The Joint Committee on Human Rights is committed to ensuring that international treaties with significant human rights implications are subjected to proper parliamentary scrutiny before they are ratified by the executive, and that there is a meaningful opportunity for civil society to inform that scrutiny
Protocol 15 to the European Convention on Human Rights, which was signed by the UK on 24 June 2013, will amend the Convention to give legal effect to five changes agreed by Member States in the Brighton Declaration on the future of the European Court of Human Rights, adopted on 20 April 2012 at the conclusion of the UK’s Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. A copy of Protocol 15 can be accessed here:
and the accompanying Explanatory Report adopted by the Committee of Ministers can be accessed here:
The changes made to the Convention by Protocol 15 include the following:
- (1) adding to the Preamble of the Convention a reference to the principle of subsidiarity and the doctrine of the margin of appreciation;
- (2) changing the rules on the age of judges of the Strasbourg Court, to ensure that all judges are able to serve a full nine-year term;
- (3) reducing the time limit for applications to the Court from six months to four months; and
- (4) amending the admissibility criteria in the Convention to make it easier for the Court to screen out trivial applications.
The Committee intends to report to Parliament during the 21 day period in which the treaty is laid before Parliament prior to its ratification. It invites comments on any aspect of the Protocol from any interested person or organisation.
Submissions should reach the Committee by Friday 13 September 2013 and be addressed to Mike Hennessy, Commons Clerk of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Committee Office, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA (email: [email protected]).
- Electronic submission in Word or Rich Text format is requested, but a signed hard copy should also be sent.
- It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals submitting written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter.
- You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the Joint Committee on Human Rights will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. View guidance on giving evidence to Select Committees.
- Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.
- Evidence becomes the property of the Committee, and may be printed, placed on the Internet or circulated by the Committee at any stage. You may publicise or publish your evidence yourself, but in doing so, you must indicate that it was prepared for the Committee.
- Evidence published other than under the authority of the Committee does not attract parliamentary privilege. If your evidence is not printed, it will in due course be made available to the public in the Parliamentary Archives.
- All communications to the Committee about its legislative scrutiny should be addressed through the Clerks or the Chair of the Committee, whether or not they are intended to constitute formal evidence to the Committee.
- Evidence becomes the property of the Committee, and may be printed, placed on the Internet or circulated by the Committee at any stage.
- You may publicise or publish your evidence yourself, but in doing so you must indicate that it was prepared for the Committee. Evidence published other than under the authority of the Committee does not attract parliamentary privilege.