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Weekly Update 30 September 2022

Weekly Update 30 September 2022

Dear Friends,

Secret laws violate the Rule of Law, sowing fear and chaos even in authoritarian societies. This was dramatically illustrated last week by President Putin's conscription decree to mobilise new forces for the war in Ukraine, as the category of people subject to conscription was reportedly contained in a secret paragraph. The regime claimed that it was mobilising only reservists and people with specialised military skills. However, flights sold out as ordinary civilians rushed to buy air tickets, while long queues of cars formed at border crossings to some neighbouring states. Meanwhile, agents of the Putin regime have been reported to be arbitrarily rounding up men in rural areas for the continuation of this brutal and unlawful war.

This week, we bring you news of recent sessions of the Bingham Centre's new Independent Commission on UK Counter-terrorism Law, Policy and Practice, which focused on policing and criminal offences, including complex and sometimes ill-defined "pre-emptive" offences. The Commissioners spoke with experts from academia, civil society and the senior ranks of police, and held a virtual roundtable with participants from Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand and Spain. The Commission's Call for Evidence remains open until 15 November 2022, and readers are encouraged to contribute or forward the call to others with knowledge, understanding or experience of counter-terrorism law, policies and practices.

Also in this Week's Update, you will find news of a call for papers on harnessing UK trade and investment to address modern slavery, and a link to a podcast in the Double Jeopardy series, where our Director, Murray Hunt, reflects on the apparent demise of the "Bill of Rights" Bill and the on-going investigation into Boris Johnson's statements to Parliament about "partygate".

As COP27 draws near, the commitments made by the UK when hosting last year's COP26 conference still need urgent attention. As the UK President of COP26, Alok Sharma, stated, "We can now say with credibility that we have kept 1.5 degrees alive. But its pulse is weak and it will only survive if we keep our promises and translate commitments into rapid action."

Readers are invited to register for online viewing of our high-level panel discussion on the Impact on Business of the UK's Climate Change Commitments, co-organised with the Jones Day Foundation which will take place on 13 October. Confirmed participants include Chris O'Shea, the CEO of Centrica, Professor John Paterson, an expert in corporate governance and energy law at the University of Aberdeen; and Ellen Fraser, energy expert at Baringa and regular commentator on the BBC and other media outlets. Further information and registration details can be found at the end of this email.

We also recommend the London Conference on International Law on 11-12 October, which is co-convened by a consortium of leading organisations in the international law field, including BIICL. The Bingham Centre forms part of BIICL and the Centre's Director, Murray Hunt, will be speaking on a panel about the protection of human rights during crises. The overall theme of this year's conference is States in Emergency - International Law at a Time of Reckoning. Other speakers include International Court of Justice judges, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan and some of the world's leading scholars and practitioners of international law. Places are still available for booking here to attend this in-person event, which is taking place at the QEII Conference Centre in London.

You can read the whole Weekly Update here.

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