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Overseas Security and Justice Assistance Guidance

Volume 576: debated on Friday 28 February 2014

I would like to inform the House that I have today published revised Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) Guidance.

Demand for UK security and justice assistance continues to grow. Our expertise is highly valued across the world and improves the standards and capabilities of law enforcement and security agencies operating in the most challenging environments. Through this work we aim to improve security and increase respect for the rule of law. However, it is important that we ensure that the skills and expertise we impart are not used to cause harm. The OSJA Guidance is HMG’s tool for assessing the human rights risks of our overseas security and justice assistance work and identifying measures to mitigate such risks.

On 15 December 2011, I announced the introduction of the guidance and our intention to review it the following year. Following this review, we have made some minor amendments to the guidance to clarify key points, including defining more clearly the circumstances in which the guidance should be applied and highlighting the additional assessments against the EU and national consolidated criteria that need to be undertaken if the assistance involves the provision of equipment which is controlled under export control legislation.

Today’s publication of the revised guidance reflects our continued determination to ensure that when we provide overseas security and justice assistance, we do so in a manner that promotes human rights and democracy.

I have placed a copy of the revised guidance in the Libraries of both Houses. The guidance is also available online at: