Human rights

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The page will automatically redirect to Human Rights Research Briefings produced by the Commons Library, Lords Library and POST

Content published before December 2016

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on human rights. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
09.11.2016Applying to the European Court of Human Rights
Members of Parliament are often asked how constituents can take a case to the European Court of Human Rights. This Commons Library briefing summarises the main features of the process, and emphasises recent changes to it.
28.10.2016Investigatory Powers Bill: Lords amendments
The Investigatory Powers Bill would overhaul the framework governing the use of surveillance by the intelligence and security agencies and law enforcement to obtain the content of communications and communications data.This paper provides an overview of significant Lords amendments to the Bill.
19.09.2016The Philippines: September 2016 update
President Rodrigo Duterte took office at the end of June 2016 pledging to take a tough approach to criminals. Since then, over 3,000 people have been killed in his controversial 'war on drugs', about two-thirds at the hands of vigilantes. There have been protests both at home and abroad. Duterte is also pushing ahead with peace efforts in the south, where there has been a long-running insurgency, but observers worry that the new president could prove to be a 'loose cannon'.
26.08.2016Brexit: impact across policy areas
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers what impact Brexit might have. This will depend, among other things, on the Brexit negotiations, whether the UK stays in the European Economic Area and how the Government fills any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
25.08.2016The Occupied Palestinian Territories: recent developments
Security conditions have been worsening in the West Bank and Gaza in recent months, while the two-state solution seems to be going nowhere. The Palestinian leadership's attempts to gain state recognition have had some success, but have not improved the situation on the ground, as politics in both Israel and the Occupied Territories seem to become less conducive to a negotiated settlement.
27.07.2016The Supreme Court on Devolution
This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper provides information on the Supreme Court's role in devolution. The paper explains how cases on devolution reach the Supreme Court and summarises some of the most important cases since 2009.
27.07.2016Somalia: July 2016 update
Somalia remains highly fragile as it prepares for legislative and presidential elections in August and September 2016 respectively. Even at this late stage there are reports that the elections may be delayed. The elections will not be on a 'one-person one-vote' basis as was originally hoped. While it has suffered setbacks, Al-Shabaab remains a real threat.
20.06.2016Burma: June 2016 update
Burma has a new government, with Aung San Suu Kyi, who embodies the country's long struggle for democracy and human rights, effectively at its head. Is this the new dawn that so many have been hoping for? It is certainly a time for optimism -- but many huge challenges remain.
08.06.2016Kashmir: June 2016 update
India-Pakistan relations remain fraught with danger and mistrust, not least over Kashmir. In September 2015, with regular exchanges of fire across the Line of Control and continuing armed attacks against the security forces in Indian Kashmir by Pakistan-based groups, Pakistan's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, made more peace proposals. But India responded coolly at the time, arguing that Pakistan should end its support for terrorism first. Since then there has been little progress.
07.06.2016A new UK judge for the European Court of Human Rights
Who will be the UK's new judge for the European Court of Human Rights? This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the two-stage process, the UK candidates, and recent criticisms and reforms.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
09.09.2016Fragile States: Effects of Conflict
This Lords Library briefing provides information on fragile states and the effects of conflict, including information on widows.
21.06.2016Investigatory Powers Bill: Briefing for Lords Stages
This House of Lords Library briefing provides an overview of the provisions of the Investigatory Powers Bill ahead of its Lords stages.
12.05.2016Queen's Speech 2016 Day 2: Foreign and European Affairs, International Development and Defence
The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen's Speech over four days between 19 and 25 May 2016. This briefing is one of four prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.
15.02.2016International Women's Day 2016
This House of Lords Library briefing provides information relating to International Women's Day, due to be marked on 8 March 2016, and the theme this year of gender parity.
23.11.2015Freedom of Speech in Higher Education Institutions
This Library Note has been prepared to support the debate in the House of Lords on the protection of freedom of speech in universities on 26 November 2015.
10.09.2015Treatment of LGBTI Citizens Worldwide
This Library Note has been written to support the House of Lords debate on the global treatment of LGBTI citizens.

POSTnotes

DateDescription
22.10.2015Automation in Military Operations
Automated technology is increasingly used in military activities such as intelligence gathering, navigation and weapons delivery. The most widespread use of automated technology to date has been remotely piloted air systems. However, each of the main military domains - air, land and sea - make use of automation. This POSTnote outlines current and potential future applications of automation in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and in combat. It then summarises debate over legal, ethical and societal issues, including debate over whether a pre-emptive ban is needed on future lethal autonomous weapons systems.
22.07.2014Big Data and Public Health
This POSTnote examines the sources of data, their current and potential uses for health improvement, and the legal and practical issues raised by data use for public health or research purposes.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
01.10.2011Legislative scrutiny: Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill - government response to the...
Government response. Home Office report [Commons]
14.09.2011FCO's human rights work 2010-11.
Government response. Foreign and Commonwealth Office report [Commons]
06.09.2011Terrorism Act 2000 (Remedial) Order 2011: stop and search without reasonable suspicion (second report)....
Human Rights Joint Select Committee report [Commons and Lords]
11.06.2011Legislative scrutiny: Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill; Armed Forces Bill.
Human Rights Joint Select Committee report [Commons and Lords]
07.06.2011Legislative scrutiny: Education Bill and other bills.
Human Rights Joint Select Committee report [Commons and Lords]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
08.02.2012DETERIORATING HUMAN RIGHTS IN TIBET
That this House strongly condemns the Chinese security forces' unwarranted use of force including opening fire on unarmed demonstrators to quash peaceful protests in Tibet; is greatly ...
25.01.2012INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY
That this House supports International Women's Day on 8 March 2012; celebrates the political, social and economic advancement of women while recognising the urgent need for further ...
11.01.2012HUMAN RIGHTS IN IRAN (No. 2)
That this House is concerned by the practice of execution by stoning in Iran; notes that stoning is a particularly repugnant and cruel form of execution; is concerned that stoning is ...
20.12.2011HUMAN RIGHTS IN KAZAKHSTAN
That this House is deeply concerned at reports of the killing of oil workers in Kazakhstan who have been protesting about their living conditions and the poverty of their region; condemns ...
20.12.2011GUANTÁNAMO BAY
That this House notes that on 11 January 2012 it will be a decade since the first detainees were incarcerated at Guantnamo Bay naval base; believes that Guantnamo detainees should either ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses