Conservative Party Human Rights Commission
to publish two reports in 2010

11 January 2010

Following the appointment of Tony Baldry as the new Chairman of the Conservative Human Rights Commission (CHRC), the Commission has undertaken to publish two reports before the General Election.

Two groups have been formed to work on these reports with a view to publishing in late February /early March 2010. Invitations have been sent out to individuals and organisations to submit oral and written evidence.

  • “Those Most Responsible”

  • “Supporting Women Human Rights Defenders”
“Those Most Responsible”focusing on how the international community prosecutes and effectively deals with the most serious offenders against human rights

Oral evidence sessions hearings took place on 3rd December and 9th December 2009 in Portcullis House  at the House of Commons.

The panel hearing evidence:

Tony Baldry MP Chairman of CHRC, former Foreign Office Minister and former Chair of the Commons Select Committee on International Development .

Sir Desmond de Silva, QC, Chief Prosecutor in the UN War Crimes Tribunal in Sierra Leone, with the rank of UN Under Secretary-General. He was largely responsible for ensuring that Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia, is now standing trial in the Hague, which for the first time overturned the hitherto believed concept that Heads of State had “sovereign” immunity” from prosecution for crimes against humanity. He also succeeded for the first time in bringing UN indictments that the recruitment of child soldiers and the use of rape as an instrument of war were both war crimes.

Heather Blake,  Rapporteur for the group. UK correspondent for Reporter Without Borders, free lance political opinion writer, edited and written articles for many newspapers and journals including The Observer and The Economist.

Philip Riches, a barrister practising in international commercial dispute relations with extensive advocacy experience in international tribunals and the London courts.

Benedict Rogers Deputy Chairman of CHRC, a human rights activist and writer

Submitting Oral Evidence:

Medical Foundation for the Victims of Torture
Leanne Macmillian –Director of Policy and external Affairs
Sonya Sceats – Policy and Advocacy Officer

Lord Hannay – Chair UNA-UK
Natalie Samarasinghe – Head of Communications

Aegis Trust
Nick Donavan – Head of Campaigns, Policy and Research

The Henry Jackson Society
Julia Pettengill – Associate Fellow, Governance Strategy and Terrorism

“Supporting Women Human Rights Defenders” – focusing on identifying what more the UK Government can do to support women human rights defenders around the world.

Chairing this group is Fiona Hodgson, President of the Conservative Woman’s Organisation (CWO) and a member of the CWO Muslim Group. She is a Vice President of the Conservative National Convention and works on a variety of women’s issues especially in the context of developing and conflict countries. She is a member of the All Party Group on Women, Peace and Security, Chairman of the Trustees of GAPS (Gender Action in Peace and Security), a member of Oxfam’s Association, a member of the Leadership Circle of Women for Women and on the Advisory Board of WPD (Widows for Peace through Democracy).

She edited the recently published “The Female Face of Afghanistan” together with Glyn Strong.

Deputy Chair and Rapporteur for the group is Nicola Blackwood. Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for West Oxford and Abingdon, she has volunteered extensively at home and abroad with aid projects.

This group will hear oral evidence from various individuals and organisations at the beginning of February at the House of Commons. Details to be published.