[Headline News] House of Lords Voted to Let UK Court Decide on Genocide

Author: Billwilliam Reviewer: Irene

MPs in the Upper Chamber of the British Parliament voted for an amendment to the trade bill that authorized the British Courts to determine whether a country committed genocide. This law is targeting Communist China’s atrocities and other flagrant human rights violations in Xinjiang and Hongkong.

Yesterday, the Peers overrode objections from the ministers and passed the genocide amendment by a landslide victory of 359 to 188, with support across the aisle. The House of Commons will vote on this amendment next week. If passed by both chambers of the Parliament, this amendment will allow UK Courts to accept human rights lawsuits against the CCP. In addition, a judicial ruling will probably force the UK to reexamine its trade relationship with Communist China, which has a terrible record in terms of genocide.

The British government is currently facing tremendous pressure because many Tory lawmakers rebelled against the executive branch and called for tougher actions against the CCP. In the House of Commons, the government currently has a mere 11 vote majority margin against the amendment. If more lawmakers flip to support the proposal next week, it will probably be passed. There are voices calling to hold the ministers accountable if they sign trade treaties that ignore human rights.

Lord Alton, an independent Peer, affirmed the UK courts are competent to determine a case of genocide by standards of the Genocide Convention. Alton also lamented that the international criminal courts probably cannot hand out impartial rulings on the genocidal acts by Communist China because of China’s veto power.

After former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared the CCP a regime committing genocide and crimes against humanity, the UK will probably be the second country to make such a designation if the amendment is passed by the House of Commons. This will open the floodgate for a series of class-action lawsuits against CCP leaders who abused human rights. Remember, some of the CCP leaders’ family members hold citizenship or permanent residence in Western countries—they may be subject to lawsuits and sanctions.    

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