It is sometimes asserted that leaving the ECHR would make us like Belarus – that’s to say, like a nation in which justice does not reign.
Given that liberty flourished in Britain long before the ECHR existed – during times when most of the rest of Europe was under the jackboot of dictators – this might be considered a somewhat hysterical view. And after all, we would still have human rights laws and judges to rule on them if we departed.
But if we really would be like Belarus after quitting, why aren’t we like Azerbaijan by staying? I ask only because though that country may be an ally, it is not by any stretch of the imagination a liberal democracy, as it is has just reminded us by banning journalists from reporting on the European Games.
That judges from Azerbaijan sit on the ECHR at all compromises its legitimacy. Which means that ours in turn is also compromised – unless one is to claim that what’s good for the Belarusian goose isn’t good for the Azerbaijani gander…or that both comparisons are misconceived in the first place.