International law

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The page will automatically redirect to International law 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 international law. 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
14.11.2016Brexit and the EU Court
The High Court has appealed to the Supreme Court for a decision on whether the Government can start the Brexit process by triggering Article 50 TEU using Prerogative powers. Some press reports said the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) would have the last word on this. But can the CJEU rule on matters of UK constitutional Law? Many experts believe that the question central to the case, but not ruled on by the High Court, was whether Article 50 can be withdrawn. If it can be revoked, then the argument that Article 50 notice leads inevitably to a loss of rights under the European Communities Act 1972 might not hold. This paper looks at the questions of revocability and referral to the EU Court.
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.
08.11.2016ISIS/Daesh: the military response in Iraq and Syria
US-led air strikes against ISIS continue in Iraq and Syria, alongside a training programme to build the capacity of Iraqi security forces and local fighters. The UK has been conducting airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq since September 2014 and has been providing training assistance to Iraqi security forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga. Following a vote in Parliament in December 2015 the UK expanded its air campaign into Syria. The campaign to liberate Mosul in northern Iraq has begun and attention is increasingly focused on the eventual liberation of Raqqa in Syria.
25.10.2016Commons Library Analysis of the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [HL] (Bill 66 of 2016-17)
This Briefing Paper has been prepared for the second reading debate of the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [HL] 2016-17 on 31 October 2016. The Bill would enable the UK to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and accede to its two Protocols.
04.10.2016International Child Abduction
This note sets out in summary the legal remedies to return a child following international child abduction, and also the permitted exceptions. Those affected by international child abduction should seek appropriate legal advice, and also contact Reunite International.
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.
29.07.2016Disputes over the British Indian Ocean Territory: July 2016 update
This briefing describes the main developments since mid-2013 in long-running disputes over the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). A UK Government decision on Chagossian resettlement is pending. The status of the Marine Protected Area is contested. There has been no progress on sovereignty. Mauritius says it will seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice. The future of the US military base on Diego Garcia must be decided by the end of the year. Meanwhile, there continues to be litigation in the English courts.
28.07.2016Brexit: some legal and constitutional issues and alternatives to EU membership
This paper considers how the UK will leave the EU, some legal and constitutional issues, and possible alternatives to EU membership. What is the process for leaving the EU? Will the UK join a different grouping of states or go it alone? Will EU or UK citizens or businesses have any vested rights?
12.07.2016The South China Sea dispute: July 2016 update
Southeast Asia is home to a range of complex territorial disputes, but the most intractable and combustible is the South China Sea dispute. Tensions between the rival countries have been on the rise in recent years. An Arbitral Tribunal constituted under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea has ruled in favour of the Philippines in a case brought by that country against China.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
27.05.2016Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [HL]: Briefing for Lords Stages
This House of Lords Library briefing provides information in support of the House of Lords' consideration of the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [HL].
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.
30.10.2015Impact of Pornography on Society
This Library Note has been prepared in advance of the debate in the House of Lords on 5 November 2015 on the impact of pornography on society. This Note provides information on the definition of pornography and the current law on pornography. It also gives reference to recent evidence and a selection of key issues that have been raised in relation to the impact of pornography on both children and adults.
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.
10.07.2015The 'Responsibility to Protect' and the Application of this International Norm by the UK and the UN
This Library Note provides background information on the 'Responsibility to Protect' (R2P) concept; surveys instances in which the concept has been either invoked or considered by the UN Security Council; and summarises challenges to the concept and the position of the UK Government on the doctrine. It has been written to support the debate in the House of Lords on this subject scheduled to take place on 16 July 2015.
01.11.2013Debate on 7 November: The Armed Forces and Legal Challenge
This Note looks at some of the issues raised by legal challenges to the Armed Forces.

POSTnotes

DateDescription
15.12.2015UK Commercial Space Activities
The UK space industry had a turnover of 11.8bn in 2012/13.1 By 2030, the UK Government and industry want this to grow to 40bn. In December 2015 the Government published the UK's first National Space Policy, which sets out its vision for achieving growth. This POSTnote describes the UK space industry and potential barriers to growth.
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.
25.09.2015Deep Sea Mining
In March 2013, the Prime Minister said that deep-sea mining could be worth 40bn to the UK over the next 30 years. This briefing summarises the framework governing activity in international waters. It also describes the mineral deposit types being considered and the proposed extraction methods, potential environmental effects and mitigation options.
08.08.2014Alternative Currencies
This POSTnote outlines the different types and aims of these currencies. It also sets out how alternative currencies are being used and highlights regulatory and policy challenges regarding consumer protection, financial crime and taxation and benefits.
01.12.1990Proliferation control
This POSTnote reviews technical aspects relevant to improving international control over the spread of sophisticated weaponry. POSTnote 19. POST. 1990.

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
23.11.2011AMENDMENT OF THE ROME STATUTE OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
That this House notes the amendment to the 1998 Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC) adopted on 12 June 2010 in Kampala defining the Crime of Aggression; further ...
14.12.2010DETENTION OF PALESTINIAN CHILDREN IN ISRAEL
That this House notes with grave concern that every year Israel prosecutes an average of 700 Palestinian children from the occupied West Bank in military courts; further notes that ...
02.06.2010ISRAEL AND GAZA FLOTILLA
That this House is appalled by the loss of life associated with Israel's attack on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza; notes that UK and other nationals have been ...
24.03.2010INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT AND THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL
That this House notes the forthcoming meeting of the Assembly of States Parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in May 2010 in Kampala to reach an international agreement ...
18.01.2010CHANGES TO LEGISLATION ON UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION
That this House opposes any proposed changes to UK legislation on universal jurisdiction that would compromise the UK's obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention to seek out and ...

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