The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and United Kingdom Law

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The United Kingdom Perspective on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

DOMINIC MCGOLDRICK AND NIGEL PARKER*


INTRODUCTION

This Chapter seeks to assess the role of the United Kingdom in relation to the ICCPR from various perspectives. It is directed to the broader dynamics of the State-International Organization relationship rather than to the implementation by the United Kingdom of the specific rights in the Covenant.1 An attempt is also made to put the United Kingdom's position in relation to the Covenant in the more general context of its attitude to, and influence on, the development of international human rights promotion and protection.2


UK PARTICIPATION IN THE DRAFTING OF THE COVENANT3

General Approach

The United Kingdom played an active role in the drafting of the Covenant, both in the United Nations Human Rights Commission and in the Third Committee of the General Assembly. The United Kingdom had not supported strong human rights obligations being inserted into the United

____________________
*
The views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of the British Government.
1
The latter are considered in various chaps. in this book.
2
There are no general works tracing the development of the UK's foreign policy in relation to human rights. A helpful publication is Human Rights in Foreign Policy--Guidelines for FCO Posts and Departments, UK Foreign Policy Document, No. 215 ( London, January 1991).
3
See generally Bossuyt, M. J., A Guide To the Travaux Préparatoires of the ICCPR ( Dordrecht, 1987); Marston, G., "'The UK's Part in the Preparation of the European Convention on Human Rights'" ( 1994) 42 ICLQ 796; McGoldrick, D., The Human Rights Committee ( Oxford, 1990), ch. 1, and with an updating introduction ( 1994).

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