his ongoing judicial review proceedings.
– How does the European Convention relate to the UK’s Human Rights Act?
The UK was the very first nation to ratify the convention in March of 1951.
The Human Rights Act of 1998 enshrined the European Convention on Human Rights into British law, allowing the rights guaranteed by the Convention to be enforced in UK courts.
However, the Government has vowed to scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a new Bill of Rights, after a pledge to reform human rights laws was included in the Tory manifesto in 2019.