Chris Grayling’s appointment as Justice Secretary in the reshuffle was the move that pleased Conservative MPs almost above anything else. Today he showed the House of Commons why his is a popular appointment.
Announcing the government’s intention to appeal against the European Court of Human Right’s ruling that indefinite sentences breach human rights, Grayling said this:
‘Of course the ECHR ruling this morning was very much about the issue of rehabilitation, something I feel very strongly about, something that needs to be clear and present within prisons as well as after prisons.
‘However, I’m very disappointed by the ECHR decision this morning. I have to say it is not an area where I welcome the court seeking to make rulings.’
In that statement, made at Justice Questions, the minister outlined his own appeal. He does believe in rehabilitation of offenders and in prison – as one Conservative MP pointed out to me on the day of the reshuffle, prison and rehabilitation are not mutually exclusive concepts – as well as being the eurosceptic that colleagues longed for when Ken Clarke held the brief. Grayling went on to remind MPs that the Commission on a Bill of Rights would look at a ‘new human rights framework’ free from ECHR interference.
At this year’s party conference, he is unlikely to have a row with his counterpart in the Home Office about cats and human rights as his predecessor did.Tags: Chris Grayling, Echr, Human Rights, UK politics