MIL-OSI UK: Equality and Human Rights Commission’s policies examined

Source: British Parliament News

15 January 2019
The Women and Equalities Committee continues its inquiry examining the enforcement of the Equality Act. The Committee has heard, over several inquiries, that individuals have difficulties in enforcing their rights under the Act.

Purpose of the session
This session will examine the role and effectiveness of the EHRC in the use of its enforcement powers. In particular:
The legal and policy framework for EHRC enforcement action
The EHRC’s policies on enforcement
The EHRC’s use of its powers in practice.
Witnesses
Wednesday 16 January 2018, Grimond room, Portcullis House. At 9.50am:
Niall Crowley, Independent equality and human rights expert
Barbara Cohen, Independent discrimination law consultant
Mike Smith, CEO of REAL
Nick Webster, Solicitor at Leigh Day
Further information
Image: PC

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Voyeurism (Offences) (No. 2) Bill: Lords third reading

Source: British Parliament News

14 January 2019
The Voyeurism (Offences) (No.2) Bill has its third reading, a chance to ‘tidy up’ the bill and make changes, in the Lords on Tuesday 15 January.

No changes have yet been suggested to the bill ahead of third reading. Members may discuss the progress of the bill at the conclusion of its Lords stages.
If no changes are made, then both Houses will have agreed on the text of the bill and it will await Royal Assent, when it will become an Act of Parliament (law).
Lords report stage: Tuesday 18 December
No changes were suggested to the bill ahead of report stage.
Third reading, a chance to ‘tidy up’ the bill and make changes, is yet to be scheduled.
Lords committee stage: Monday 26 November
Members discussed the recording of images which invade the privacy of persons and disclosure of images for the purposes of preventing or detecting crime.
Lords second reading: Tuesday 23 October
Members discussed a number of issues raised by the bill, including the online sharing of non-consensual intimate images, the targeting of vulnerable victims and the current Law Commission review into the classification of misogyny and misandry as hate crimes.
Lord Keen of Elie (Conservative), Lords spokesperson in the Ministry of Justice, responded on behalf of the government.
Voyeurism (Offences) (No. 2) Bill summary
This bill will aim to insert two new offences in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to cover the practice known colloquially as ‘upskirting’.
The new offences would apply in instances when:
without consent, an individual operates equipment or records an image beneath a person’s clothing to observe their genitalia or buttocks, whether covered or uncovered by underwear garments
the offender has a motive of either obtaining sexual gratification or causing humiliation, distress or alarm to the victim.
The bill would also ensure that the most serious offenders, where the purpose of the offence is for sexual gratification, are made subject to notification requirements (often referred to as being placed on the ‘sex offenders register’).
Further information
Image: iStockphoto

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Treatment of Members of Parliament examined by Joint Committee on Human Rights

Source: British House Of Lords News

11 January 2019
The Joint Committee on Human Rights takes evidence regarding free speech and the treatment of MPs

Background
The European Convention on Human Rights protects the right to freedom of expression, the freedom of association, and the right to privacy and family life. It also protects the right to free and fair elections. How can rights be exercised in a way which supports democracy? Some rights can be limited if necessary and proportionate in a democratic society. What is the correct balance between the right to protest, including to protest against things an MP has said, and the democratic need for MPs to have the freedom to represent their constituents and communicate with the public?
Purpose of the session
There are increasing concerns about the line between free speech and abuse and about the targeting of politicians, culminating in a recent string of incidents of harassment and intimidation outside Parliament. The Joint Committee on Human Rights will examine how to balance rights to ensure effective democracy in a public session on Wednesday 16th January from 3.05pm. MPs and Peers will ask witnesses, including leaders of backbench groups Graham Brady MP (1922 Committee), John Cryer MP (PLP) for their views on the scale of the problem and what they think is the correct balance between these human rights.
Witnesses
Wednesday 16 January 2019, Committee Room 1, Palace of Westminster
Sir Graham Brady MP

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Lords debates Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Source: British Parliament News

19 December 2018
Members of the Lords, including the shadow attorney general and a former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, will debate the remit of, and arrangements for the handling of evidence by, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, in the House of Lords on Thursday 20 December.

This is a balloted debate. They normally take place on a Thursday in the chamber. During debates, members are able to put their experience to good use, discussing current issues and drawing the government’s attention to concerns.
The debate was proposed by Lord Campbell-Savours (Labour), former member of the parliamentary Joint Committee on the Draft Charities Bill 2004-05.
Members expected to take part include:
Baroness Chakrabarti (Labour), shadow attorney general and council member of law reform and human rights organisation JUSTICE
Lord Hunt of Wirral (Conservative), chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Legal and Constitutional Affairs 
Lord Paddick (Liberal Democrat), former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service
Baroness Barran (Conservative), government whip, will respond on behalf of the government.
Further information
Image: iStockphoto

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Lords examines Voyeurism (Offences) (No. 2) Bill

Source: British Parliament News

19 December 2018
The Voyeurism (Offences) (No.2) Bill had its report stage, a further chance to examine the bill and make changes, in the Lords on Tuesday 18 December.

No changes were suggested to the bill ahead of report stage.
Third reading, a chance to ‘tidy up’ the bill and make changes, is yet to be scheduled.
Lords committee stage: Monday 26 November
Members discussed the recording of images which invade the privacy of persons and disclosure of images for the purposes of preventing or detecting crime.
Lords second reading: Tuesday 23 October
Members discussed a number of issues raised by the bill, including the online sharing of non-consensual intimate images, the targeting of vulnerable victims and the current Law Commission review into the classification of misogyny and misandry as hate crimes.
Lord Keen of Elie (Conservative), Lords spokesperson in the Ministry of Justice, responded on behalf of the government.
Voyeurism (Offences) (No. 2) Bill summary
This bill will aim to insert two new offences in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to cover the practice known colloquially as ‘upskirting’.
The new offences would apply in instances when:
without consent, an individual operates equipment or records an image beneath a person’s clothing to observe their genitalia or buttocks, whether covered or uncovered by underwear garments
the offender has a motive of either obtaining sexual gratification or causing humiliation, distress or alarm to the victim.
The bill would also ensure that the most serious offenders, where the purpose of the offence is for sexual gratification, are made subject to notification requirements (often referred to as being placed on the ‘sex offenders register’).
Further information
Image: iStockphoto

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: The use of non-disclosure agreements in discrimination cases examined

Source: British Parliament News

18 December 2018
The Women and Equalities Committee holds the first two sessions as part of its inquiry into the use of non-disclosure agreements in discrimination cases.

The sessions will be held on Wednesday 19 December 2018.
First session
MPs question individuals who have experience of dealing directly with employees with discrimination complaints and knowledge of how NDAs are used in such cases.
The session will focus on:
how NDAs are used in discrimination cases and whether they are more likely to be used with particular types of discrimination
access to legal advice on NDAs and the role of lawyers in negotiating agreements
the effect of NDA use on individual employees and workplace culture more widely
whether the use of NDAs should be banned or restricted to prevent misuse
whether safeguards and systems could be implemented to prevent misuse.
Witnesses
Committee Room 16, Palace of Westminster.
At 09.30am
Rosalind Bragg, Director, Maternity Action
Seamus Dooley, Assistant General Secretary, National Union of Journalists
Joeli Brearley, Founder, Pregnant Then Screwed
Emma Webster, Joint CEO and Senior Solicitor, Your Employment Settlement
Second session
The Committee examines recent changes in California, where new laws to restrict the use of NDAs in sexual harassment and sex discrimination cases are coming into force.
Areas of questioning include:
operation of the new laws
public debate around the changes
operation of the legal system in California
restrictions on the use of NDAs elsewhere in the United States.
Witness (appearing via video link)
Grimond Room, Portcullis House.
At 2.30pm
Peter Rukin, Partner at Rukin Hyland & Riggin LLP
Further information
Image: PC

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Lords debates impact of sport, recreation and the arts on society

Source: British Parliament News

18 December 2018
Members of the Lords, including the former director of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, will debate how sport, recreation and the arts contribute to the wellbeing of society, in the House of Lords on Wednesday 19 December.

This is a general debate. During debates, members are able to put their experience to good use, discussing current issues and drawing the government’s attention to concerns.
The debate was proposed by Lord Moynihan (Conservative), former director of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Members expected to take part include:
Lord Addington (Liberal Democrat), vice president of the UK Sports Assocation
Baroness Bull (Crossbench), member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council
Lord Howarth of Newport (Labour), president of the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance
Baroness Sater (Conservative), chair and trustee of community sports charity StreetGames UK
Viscount Younger of Leckie (Conservative), government whip and former Lords spokesperson in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, will respond on behalf of the government.
Further information
Image: iStockphoto

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Human Rights in International Agreements inquiry launched

Source: British House of Commons News

13 December 2018
The Joint Committee on Human Rights launches inquiry into whether parliament should set up a specific mechanism to scrutinise international agreements for compliance with human rights and what processes should be followed to ensure adequate scrutiny of compliance with human rights standards in international agreements post-Brexit.

Background
International Agreements contain increasingly important provisions in a modern, globalised world and can have significant impacts on a huge variety of areas. Deals done in such agreements can impact on the human rights of those living in the UK and also the human rights of those living overseas. This could involve justice or home affairs treaties, such as mutual legal cooperation or extradition treaties, or trade deals allowing businesses special access to markets or the export of goods that could be used in human rights violations. All of these agreements have the potential to impact human rights, such as the rights of workers, the right to be free from servitude and forced labour, and the right to privacy of data as it passes across borders.
Send us your views
The Joint Committee on Human Rights seeks written evidence on the best mechanisms to ensure that human rights are protected in the UK’s future international agreements.  In particular we are interested in the following questions:
Should the UK Parliament have better mechanisms for scrutinising the human rights protections contained in international agreements contemplated by the UK?  If yes, what processes, information and analysis might be appropriate? What should the JCHR’s role be?
Should the UK require standard clauses in international agreements to protect human rights?  For example: 

should the UK require a standard exemptions clause such that nothing in the agreement prevents the UK from adopting measures necessary for the protection of the UK’s domestic and international human rights obligations?
should the UK require a standard suspension clause to highlight the importance of human rights in inter-State relations and to provide for potential sanctions if human rights standards slip below a certain threshold?
how should UK international trade rules ensure adequate restrictions continue to apply to the export of equipment that could be used in human rights abuses, such as torture?

The House of Lords Constitution Committee is also inquiring into Parliamentary Scrutiny of treaties more broadly.
Send a submission to the Human Rights Protections in International Agreements inquiry
Submissions should be no more than 1,500 words.  The deadline for submissions is Monday 14 January 2019.
The Committee is likely to take evidence early in the New Year so prompt submission is particularly helpful
Further information
Image: iStockphoto

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Human rights in learning disability inpatient units examined

Source: British Parliament News

10 December 2018
The Joint Committee on Human Rights hears from people with learning disabilities who have been detained, and from family members of people with autism who have been detained.

The purpose
The purpose of the session is to hear about:
The experiences of those with learning disabilities and/or autism of inpatient settings, and the views of families
Their views on restraint and/or isolation in these settings
How they think the human rights of those with learning disabilities and/or autism can be better protected.
Witnesses
Wednesday 12 December, Committee Room 2, Palace of Westminster.
Panel 1
At 3.45pm
Paul Scarrott and Pam Bebbington, My Life My Choice
Pam Bebbington and Paul Scarrott both work with the charity My Life, My Choices, as a self advocacy organisation that seeks to “raise the self-esteem, confidence and quality of life for people with learning disabilities by providing training, employment, volunteering and social opportunities for our members.”
Panel 2
4.15 pm
Julie Newcombe and Jeremy, parents of young people with autismJulie Newcombe is a parent campaigner who co-founded the Rightful Lives exhibition to promote the human rights of people with learning disabilities and/or autism. Her 23 year old son spent 19 months in several inpatient settings.
Jeremy is the father of Bethany, who is kept in isolation and whose treatment has been extensively covered by the media.
Regulation is not enough
Committee Chair Harriet Harman said:

“We are shining a spotlight on the human rights of individuals who are being shut away and made invisible. Regulation is not enough.
The only way to stop abuses is to guarantee the full rights of these children, adults and their families.
We have seen welcome changes towards children on issues such as corporal punishment and learning how to listen to their concerns. Now we need a similar fundamental reassessment of how we are treating people with autism and learning disabilities.”

Further information
Image: iStockphoto

MIL-OSI UK News