Human Rights and National Security at the UK’s Universal Periodic Review


Last month the United Kingdom was under the microscope at the Universal Periodic Review – a peer review mechanism that sees each UN Member State’s record scrutinised for its compliance with their international obligations every four years. During the interactive dialogue, 94 States made statements on the UK’s record. Concerns arising from the UK’s counter … Continue reading Human Rights and National Security at the UK’s Universal Periodic Review

Queen’s Speech 2017: UK Government to strengthen widely criticised counter extremism policy, despite serious human rights concerns


Rights Watch (UK) urges Government to address human rights implications of Prevent before pressing ahead with counter extremism agenda outlined in Queen’s Speech. Today, the Queen’s Speech affirmed that the Conservative minority Government intend to establish a commission for countering extremism ‘to support the government in stamping out extremist ideology in all its forms’. The … Continue reading Queen’s Speech 2017: UK Government to strengthen widely criticised counter extremism policy, despite serious human rights concerns

Rights Watch UK on BBC’s The Big Questions discussing Humanitarian Intervention


On Sunday May 7, 2017 Yasmine Ahmed, Rights Watch UK’s Executive Director, appeared on the BBC’s The Big Questions, hosted by Nicky Campbell. Yasmine joined a panel, which among others included Mukesh Kapila, professor of global health and humanitarian affairs at Manchester University and Kirsty McNeil of Save the Children, to discuss the effectiveness and … Continue reading Rights Watch UK on BBC’s The Big Questions discussing Humanitarian Intervention

Limited accountability: targeted killing, the ISC and the UK’s international legal obligations


    L Last month, the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (‘the ISC’) published its long-awaited report, UK Lethal Drone Strikes in Syria. The report sheds some light on the threat posed by the target of the UK’s drone strike, Reyaad Khan, but ultimately the report shows just how limited the ISC’s oversight function … Continue reading Limited accountability: targeted killing, the ISC and the UK’s international legal obligations

No impunity for state violence in Northern Ireland


Rights Watch (UK) calls on the Government to immediately reject the Defence Committee’s calls to impose a statute of limitations  The House of Commons Defence Select Committee issued a deeply concerning report today that called on the UK Government to grant impunity to British soldiers who committed abuses during the three decades of violence in … Continue reading No impunity for state violence in Northern Ireland

Intelligence and Security Committee ‘profoundly’ disappointed with Government’s lack of transparency on Syria drone strike


Today, the Intelligence and Security Committee published its Report ‘UK Lethal Drone Strikes in Syria’. The Report expresses disappointment at the Government’s failure to disclose vital documents, which hindered the Committee’s investigation. The Report investigates the UK’s targeted killing of Reyaad Khan, which was carried out in Syria in August 2015 without prior Parliamentary approval. … Continue reading Intelligence and Security Committee ‘profoundly’ disappointed with Government’s lack of transparency on Syria drone strike

Family of Pat Finucane Still Waiting for Justice


Today, the Court of Appeal in Belfast upheld as lawful the decision of the UK Government not to hold a public inquiry into the murder of human rights solicitor, Pat Finucane.  The solicitor was 39 years old when he was shot dead in front of his wife and three children by loyalist paramilitaries. This month … Continue reading Family of Pat Finucane Still Waiting for Justice

RW (UK) and others Intervene in Judicial Review of UK Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia for Use in Yemen


Next week will see the High Court rule for the first time on the lawfulness of the UK’s trade in arms to Saudi Arabia in the context of the conflict in Yemen. The judicial review brought by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) against the Secretary of State responsible for licensing exports of weapons will … Continue reading RW (UK) and others Intervene in Judicial Review of UK Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia for Use in Yemen

Most significant shift in a generation: UK Government aligns itself with US position on the use of lethal force


The Attorney General, Jeremy Wright, presented the United Kingdom’s legal position on the use of force in self-defence in a speech at the Institute for Strategic Studies on 11th January 2017. The position set out by the Attorney General is unsubstantiated under international law and dangerously eroding established legal limits on the use of force, … Continue reading Most significant shift in a generation: UK Government aligns itself with US position on the use of lethal force