From urging treaty scrutiny to be embedded in parliamentary processes to re-establishing the need for Commons consent in international trade agreements, PLP’s Head of Research Arabella Lang, and scrutiny experts Alexander Horne and Holger Hestermeyer respond to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s (PACAC) inquiry on The Scrutiny of International Treaties and other International Agreements in the 21st century.

Read the full evidence submission

Following recent developments which further erode rights and increase barriers to parliamentary accountability, Arabella, Alexander, and Holger urge the following recommendations to make treaty scrutiny and other international arrangements in the House of Commons more effective in upholding rights and holding the government to account:

  • all Departmental select committees include treaty scrutiny in their core tasks;
  • the Commons establish a new treaty sifting committee;
  • the Government do not use Memoranda of Understanding to enter into significant arrangements which affect individual rights, since such arrangements can be used to evade parliamentary scrutiny, or else such Memoranda should become subject to scrutiny
  • there should be a new requirement for Commons consent to important international instruments.

These developments include:

  • the implications of abolishing the Commons International Trade Committee;
  • the use and oversight of Memoranda of Understanding such as the UK-Rwanda MoU;
  • amendments to international agreements such as trade agreements or the Windsor
    Framework; and
  • using scrutiny of implementing legislation as a proxy for debating treaties and treaty amendments.

Read the full evidence submission

Read PLP’s evidence to the inquiry from October 2021