UCL Faculty of Laws


Kimberley Trapp gives evidence to House of Lords

29 October 2014

Dr Kimberley N Trapp, Senior Lecturer in International Law at UCL Laws, has appeared before the House of Lords Select Committee on Extradition Law to give oral evidence.

Houses of Parliament

During the public evidence session on Wednesday 22 October, Dr Trapp focused on the human rights bar to extradition, and the appropriate role of assurances from receiving States in ensuring that the UK is compliant with its non-refoulement obligations.

In her testimony, Dr Trapp highlighted the non-binding nature of assurances and argued that they added nothing to the existing multi-lateral framework of human rights protection unless the assurances were subject to an effective compliance monitoring mechanism (measured in terms of its independence from both the sending and receiving States and transparency).

But even with monitoring mechanisms in place, Dr Trapp expressed concern that seeking assurances in respect of particular individuals from States in which torture was systemic may be inconsistent with the spirit of the UK’s international legal obligation to co-operate in order to bring to an end serious breaches of peremptory norms.

Dr Trapp also spoke about the possibilities for the enforcement of assurances (where breach of such assurances is co-extensive with breaches of general international human rights law), distinguishing between the options available to a sending State under international law in regard to its own citizens versus the more limited options available in regard to non-nationals.

Listen to Dr Trapp’s evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Extradition Law (the session in which Dr Trapp participated begins at 11:43:30).