Forced Marriage - a wrong not a right
On 5th September 2005 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office jointly launched a public consultation on whether to create a new criminal offence relating to forced marriage. The consultation is neutrally balanced, setting out the arguments both for and against, and exploring practical issues including how a new offence could be framed and what the penalties might be. Consultation documents have been distributed widely and responses are invited by 5th December 2005. This is just one of a package of measures the Government is undertaking to combat forced marriage.
|Forced Marriage Consulatation (PDF, 636K)|
|'Forced Marriage Consultation - Abridged Version (PDF, 454K)|
United Nations Convention on the Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property
The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the United Nations Convention on the Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property (the UN Convention) without a vote in December 2004. The UNGA resolution, to which the UN Convention is annexed, is on the UN website: Resolutions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its 59th session, Reference A/RES/59/38.
The UN Convention is based on extensive work by the International Law Commission of the United Nations (including the 1991 ILC draft articles on the jurisdictional immunities of states and their property and the ILC report of 1999). Background information about the ILC work, as well as work on the UN Convention within the UNGA Sixth Committee, can be found on the International Law page of the United Nations website. There is also a summary note of a discussion about the UN Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property on the International Law page of the Chatham House website.
The UN Convention is open for signature until 17 January 2007. We are now in the process of carrying out a detailed comparison of the provisions of the UN Convention with our domestic law, in particular the State Immunity Act 1978, and the European Convention on State Immunity 1972 (to which the UK is party). While the precise language of the UN Convention may of course differ in some respects from that used in the 1978 Act, we will need to consider whether a compatible interpretation of the 1978 Act by our courts can realistically be expected. This process will assist a decision to be made as regards whether the UK should sign and ratify the UN Convention, and do so without primary legislation.
In the past, during the course of the negotiations that led to the adoption of the UN Convention, we have received views from a number of interested parties within and outside Government. We would now welcome views on whether the United Kingdom should sign and eventually ratify the UN Convention and whether ratification would require any amendment to the State Immunity Act 1978. In particular, we would welcome comments on the extent to which the UN Convention is compatible with UK law.
If you would like to submit comments please do so either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to:
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
Comments should be received by 30 April 2005.
Public Diplomacy Review
As part of the Spending Review 2004 settlement, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office agreed with HM Treasury to undertake a review on the effectiveness of Public Diplomacy work - promoting a positive image of the UK overseas. The review is led by Lord Carter of Coles, supported by a small secretariat in the FCO and an advisory panel of experts. The review findings are due to be reported during the summer 2005.
The terms of reference of the review are as follows:
To examine the effectiveness of current Public Diplomacy activities in delivering outcomes which contribute to the achievement of HMG objectives
To take stock of progress in implementing the Wilton Review (2002) through the work of the PD Strategy Board
To consider the scope for improving PD activities, both in London and overseas, to maximise their effectiveness and value for money
And to that end to consider the scope for increased joint PD activity and enhanced co-ordination taking account of experience with the PD Campaigns Fund and the PD Challenge Fund
To make recommendations as appropriate.
|Travel Advice Review (PDF, 273K)|
Consultation closes on 30 April 2004
|Strengthening the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention: Countering the Threat from Biological Weapons (PDF, 194K)|
Consultation closes on 13 September 2002
|Private Military Companies: Options for Regulation (PDF, 185K)|
Consultation closes on 12 August 2002
Seminar on Private Military Companies: Options for Regulation
International Criminal Court: Consultation on draft legislation
|Draft International Criminal Court Bill (PDF, 216K)|
Presented to Parliament on 1 August 2000
Consultation closed on 12 October 2000