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Saudi Penal System

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Health – in the House of Commons at 1:18 pm on 13th October 2015.

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Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice 1:18 pm, 13th October 2015

I take my right hon. Friend’s comments very seriously. He is absolutely right to say that constructive engagement with Governments like Saudi Arabia’s is always the wisest course. However, it is also the case that there is always a balance to be struck in the nature of the engagement that we make. The decision was made across Government that the Just Solutions International branch of the National Offender Management Service should be wound up, and this decision is consequent on that cross-Government decision.

As I have said before at the Dispatch Box, it is vital that we support the Foreign Office, its skilled diplomats and its excellent Ministers in the work that they continue to do to influence not just the Saudi Government, but other Governments who are considering how they can improve their own domestic human rights record and, indeed, promote the rule of law.