Committees

Committee Inquiries

Promoting Dialogue and Preventing Atrocities: The UK Government Approach – January 11, 2022

The International Development Committee is inquiring into the effectiveness of the UK Government’s approach to atrocity prevention, including the Government’s work in promoting dialogue and reconciliation between communities. This inquiry will use the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina as case studies, looking at the past and future. For more information please see:

https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1661/promoting-dialogue-and-preventing-atrocities-the-uk-government-approach/

 

UNCLOS: Fit for Purpose in the 21st Century? – October 15, 2021.

The International Relations and Defence Committee will investigate the extent to which the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), remains fit for purpose. It will examine the extent to which the enforcement of UNCLOS has been able to adapt to emerging challenges including climate change, autonomous maritime systems (and maritime drones acting as an early warning system for vessels) and issues of human rights and human security at sea. The inquiry’s website lists multiple oral evidence transcripts and written documents. Please see here for more detail:

https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1557/unclos-fit-for-purpose-in-the-21st-century/publications/

 

National Security Machinery – September 19, 2021

The Joint Committee on National Security Strategy has launched an inquiry into how best to establish effective national security structures to prepare for future emergencies. For example, the Committee is investigating how well the national security machinery operates- including the roles of advisors, government departments and agencies, and their coordination on national security issues which cross-cut departments. The committee has called for evidence to assist in their inquiry. For more information please see:

https://committees.parliament.uk/work/927/national-security-machinery/

https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/7375/documents/77226/default/

 

Withdrawal from Afghanistan – September 9, 2021

The Defence Committee is investigating the developments following the US agreement with the Taliban in February 2020 to withdraw NATO troops from Afghanistan. The Inquiry will also investigate the preparation and performance of the extraction of UK armed forces and evacuation of UK citizens and Afghans who had worked with the UK Armed Forces. Oral evidence transcripts and written evidence can be accessed on the Committee website. For further information please see:

https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1482/withdrawal-from-afghanistan/publications/

 

Government Policy on Afghanistan – September 1, 2021

The Foreign Affairs Committee is investigating the period international forces withdrew from Afghanistan in 2021. As the Taliban quickly gained control of the country after this extraction, the inquiry will examine the FCDO’s [previously the FCO] role in withdrawal, including how effectively it was planned and coordinated with other powers. It will also look ahead to the objectives of the UK’s future relationship with Afghanistan including security, counterterrorism, and human rights. Their website provides oral evidence transcripts in addition to written evidence. For more information please see:

https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1465/government-policy-on-afghanistan/publications/

Read the APPG on Drones and Modern Conflict submission to the Inquiry here: https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/40652/pdf/

 

Implementing the Integrated Review in Nigeria – July 22, 2021

The Foreign Affairs Committee is using Nigeria as a case study of Global Britain in order to discover ways in which multiple, and inter-related features of foreign policy engagement, can be organised together in the rational approach set out in the Integrated Review. Their website lists all reports, oral transcripts and written evidence used throughout the inquiry. For more information please see:

https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1216/implementing-the-integrated-review-in-nigeria/publications/

 

US, UK and NATO – July 22, 2021

Following the publication of the Integrated Review (and accompanying Defence strategies), commitments made at the NATO summit of June 2021 and the announcement by the US Administration that it will publish a Global Posture Review this year, the Defence Committee has launched an inquiry into how the UK intends to work with Allies to counteract the shared threats identified, underlining that relationships with NATO and the US are essential to the UK’s defence. For further information please see:

https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1428/us-uk-and-nato/publications/

 

The Navy: Purpose and Procurement – April 23, 2021

The Defence Committee has commenced an inquiry into the role of the Navy in the next 20 years. The published report details the threats the Navy is likely to face, and how it could improve its response to such developments in part by increasing its own digital capabilities, including hybrid force or jets, and drones to make use of real time information to enable instant reactions to threats. For further information please see:

https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/8205/documents/85026/default/

 

Defending Global Britain in a Competitive Age – March 17, 2021

The Defence Committee has launched an examination of the defence task and capability commitments in the Integrated Review. The Committee intends to evaluate how effective the commitments will be in responding to the threats the UK faces and how the Government will implement these commitments. For further information please see:

https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1122/defending-global-britain-in-a-competitive-age/publications/

 

New Inquiry: Tech and the Future of UK Foreign Policy – March 8, 2021

The Foreign Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry into technology and the future of UK foreign policy. The inquiry looks at emerging technologies that are fundamentally shifting the nature of international relations, in addition to the growing influence of private technology companies and the backing they receive from nation-states. The inquiry overall seeks to focus on the UK’s response to the challenges new technologies pose, and what the FCDO’s response to these developments are. For further information please see:

https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/78/foreign-affairs-committee/news/150600/new-inquiry-tech-and-the-future-of-uk-foreign-policy/

 

The Future of UK Aid – January 26, 2021

The International Development Committee is conducting ongoing scrutiny work into the changes to the aid budge. Work in the area includes scrutiny of the cut from spending 0.7% to 0.5% of the UK GNI on ODA, the merger of the FCO and DFID and conclusion of the Integrated Review. A Summary of the evidence collected can be found here:

https://houseofcommons.shorthandstories.com/IDC-future-of-uk-aid-written-evidence/index.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=tweet&utm_campaign=future%20of%20uk%20aid

 

Legislative Scrutiny: The Overseas Operations Bill – October 29, 2020

Investigations, inquiries, and litigation into incidents arising from the UK’s involvement in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have exposed rare but serious wrongdoing, including unlawful detention, breaches of the prohibition on torture and complicity in extraordinary rendition. They also exposed poor practices, procedures, or equipment on the part of the MoD that led to unnecessary deaths and injuries to UK soldiers. The Government introduced this Bill to limit the ability to prosecute for crimes after 5 years or to bring litigation against the MoD after 6 years. The Joint Committee on Human Rights found little to no evidence that people are being prosecuted when they should not. Instead, it identified inadequate investigations as the real problem. The Committee concluded that the Bill does not remove the need for investigations to be undertaken nor will not address the inadequacy of those investigations. It does nothing to address the issue of repeated investigations. For more information please see:

https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/3191/documents/39059/default/

Read the APPG on Drones and Modern Conflict submission to the Inquiry here: http://appgdronesmodernconflict.org.uk/appg-drones-written-submission-to-the-public-bill-committee-on-the-overseas-operations-bill/

 

The FCO and the Integrated Review – October 22, 2020

In February 2020, the Government’s announcement that it would conduct an ‘Integrated Review of foreign policy, defence, security and development’. Initially, few details about the Review process and strategic priorities were disclosed. In response, the Foreign Affairs Committee set out to examine the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) [now the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office] contribution to the Review process, to ask what role and resources the Review should give to the FCO for UK foreign-policy strategy. The Committee’s report made contributions to how Britain is viewed abroad, how the UK’s engagement with the world has been weakened, what is Britain’s role in the world, and what happens next. For more information please see:

https://houseofcommons.shorthandstories.com/foreign-affairs-a-brave-new-Britain/index.html

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5801/cmselect/cmfaff/380/38002.htm

Read the APPG on Drones and Modern Conflict submission to the Inquiry here: http://appgdronesmodernconflict.org.uk/appg-drones-written-submission-to-the-foreign-affairs-committees-inquiry-into-the-fco-and-the-integrated-review/

 

The UK and Afghanistan – July 24, 2020

The International Relations and Defence Committee has explored the UK’s diplomatic, military and aid strategy for Afghanistan, incorporating scrutiny of the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Ministry of Defence. It further considers the UK’s own work with international partners and the strengths of the agreement between the US and the Taliban for extraction of foreign troops to evaluate prospects for future discussions between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Their website includes reports, in addition to oral and written evidence. For more information please see:

https://committees.parliament.uk/work/455/the-uk-and-afghanistan/publications/

 

Drone Strike – June 2020

The Intelligence and Security Committee has announced that it will be examining the intelligence basis surrounding the recent drone strikes in which British nationals were killed. For the Chair’s statement on current priorities please see:

https://isc.independent.gov.uk/news/

 

The Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review – March 10, 2020

The Defence Committee inquiry explored how the Government should conduct its Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review. This inquiry aimed to identify lessons learned from the timing, methodology and structure of previous reviews of security and defence and consider international best practice. For further information please see:

https://committees.parliament.uk/work/112/

Read the APPG on Drones and Modern Conflict submission to the Inquiry here: http://appgdronesmodernconflict.org.uk/appg-drones-written-submission-to-the-foreign-affairs-committees-inquiry-into-the-fco-and-the-integrated-review-2/

 

The Role of Parliament in the UK Constitution: Authorising the use of Military Force – January 29, 2019

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee launched an inquiry examining the constitutional underpinning for decisions to use military force. The armed forces of the United Kingdom are deployed under the royal prerogative, as has been the practice for centuries. The decision to engage in armed conflict, whether alone or as part on an international coalition is taken by the Government as an exercise of prerogative power. Parliament itself has no legal role in authorising the use of military force. However, in practice Parliament has debated and scrutinised closely the use of force. In accordance with Article VI of the Bill of Rights, Parliament also authorises defence expenditure annually; and every five years renews the legal basis for the armed forces through an Armed Forces Bill. Committees of both Houses have produced reports concluding that the use of the royal prerogative by the Executive to deploy armed force is outdated; and that parliamentary approval should be sought for the use of armed force. Some now suggest that the convention governing the use of the royal prerogative has changed to require parliamentary approval. For more information please see:

https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/327/public-administration-and-constitutional-affairs-committee/news/101719/pacac-launch-inquiry-on-the-role-of-parliament-in-the-uk-constitution-authorising-the-use-of-military-force/

 

Oral Evidence: Evidence from the Prime Minister – 2016

The Liaison Committee has questioned the Prime Minister on the remit of this review by the Intelligence and Security Committee. Please see:

http://data.parliament.uk/WrittenEvidence/CommitteeEvidence.svc/EvidenceDocument/liaison/evidence-from-the-prime-minister-12-january-2016/oral/26761.htm

 

Government’s Policy on use of Drones for Targeted Killing – 2015

The Joint Committee on Human Rights is conducting an inquiry into the UK policy on the use of drones targeted killing. Their website features written evidence submitted, letters written and details of oral evidence sessions. For further information please see:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/joint-select/human-rights-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/uk-drone-policy-15-16/

 

Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights – 2014

The Joint Committee on Human Rights has heard evidence from UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson and the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation David Anderson QC on drones, counter-terrorism and human rights:

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/joint-committees/human-rights/JCHR_HC_1202_TRANSCRIPT_Anderson_Emmerson_260314.pdf

 

RPAS – July 22, 2014

The Defence Committee inquiry into RPAS: current and future UK use is now complete. For the Defence Committee report and the government’s response please see our Useful Reading List:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/defence-committee/news/new-inquiry-remote-control-remotely-piloted-air-systems—current-and-future-uk-use/

 

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmdfence/611/611.pdf

 

UK’s Participation in the UN Human Rights Council – 2013

The Foreign Affairs Committee has considered the UNHRC Resolution on Drones and the FCO response to Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson’s report:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmfaff/551/55112.htm#a40

 

Scrutiny of the Government’s UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report – 2012

The Committee on Arms Export Controls has made recommendations on the development of export control policy of armed drones, their software, technology and components, and the need for end-use undertakings:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmquad/186/18602.htm