Former Defence Secretary suggests human rights laws hinder the UK’s ability to capture terrorists

In a recent vehement condemnation, former defence secretary Ben Wallace censured the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) for what he termed the “lunacy” of its human rights regulations. These rules, he argues, have been preventing the UK from executing abroad raids aimed at capturing individuals suspected of terrorist activities.

Addressing the nation for the first time since his resignation from the Cabinet, Wallace asserted that the existing laws are forcing the UK either to eliminate perceived “enemies of Britain” or to allow them to continue their sinister plots without interference. The stringent international mandates, according to him, restrict the UK’s ability to conduct operations that may potentially lead to the rendition of suspects from one nation to another.

Reflecting on his tenure as the defence secretary, Wallace disclosed that he had encountered numerous plots and had taken necessary actions, albeit with limited options. He expressed his preference for having the ability to capture individuals who pose a significant threat to the UK instead of resorting to lethal measures.

Citing hypothetical situations, he indicated that even if there were plots being hatched in central African nations, the UK’s hands were tied, restricted to either taking lethal action or doing nothing, with capturing the culprits being off the table.

Wallace further commented to The Telegraph that unless the global human rights authorities adapt to the current transnational and technologically advanced world, it could drive nations to adopt more extreme countermeasures. He emphasised the necessity for an update in the stance on human rights, to allow for fair trials before an independent judiciary, rather than pushing nations to more deadly alternatives.

Drawing a comparison with the US operation that culminated in the killing of Osama bin Laden, Wallace stated that the UK would be unable to conduct a similar raid due to the existing legal framework.

His departure from the role of Defence Secretary in July sparked discussions within the Conservative Party, with factions led by the influential Common Sense Group urging for a commitment to exit the ECHR and its jurisdiction in the forthcoming election manifesto. Critics argue that the court is inundated with activist judges more inclined towards safeguarding the rights of criminals and terrorists rather than the general populace.

This rhetoric aligns with Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s stance, who is a vocal proponent of exiting the ECHR, asserting that it would facilitate control over the influx of small boats and allow for the expulsion of illegal migrants, a move that was previously thwarted by the ECHR in the case of deportation flights to Rwanda.

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