UncategorizedFebruary 20, 2024

BHRC Letter to MPs on Ceasefire for Gaza February 2024

The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) is an association of practicing barristers, legal academics, and law students dedicated to protecting the rights of advocates, judges, and human rights defenders around the world, and to promoting the principles of justice and respect for fundamental human rights internationally through the rule of law. It is autonomous of the Bar Council of England and Wales.

On the 15 November 2023, Parliament debated an amendment to the Kings Speech calling for a ceasefire in Gaza but did not then vote for an immediate ceasefire.

The Scottish National Party has now tabled a motion to be debated on 21 February 2024 calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The Labour Party has tabled an amendment which also backs an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

We consider that the arguments in favour of a ceasefire have become even stronger and the legal position has been further developed as a result of the Order for Provisional Measures of the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) of 26 January 2024 in the case of South Africa v Israel.

In our view a call for an immediate ceasefire by both sides is now required in order to avoid further catastrophe upon the people in Gaza, to promote peace and security for all in the region, as well as being in accordance with the UK’s obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law.




Given professional obligations, and following professional protocol, Naomi Hart has recused herself from involvement in this letter.