Does the Overseas Operations Bill open the door to war crimes?

On 23 September 2020, Parliament voted in favour of the Overseas Operations Bill after its second reading. The Bill is part of the government’s plans to prevent ‘vexatious’ claims against military personnel, but Human Rights Watch have suggested that the Bill could prevent individuals being prosecuted for legitimate war crimes.

End the Ban: Why giving asylum seekers the right to work in the UK is common sense

Imagine trying to live off £5.39 per day. It almost sounds like the basis of a TV show. Unfortunately, it is the reality that asylum seekers face in the UK. Not only this, asylum seekers in the UK currently have to have been waiting on a decision on their asylum application for an entire year before they can apply for the right to work, the right to work that is so fundamental to our everyday lives and allows us the freedom to support ourselves and our families.

From Opium to Oppression: A Short History of The Relationship between the UK and Hong Kong

Over the last few years the political situation in Hong Kong has deteriorated markedly. Whilst Hong Kong had gotten used to a long period of democracy and autonomy from China, the last few years have been fraught with social tension, culminating with the introduction of a new National Security Law.

The UK’s ‘Magnitsky Laws’: an effective deterrent against human rights abuses or simply posturing?

Earlier this month, Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, announced that the UK would be sanctioning 49 individuals and groups accused of gross human rights abuses. This was the first time the UK had individually imposed sanctions for human rights abuses and in Dominic Raab’s own words, ‘“sent a clear message” in regard to the UK government’s position on these actions.

Climate change is killing us. Can human rights law provide protection?

Climate change is undoubtedly killing us. Climate change itself is not unprecedented and there are records of at least five ice ages in Earth’s history to attest to this. However, when we talk about contemporary climate change we are referring to the rapid climate change caused by the actions of mankind, which is certainly a first.

UK to resume selling arms to Saudi Arabia despite war crimes in Yemen

In a deeply disturbing move, the UK Government announced yesterday that it would continue to sell arms to Saudi Arabia despite its own findings that UK arms may have been used to commit violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) in Yemen.

Our elective dictatorship and the threat it poses

It seems to me that we find ourselves on a very slippery slope, and are further along that slope than we are perhaps willing to admit to ourselves. Arendt’s words have an uncomfortable resonance almost seventy years on from their publication. It is no coincidence that Oxford Dictionaries declared “post-truth” to be their international word of the year back in 2016.

Why human rights must stay universal, even in the face of terrorism

Terrorism is understandably marked as one of the biggest threats to the safety of the UK. It is callously used as a way to convey the message of abhorrent organisations and to spread fear in the wider public. In the UK the level of this threat has always varied, but since the turn of the century there has been a marked change, both in terms of motives and techniques.

UK arms sales and the humanitarian crisis in Yemen

The civil war in Yemen has led to the world’s “largest humanitarian crisis”, according to the United Nations. Despite this sobering statement, western media coverage of the civil war, and the resulting humanitarian crisis, has been fleeting. The figures, however, warrant being emblazoned on every newspaper’s front page.

Why saying ‘All Lives Matter’ denies the Black Lives Matter message

Following the death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has been reignited, arguably reaching a greater number of people worldwide than when the movement was first initiated. It has led countries across the world to reflect on their own issues of systemic racism, police brutality, and in the case of the UK, their colonial past.