WMA Council Resolution on Proposed Legislation in UK on the Treatment of Migrants disregarding the injunction interim measures Rule 39 of ECHR
Adopted by the 223rd WMA Council, Nairobi, Kenya, April 2023
The WMA expresses its grave concern about reports that the United Kingdom (UK) government has proposed legislation that would allow ministers to disregard the injunction interim measures issued by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) under Rule 39 of the rules of the court in relation to the treatment of migrants. The WMA is committed to the principle of respect for international law. If enacted, this legislation would remove an important protection for people seeking asylum, other migrants and those health workers caring for them.
Rule 39 interim measures have prevented the forced removal of asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda, under a controversial offshoring scheme that the UK medical community has condemned on medical, ethical and humanitarian grounds.
Human Rights are only meaningful and effective if they are applied equally to everyone. Given the key role of the United Kingdom in drafting the European Convention on Human Rights, this creates a dangerous precedent that other nations might seek to follow.”