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British Conservatives’ Contempt for Human Rights

The UK’s Tories have been targeting the European Convention on Human Rights for more than a decade. Now, they appear closer than ever to abandoning it – a move that would betray Britain’s human-rights record and reputation and make it an international outlier, alongside Russia and Belarus.

EDINBURGH – For centuries, Britain has prided itself on being a bastion of liberty and the rule of law. British leaders have talked in glowing terms of the “golden thread” that connects the Magna Carta of 1215 and the Bill of Rights of 1689 to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) of 1950 and the Human Rights Act of 1998. Thus, the United Kingdom’s human-rights record has been central to successive governments’ efforts to exercise soft power globally.