Human Rights Protections in International Agreements examined

23 January 2019

The Joint Committee on Human Rights

Purpose of the session

The purpose of the session is:

  • Understand how international agreements can be used to promote and protect human rights
  • Explore what the Government is going to do to ensure that agreements made post Brexit promote and protect human rights
  • Explore the role that Parliament could play in scrutinising international agreements and whether the information received from Government is adequate to enable Parliament to perform this role.

What will be covered

Topics likely to be covered include:

  • Is it possible to protect human rights in International Agreements? If so, what sort of protections can treaties be used to impose, and on whom?
  • Should the approach to human rights protections in agreements vary as between different types of agreements (eg trade, extradition, data sharing)?
  • How should UK international trade rules ensure adequate human rights protections continue to apply after Brexit?  For example, what rules should apply to the export of equipment that could be used in human rights abuses, such as torture?


Wednesday 23 January, Committee room 3, Palace of  Westminster.

First Panel

At 3.15pm

  • Dr Lorand Bartels, Reader in International Law and Fellow, Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Sam Fowles, Barrister, Cornerstone Barristers
  • Dr James Harrison, Associate Professor, University of Warwick 

Second Panel

From approx. 4.15pm

  • Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and UN, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Richard Jones, Deputy Director, Human Rights and Democracy Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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