Bishop of Leeds asks about recent statements on the rule of law by the UK

Following a government statement on Russian aggression towards Ukraine on 10th January 2022, the Bishop of Leeds asked a question on perceptions on attitudes regarding the rule of law in the UK:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I note that the Statement refers several times to the rule of law, and I am delighted to hear the commitments made by the Minister and the Government. However, it has not gone unnoticed in the Russian press that there have been threats to the rule of law, not least by the Government here proposing legislation that might undermine international treaties. The Statement says:

“The free world must rise to meet the moment. Britain is stepping up and leading by example.”—[Official Report, Commons, 6/1/22; col. 170.]

That is not necessarily how it is seen elsewhere. Perhaps the Minister can comment on that. I do not ask the question to be awkward; I am simply concerned about it.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con, Foreign Office): My Lords, the right reverend Prelate raises the issue of the rule of law. As someone who regularly stands up and talks about the protection of the rule of law, I say that when we look at the global stage and Britain’s role on it, it is important that we are also at the forefront of ensuring that, domestically, we are doing everything to uphold the rule of law. We can make the case effectively only if our record also speaks strongly at home. Of course there are comments and challenges on the UK’s domestic position, but I am proud to represent a country where the rule of law prevails and we seek to protect the rights of individuals and communities—indeed, of every citizen—in our country.


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