Wednesday 17 October 2012 by John Hyde

Attorney general Dominic Grieve (pictured) has categorically stated the government has no intention of withdrawing from the European convention on human rights.

Grieve told the House of Commons yesterday there is 'no question' of leaving the convention, despite justice secretary Chris Grayling last week hinting that withdrawal would be in the Conservative manifesto for the next general election.

Grayling had used his speech at the Conservative party conference to promise a 'clear plan' on human rights and said coalition with the Liberal Democrats was preventing reform.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Grayling attacked the current human rights framework and said he 'ruled nothing in and nothing out' in regards to leaving the ECHR.

But Grieve, speaking during a debate in the Commons, yesterday made made a spirited defence of the convention.

'We helped to draft it and we support it strongly,' he said. 'It has already contributed to widespread changes across Europe, including the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the recognition of the freedom of religion in the former Soviet countries, the prevention of ill treatment in police stations and elsewhere, and the removal of military judges from civilian courts.

'Those are all very good reasons for it continuing its very good work.'

He added that the government's ambitions for reform had already been largely met by this year's Brighton declaration, particularly on the extent to which the court should get involved in questions that national courts have already fully considered.

The next key step will be a draft protocol to reflect the required amendments to the convention, which is due to be completed by April 2013.

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