Jeremy Browne writes: World Day Against the Death Penalty

Jeremy Browne with Eastlea Amnesty Youth Group

Today I met with a group of students, activists and academics to mark the eighth anniversary of the World Day Against the Death Penalty, and the fourth anniversary of the European Day Against the Death Penalty.

It has been a longstanding policy for the UK to oppose the death penalty in any and all circumstances as a matter of principle. As an individual, as a Liberal Democrat and as a Minister, I have always worked hard to push for the abolition of Capital Punishment across the world and to oppose any reinstatement here at home.

There is a growing international momentum towards abolition of the death penalty and in the past two decades we have seen a significant rise in the number of countries becoming abolitionist. Last year, I launched the Government’s Strategy for Abolition of the Death Penalty. This strategy includes three overarching goals:

  1. To further increase the number of abolitionist countries, or countries with a moratorium on the use of the death penalty
  2. Further restrictions on the use of the death penalty in retentionist countries and reductions in the numbers of executions
  3. To ensure EU minimum standards are met in countries which retain the death penalty.

Recently, there have been several positive developments. At the end of last year, there was record support achieved at the United Nations General Assembly with an increase in the number of countries voting in favour of the Resolution on the Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty. This year, we have seen China reduce the number of crimes eligible for the death penalty from 68 to 55, and Trinidad and Tobago ruled the mandatory death penalty for felony murder unconstitutional.

However, our work is far from done. In recent months there have been a number of high profile cases of individuals who have been fighting to stay their executions. The UK Government is absolutely committed to its efforts to achieve its objective of global abolition of the death penalty. Through our bilateral relationships as well as in European and international institutions we will continue to call on all retentionist states to formally establish a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, with a view to abolition.

If you are interested in finding out more about our activities to support World Day Against the Death Penalty, please follow our news coverage of the event, as well as blogs from Foreign Office staff around the world. A podcast has also been recorded, chaired by the FCO’s Head of Human Rights. The podcast is a panel of academics and campaigners focusing on the theme of minimum standards on the use of the death penalty. As always, you can also follow the FCO Human Rights Department on Twitter: @FCOHumanRights.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 27th Jan - 2:31pm
    Now we seem south-east centred, and dependent on the support of well-educated middle-class liberal-minded people. Our strongest support in the south-east used to be poor...
  • User AvatarMark Valladares 27th Jan - 2:30pm
    Nick, I do think that you may be misquoting me somewhat. That said, a good, effective Town or Parish Council will need to do a...
  • User AvatarNick Collins 27th Jan - 2:00pm
    The process in my little town seems to have been more or less as follows. A largely self selected clique of the local busybodies, do-gooders...
  • User AvatarInnocent Bystander 27th Jan - 1:19pm
    Of course this is right, but no society wants disease, want and squalor. They don't want it in the drug and crime ridden slums and...
  • User Avatarclive englisjh 27th Jan - 12:42pm
    Here in Maidstone we have had a number of Neighbourhood Plans reach this stage, the very first was not by a Parish Council, but by...
  • User AvatarJohn Barrett 27th Jan - 12:35pm
    A much smaller example of costs rising and the project being reduced in size was when Edinburgh decided to build a tram network at a...