At the time of writing, the United Kingdom is grabbling with its decision to abandon its European Union membership. As the country is divided and hate incidents are increased by almost 50%, this think-piece presents a critical analysis of Europe’s missed opportunity for social justice. The paper presents evidence by analysing the civil and political rights jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights in order to explore the potential of what it calls the “human rights project” for a regional democracy. The paper shows that a key objective of the European Convention of Human Rights was the development of case law that would construct a regional democracy for bringing consistency in the enjoyment of civil and political rights across the continent. This “human rights project” was well underway, but is now hampered by contemporary forces of power and control that are ridiculing the work and status of the Council of Europe. The paper identifies three levers that move these forces, namely: financial and security terror as well as nationalism. The paper warns that if these forces are not managed, the backlash in social justice will continue while the human rights project for a regional democracy will come to its demise.
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