European Court of Human Rights is ‘in part an EU institution’, according to Labour leader
Jeremy Corbyn dropped a major legal clanger over the weekend after describing the European Court of Human Rights as “in part an EU institution”. The Labour Party leader’s error came during an interview on The Andrew Marr Show and was quickly seized upon by Adam Wagner, a human rights specialist at Doughty Street Chambers.
In a fiery interview with Andrew Marr, Corbyn said:
“On human rights issues I have made it very clear all the way through that we [Labour] would maintain our support and membership for the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights, which is only in part an EU institution.”
Following Corbyn’s assertion that the (ECHR) is “in part an EU institution”, Wagner quickly pointed out that it was in fact “a totally separate institution, arising from a separate treaty which well pre-dates the EU”. Embarrassingly for Corbyn, Wagner’s presumably well-meaning correction has garnered nearly 4,000 retweets.
Arghhh! Jeremy Corbyn just said on #Marr that the European Court of Human Rights is "in part an EU institution". It isn't! It's a totally separate institution, arising from a separate treaty which well pre-dates the EU and would remain in place whatever version of Brexit pic.twitter.com/uPy5JTodPr
— Adam Wagner (@AdamWagner1) January 13, 2019
In a series of follow-up posts, the Doughty Street barrister said Corbyn’s “very basic” error was a direct result of our country’s “leaders” failing “to grasp the detail of what the EU actually is.” Wagner continued:
“The right wing press have been *deliberately* confusing the EU and the ECHR for years to sow discontent. It’s not good enough — politicians should educate themselves.”