Joint Committee on Human Rights adopts Dr Sam Fowles’ recommendations on human rights in international treaties
13 Mar 2019
Public Law and Judicial Review
The Joint Committee on Human Rights yesterday published its report into human rights in international agreements.
Dr Sam Fowles appeared as an expert witness before the Committee during its inquiry. The Committee’s report has adopted his arguments that:
- Parliamentary scrutiny of international agreements is inadequate. The UK constitution is outdated in relation to international treaties and should be updated to allow Parliament to play an enhanced role in scrutinising agreements.
- Human rights protection clauses can play an important role in protecting human rights in international treaties but they will not always offer sufficient protection alone.
- Human rights protection clause must, if they are to be effective, be complemented by fair and accountable enforcement mechanisms.
The Committee adopted several of Fowles’ recommendations including:
- Human rights protection clauses should be included as standard.
- The Joint Committee on Human Rights should play an enhanced role in scrutinising the human rights aspects of international treaties.
- The UK’s constitutional arrangements for the scrutiny of treaties should be updated.
You can read the transcript of the evidence session here.