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Overseas Territories: Corporal And Capital Punishment

Volume 620: debated on Tuesday 16 January 2001

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 19 December, whether the United Kingdom is under any obligation under international law or convention to remove corporal or capital punishment from the statute hooks of self-governing Overseas Territories. [HL291]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
(Baroness Scotland of Asthal)

Abolition of judicial corporal punishment last year in the British Virgin Islands, the last Overseas Territory to do so, fulfilled the United Kingdom's obligation in that regard under the European Convention on Human Rights. There is no present international obligation to abolish capital punishment in the Overseas Territories, since the relevant Protocols to the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights have not yet been extended to the Territories. But the Government wish to be in a position to extend the Protocols, once the situation in the Territories fully reflects that in the United Kingdom.