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Weekly Update 11 February 2022

Weekly Update 11 February 2022

Dear Friends,

Rule of Law arguments continue to make the headlines. In a wide-ranging lecture entitled 'In democracy we trust?' to the Institute of Government on Thursday, the former Prime Minister Sir John Major stated that "The Prime Minister and our present Government not only challenge the law, but also seem to believe that they - and they alone - need not obey the rules". The continuing fallout from the "partygate" revelations for trust in the Government has been accompanied by further news this week that throws the Rule of Law concerns surrounding certain Government policies into sharp relief.

On Tuesday, the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, Marie Anderson, published her report into police handling of loyalist paramilitary murders in Belfast in the 1990s. The Ombudsman concluded that there was "collusive behaviour" on the part of the police in relation to these murders, including an inadequate response to loyalist weapons imports, the use of informants implicated in serious crimes, the failure to issue threat warnings, and the deliberate destruction of investigation records. Under the UK Government's Northern Ireland legacy proposals, the Ombudsman would be prohibited from carrying out these kinds of historical investigations. Preventing investigations, inquests, prosecutions, and civil claims regarding breaches of the law fails to uphold the Rule of Law. Last year, the Bingham Centre engaged with the Government's Northern Ireland legacy proposals  through events in the UK Parliament and at the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont, and we plan to continue this work.

In Parliament, the House of Lords has continued its scrutiny of the Nationality and Borders Bill. Peers including former UK Supreme Court Justice Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood cited the Bingham Centre's Rule of Law Monitoring of Legislation reports on the Bill in their arguments against clauses that appear to be inconsistent with the UN Refugee Convention. Senior Fellow Ronan Cormacain published the latest of these reports this week, and our Senior Fellow Tufyal Choudhury discussed the Bill's provisions on deprivation of citizenship for the Guardian's Today in Focus podcast.

In this Update, we also bring you news of our engagement with an EU Rule of Law regulation that is currently being reviewed by the Court of Justice, the incorporation of international human rights law in Scotland, the promotion of practical human rights knowledge in the citizenship curriculum in England, and the work of the Modern Slavery Policy and Evidence Centre, which is led by the Bingham Centre.

You can read the whole Update here.

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