The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and International Committee of the Red Cross (Status) Bill is a private member’s bill which was introduced in the House of Commons on 12 December 2023 by Dame Maria Miller (Conservative MP for Basingstoke). It is being sponsored in the House of Lords by Baroness D’Souza (Crossbench). The bill is scheduled to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 17 May 2024. The government supports the bill, with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office providing explanatory notes.

The bill would change the status of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to mean that the government could treat them in a similar way to international organisations of which the UK is a member. The CPA is an international community of Commonwealth parliaments and legislatures with a mandate to promote and strengthen parliamentary democracy. It is currently a registered UK charity. The ICRC is an independent organisation that works to provide assistance for victims of conflict and other violence. Its mandate is enshrined in the 1949 Geneva conventions and their additional protocols.

The bill would give the government powers to grant the organisations certain privileges and immunities through an order in council. It would also provide for references to international organisations in general legislation to include the CPA and ICRC. Before an order in council could be made, it would have to be approved by both Houses of Parliament.


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