Which countries have left the European Convention on Human Rights, and why?

Which countries have left the European Convention on Human Rights, and why?
Braverman says only solution to immigration 'problem' is to withdraw from ECHR
Sky News

She may well have been sacked as home secretary this week, but Suella Braverman is still making headlines from the backbenches, as she’s penned another controversial newspaper article, this time calling on her former boss Rishi Sunak to make sure the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) does not apply to emergency legislation to revive the Conservatives' unlawful Rwanda plan.

Writing in The Telegraph on Thursday, the MP for Fareham, near Hampshire, said such a bill must “circumvent the lengthy process of further domestic litigation” and “exclude all avenues of legal challenge” such as the ECHR, “entirety” of the Human Rights Act and the Refugee Convention.

For those unfamiliar with the ECHR, it covers just a few minor and inconvenient human rights protections such as the right to life, prohibition of slavery and forced labour, right to a fair trial and the right to marry.

You know, no biggie…

And so, as politicians debate the merits of being a signatory to the ECHR – the convention enforced by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) which famously grounded the first Rwanda flight last year – it might be worth reminding people exactly what company the UK would find itself in if it decided to pull out of the ECHR.


Vladimir Putin’s Russia informed the secretary general of the Council of Europe in March 2022 that the country would be leaving the Council and denouncing the ECHR, one month after it carried out its illegal invasion of Ukraine.

In the same month, the international body decided Russia was no longer a member of the Council of Europe, and in September 2022, the Russian Federation ceased to be a signatory to the ECHR.


An ally to Putin, Belarus has never been part of the Council of Europe which is linked to the ECHR, and as such has never been a signatory to the Convention.

In March, around the same time the Council of Europe decided Russia was no longer a member, it chose to suspend all relations with Belarus due to its “active participation in the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine”.

And, at one point, Greece

Greece signed up to the ECHR in 1950, but temporarily left the convention in the 1960s when a military coup abolished democracy.

They rejoined the convention in 1974 when democracy was restored.

And so, people have been asking if the UK really wants to be associated with two countries involved in an illegal invasion of a European country:

Sunak is yet to go as far as explicitly call for the UK to leave the ECHR, but told reporters at a Downing Street press conference this week that he is prepared to “revisit” international relationships to “remove the obstacles in our way”.

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