This bulletin for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Rule of Law has three sections: Rule of Law News and Events, APPG Meetings, and Current Awareness, which provides some background reading on topics that raise rule of law issues.

Rule of Law News and Events

European Union (Withdrawal Bill)
Bingham Centre publishes Rule of Law analysis of Clauses 1-6 of the EU Withdrawal Bill
The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law published a Rule of Law Analysis Report of clauses 1-6 of the EU Withdrawal Bill (the Bill) to inform the House of Lords Committee Stage consideration of those clauses. Informed by the work of the Expert Working Group, the Report assesses the extent to which the Bill meets its stated objective of providing legal continuity, certainty and stability for both individuals and businesses at the time of the UK’s exit from the EU. It makes a number of substantive recommendations, including in relation to the status and supremacy of “retained EU law”, the retention of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the interpretation of CJEU case law post-exit.
Progress of the Bill
Since the last bulletin the Bill completed its passage in the House of Commons and moved to the House of Lords. On 31 January, the Bill passed its Second Reading in the Lords without a vote. 187 members took part in the debate – the highest number on record for this stage of a bill in the House of Lords. On 29 January, the Lords Constitution Committee published its third report on the Bill, concluding that “[t]he Bill as drafted is constitutionally unacceptable”. On 1 February, the Lords Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee published its second report on the Bill. The Committee considered the Bill to grant “excessively wide law-making powers to Ministers”, whilst allowing for “insufficient parliamentary scrutiny” of those powers. The Bill entered Committee stage in the Lords on 21 February. It is expected to finish on 28 March.
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Prime Minister publishes direction on “Security Service agent participation in criminality”
Following legal action brought by the NGOs Reprieve and Privacy International, the Prime Minister has made public the text of a direction to the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office governing criminal activity by the British security services, which was previously secret. The direction instructs the Investigatory Powers Commissioner to keep under review the application of the Security Service guidelines on the use of agents who participate in criminality. Those guidelines themselves remain confidential, although the NGOs continue to campaign for the Government to publish them as well.
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Campaigners threaten legal action over immigration exemption in Data Protection Bill
Lawyers representing campaign groups the3million and Open Rights Group have written to the Home Secretary asking for the removal of a clause in the Data Protection Bill which would exempt data processed for the purpose of all government activity for the purposes of immigration control from a number of the rights set out in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If the exemption is made law, the campaign groups have confirmed they will challenge the law in court.
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Event: The Role of the Private Sector In Fostering Justice, Peace and Sustainable Institutions
Global Rule of Law Exchange
Speakers: Ricardo Cortes-Monroy, Senior Vice-President and Group General Counsel (Nestle); David Croft, Global Sustainability Director (Diageo); Alejandro Alvarez, Chief of the Rule of Law Unit, (Executive Office of UN Secretary-General). Manoelle Lepoutre, Senior Vice President of Civil and Society Engagement (TOTAL), will deliver the keynote address.
Wednesday 2 May 2018 9:00 – 18:00
Jones Day, 21 Tudor Street, London EC4Y0DJ
More information

APPG Meetings

Next Meeting
There will be an APPG on the Rule of Law meeting at 11:00, Monday 16 April 2018 on the topic: ‘Framework for Data Processing by Government’. The aim of the meeting is to provide MPs and Peers with an opportunity to discuss the potential risks and opportunities for a code or framework of rules for data processing by government to undermine or reflect rule of law principles.

Current Awareness

The current awareness topics in this bulletin are: Access to Justice

Postponement of LASPO Review
In his first appearance before the Justice Committee since assuming the role of Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, the Rt Hon David Gauke announced that the scheduled timetable for the post-implementation review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) has been postponed. The review, initiated by the previous Lord Chancellor, was initially scheduled to take place over Summer 2018. The Lord Chancellor confirmed that the review would be complete by December 2018. The Lord Chancellor is currently inviting evidence from Members of both Houses as part of a data collection exercise concerning the effects of LASPO.
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Investment Treaty Jurisdiction

Recent Decision: Slowakische Republik v Achmea BV
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) recently delivered a preliminary ruling on the question of whether dispute resolution clauses providing for protection of investments through arbitral tribunals are compatible with EU law. The Court concluded that the bilateral investment treaty at issue had an “adverse effect” on the autonomy of EU law, as any interpretation or application by the arbitral tribunal of EU law would not be open to review by a court capable of ensuring the full effectiveness of EU law.
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The Future of Dispute Settlement Between the UK and EU Post-Brexit

Draft Withdrawal Agreement Published
On 28 February, a draft Withdrawal Agreement was tabled by the European Commission. In the draft, provision is made for the continued jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) as regards the UK during the transition period, and, in certain circumstances, beyond the end of that period. Disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the Agreement can be brought before a newly-created Joint Committee, with the option of submitting the dispute to the CJEU for resolution.
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About the APPG on the Rule of Law
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Rule of Law aims to promote parliamentary and public discussion on the rule of law as a practical concept. It is co-chaired by The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP and Lord Pannick QC. Secretariat support is provided by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law with funding from The Legal Education Foundation.
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APPG mailing list
For enquiries concerning the APPG on the Rule of Law, please contact Michael Abiodun Olatokun, Research Fellow in Citizenship and the Rule of Law of the Bingham Centre:
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