Picture of Dr Katharine DommettDr Dommett Discusses Conservative Proposal to Withdraw From European Convention on Human Rights

Dr Katharine Dommett spoke to BBC Radio Sheffield recently about Conservative party plans to curb the powers of the European Court of Human Rights.

It has been recently reported that a future Conservative government would be prepared to withdraw from the European convention on human rights unless parliament secured the right to veto judgements from the European court of human rights (ECHR).

Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield on Friday 3 October, Dr Katharine Dommett, Lecturer in the Public Understanding of Politics and Deputy Director of the Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics, commented: “This is a position that the Conservatives have held for a while. There’s not a lot of support for the Human Rights Act within the Party and it’s a very clear dividing line between the political parties at the moment. So, it is a very clear way for the Conservatives to offer a very distinctive message and to appeal to a group of voters who feel that British sovereignty is being eroded by what’s happening in Europe.”

When asked by presenter Rony Robinson if people generally understand how the European convention affects our human rights, Dr Dommett added: “It’s a very complicated convention and what we do tend to see reported in the media is a tiny proportion of the cases that are heard, most of which aren’t actually about Britain but other countries.

“What we do see in the media tends to be very sensationalised and there’s been some really interesting research, saying a lot of journalists who are reporting on these things don’t feel that they’re fully educated about the Human Rights Act works. So, it’s not really very surprising that we’re not getting a clear understanding of why this is important and why it’s important for the country to be signed up to this.”