The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is part of the Council of Europe, which is an entirely separate institution from the European Union. However, this is a distinction of which many newspapers seem to be unaware.
A number of publications frequently misrepresent the ECHR as being part of the EU. ECHR decisions are described as “EU decisions” and ECHR judges are described as “EU judges, and so on.
On Saturday, the Sun made the same mistake:
The ruling that is referred to in the subheadline came from the European Court of Human Rights, not the EU. The article itself makes reference to a “European Court” which, whilst not strictly inaccurate, is still not clear enough.
The online version of the article doesn’t include the subheadline, therefore no reference is made to the EU. However, as the article makes no attempt to point out that the court in question is the ECHR and is separate from the EU, the commenters are directing all their vitriol at, you guessed it, the EU.
This is a mistake that the newspapers consistently make. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Is it really too much to ask that the journalists, columnists and sub-editors who so often fall for this mistake do their research before writing?
(Big hat-tip to Antonia Mochan for the tip-off and for the image.)