The impact of UK double standards on international humanitarian law

FairSquare’s co-director has made a written submission to the UK’s Foreign Affairs Committee emphasising the damage being done by British failures to stand behind international human rights law and humanitarian law in Gaza and other conflicts involving its allies and partners.

In a submission made in November 2023 and published today, James Lynch said:

“The contradictions between the positions [the UK] adopts in relation to allies and partners and those it adopts in relation to strategic rivals or adversaries have in recent years been drastically exposed. The profound human impact of this falls not only on victims of violations carried out by the UK’s allies, but also where abuses have been perpetrated by the UK’s strategic adversaries. At the global level, this inconsistency – widely castigated as an example of “western hypocrisy” – has severely undermined confidence in the relevance and applicability of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. Britain’s standing and its soft power have been badly damaged, reducing its ability to influence global challenges and achieve its own goals.”

The submission, made in response to a call from the parliamentary committee to provide inputs for its inquiry on Britain’s engagement with the Middle East and North Africa, concludes that, “UK arguments on human rights and international humanitarian law will be severely undermined by its actions on Gaza. Immense, long-term damage is being done to UK credibility. This effect should not be underestimated”.