Queen’s Speech 2022: Brexit—Retained EU law and the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

The Government is planning to make significant changes to the legal status of retained EU law and the post-Brexit regulatory landscape. This would be through a ‘Brexit Freedoms Bill’ and standalone legislation in areas such as procurement and data protection. There is also speculation the Government may introduce a bill to override parts of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

Queen’s Speech 2022: Brexit—Retained EU law and the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

Zimbabwe: conduct ahead of 26 March 2022 elections

Elections for some parliamentary and local government seats in Zimbabwe took place on 26 March 2022. Journalists and members of the Citizens Coalition for Change opposition party accused members of the ruling party of political violence before the poll. Activists and the opposition also said that there were irregularities with the voting register.

Zimbabwe: conduct ahead of 26 March 2022 elections

Reforming the Human Rights Act 1998

The Human Rights Act 1998 set out human rights protection from the European Convention on Human Rights in UK law. The impact of the act on parliamentary sovereignty and the criminal justice system, amongst other things, has been increasingly considered. Following several years of debate, the Government has recently revealed its plans to replace the act with a new British bill of rights.

Reforming the Human Rights Act 1998
  • In Focus

    Democracy under threat: a case for co-ordinated action?

    An ongoing decline in the global state of democracy has been identified by a number of recent reports, with restrictions introduced to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbating the issue. In December 2021, the United States held the ‘summit for democracy’ aimed at bolstering democracy. In the same month Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, called for democratic nations to form a “network of liberty” that spans the world.

  • In Focus

    AUKUS agreement to exchange naval nuclear propulsion information

    On 17 January 2022, the House of Lords is due to consider the agreement between the UK, Australia and the United States to exchange naval nuclear propulsion information. This article examines the details of the agreement. It also considers the international reaction to the formation between the three AUKUS security partnership countries.

  • In Focus

    Afghanistan: challenges for UK policy

    Even prior to the Taliban’s takeover, Afghanistan suffered from high levels of poverty and corruption and significant human rights issues. It was also heavily dependent on foreign aid. Many of these challenges have been exacerbated by the change of regime. This briefing summarises the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee’s report into UK policy towards Afghanistan and the Government’s response. It also considers recent developments and the potential future direction of UK policy.

  • Research Briefing

    Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Dayton agreement

    This briefing has been prepared in advance of a House of Lords debate on 16 December 2021 on Bosnia-Herzegovina and upholding the Dayton agreement. The briefing provides information on recent developments in Bosnia-Herzegovina, focusing on warning from the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina that the Serb member of Bosnia-Herzegovina presidency, Milorad Dodik, was pursuing tacitly secessionist policies. It also summarises the international reaction to these developments.

  • Research Briefing

    Accusations of genocide against Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China

    Several countries and parliaments have accused China of committing genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. The UK Government maintains that only a competent court can make this determination. However, the Times reported that the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Elizabeth Truss, had previously accused China of committing genocide. The House of Lords is due to take note of these reported remarks on 25 November 2021.

  • Research Briefing

    COP26: aims, goals and progress

    COP26 is an international climate change conference held under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It stands for ‘conference of the parties’ and is the 26th meeting of the parties to the UNFCCC. It is being held between 31 October and 12 November 2021. On 18 November 2021, the House of Lords is due to debate the outcomes of the conference.

  • In Focus

    UK Government policy on Iran: the Iran nuclear deal and dual nationals

    The UK’s relationship with Iran has been under pressure from several significant issues, including trying to restore the Iran nuclear deal and Iran’s detention of British-Iranian dual nationals. The Iran nuclear deal was designed to limit Iran’s non-civilian nuclear development in return for sanctions relief. The agreement has been strained since the US withdrew in 2018 and Iran started to breach it. This briefing looks at the UK Government’s policy on these two issues.

  • In Focus

    Belarus presidential elections

    The Belarusian presidential elections on 9 August 2020 saw President Lukashenko re-elected based on official results. However, media organisations have widely reported that the elections were not free or fair. The UK Government has described Mr Lukashenko’s subsequent inauguration as fraudulent. The election result has led to protests and allegations of human rights abuses in the country.

  • In Focus

    Antarctic Treaty: impact and relevance today

    The Antarctic Treaty is a framework for peaceful coexistence and scientific cooperation in the continent. It was ratified in 1961 by the 12 countries active in Antarctica at the time. 60 years since its ratification, the number of parties to the Antarctic Treaty has increased. However, the challenges facing the continent have also grown, including the threat of climate change to the continent’s ice sheet and the impact of tourism on local flora and fauna.

  • In Focus

    Magnitsky sanctions

    ‘Magnitsky’ sanctions target those responsible for human rights violations or corruption. The UK established a global human rights sanctions regime in 2020 and a global anti-corruption sanction regime this year, using powers in the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018.

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