Jill Barrett gives evidence on treaty scrutiny to parliamentary committee

October 9, 2019

Jill Barrett has submitted written evidence to the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s Inquiry on Parliamentary Scrutiny of Treaties. Her evidence is in two parts, published here (sole authorship) and here (co-authored). This inquiry is considering what the constitutional relationship between the Government and Parliament in relation to international treaties and agreements should be, whether new legislation is required, and what parliamentary mechanisms need to be set up.

Jill’s evidence is 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. She is the lead author of a forthcoming book on Good Treaty Practice, to be published by Cambridge University Press in early 2020.

Several parliamentary committees have recently considered this issue in light of the increased volume of Brexit-related treaties that require scrutiny as well as public concerns about some of them, especially those relating to international trade. She was consulted earlier this year by the House of Lords European Union Select Committee on treaty scrutiny issues relating to Brexit-related treaties and by the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution on its Inquiry on Parliamentary Scrutiny of Treaties. The latter’s report published in April 2019, cites Jill’s opinions and draws upon her evidence to support its recommendations for reform.

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.