Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights Harriet Harman has written to Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove, setting out several issues which the Committee is likely to take an interest in.
More here incl letter to Michael Gove.
Questions which the Committee is keen to explore include:
Can the Government confirm that it has officially ruled out withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)?
Is the Government ruling out ending the UK obligation under international law (ECHR Article 46) “to abide by the final judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in any case to which they are parties”?
What consideration has been given to the possible impact of changes to human rights framework on Britain’s standing abroad, and role of the Foreign [and Commonwealth] Office in the consultation?
What are the proposals – and budget - for wider public consultation?
What approach will the Government take to consultation of devolved institutions and ensuring that views of different parts of the UK are heard?
Committee Chair Harriet Harman said:
“In the first six months, Government proposals have gone from a Bill in the Queen’s Speech, to “proposals” to “a consultation.” The timescale has moved from the first 100 days to “this autumn” and then “in a few months’ time.” There is no more clarity about the government’s plans than there was back in May: we have no indication as to whether the Govt intends to publish a White Paper, draft clauses or indeed a draft Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny. It’s essential that such a vital issue is widely scrutinised and debated – and not just by politicians and lawyers. 12 weeks is not enough.”
#HRA and #BoR
Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights Harriet Harman has written to Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove, setting out several issues which the Committee is likely to...
Earlier this afternoon I was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at The Spectator magazine annual awards ceremony in central London. A full list of The Spectator awards 2015 recipients can be found...
Drones inquiry: Joint Committee on Human Rights asks for clarification of Government’s policy, invites witnesses
Following the announcement of the drones inquiry by the Joint Committee on Human Rights last week, Committee Chair Harriet Harman has written to the Attorney General Jeremy Wright, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and and Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon to indicate some of the ways in which the Committee has asked the Government to assist the Committee with its inquiry.The letter is published on the committee’s website.
In view of the centrality of the legal framework to the subject-matter of the Committee’s inquiry, and the importance of legal advice in the decision-making process leading to the authorisation of a drone strike, the Committee has invited oral evidence from Government lawyers and the military on this matter. The Committee will also be inviting several leading experts in the field and military personnel with operational experience of drone strikes to give evidence and intends to conclude its inquiry by taking evidence from the Attorney General, the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for Defence.
The Committee also intends to visit RAF Waddington, the base from which drone strikes are launched in the UK, to see for themselves the physical setting from which strikes are launched and the conditions in which the personnel work.
The Committee has requested from the ministers a clear statement of the Government’s policy on the use of drones for targeted killing; a comprehensive description of the legal framework, the existing guidance, the decision making process which precedes ministerial authorisation, and a summary of the existing accountability mechanisms. It has also asked a number of detailed questions which the Committee wants answered by the Government.
Committee Chair Harriet Harman said:
“The Human Rights Committee has begun its inquiry into the Government’s policy on the use of drones for targeted killing. In view of the strong public interest in clarifying the legal basis for the Government’s policy, we want to hear from the principal lawyers involved in advising the Government and the military on this issue. We will visit the RAF base from which drone strikes are launched. We look forward to receiving the Government’s response to the detailed questions we have asked in our letter.”
The committee has requested a response by Thursday 19th November 2015.
Drones inquiry: Joint Committee on Human Rights asks for clarification of Government’s policy, invites witnesses Following the announcement of the drones inquiry by the Joint Committee...