Jill Barrett consulted by Parliamentary Committees on Treaty Scrutiny

May 7, 2019

Jill Barrett has submitted written evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution’s Inquiry on Parliamentary Scrutiny of Treaties, at the request of the Committee. Her evidence is in two parts, published here (sole authorship) and here (co-authored).

She also briefed the Committee on the existing statutory regime on Ratification of Treaties in the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, at a private seminar at the start of their Inquiry in November 2018. Her evidence was informed by her experience as a legal adviser at the FCO, negotiating, drafting and advising on numerous treaties, and leading the government’s work on the Ratification of Treaties provisions in the 2010 Act.

On 30 April 2019 the Committee published its report calling for urgent reform. The Committee describes the current parliamentary processes of treaty scrutiny as limited, anachronistic and inadequate, and recommends the establishment of a new treaty scrutiny committee. The report cites Jill’s opinions and draws upon her evidence to support its recommendations. The Committee now awaits the Government’s response and debate.

The House of Lords European Union Select Committee has invited Jill to brief them on treaty scrutiny issues at a private roundtable on 14 May. Its purpose is to inform the Committee’s forthcoming report on learning lessons from its first experience of scrutinising Brexit-related treaties, which began in January 2019.

Jill previously gave oral evidence on treaty scrutiny issues to the House of Lords EU Committee at its Inquiry on ‘Brexit: Parliamentary Scrutiny’ on 6 September 2016. She also gave oral evidence to the House of Commons Committee on Exiting the European Union on the UK’s negotiations on EU withdrawal on 2 May 2018. Details here.

Her forthcoming book ‘Handbook on Good Treaty Practice’ is due to be published by Cambridge University Press later this year.