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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

The hon. Gentleman has made two points. The first relates to the involvement of Saudi Arabia in the United Nations. Again, I should stress that this is a matter for another Department. However, I think that we should encourage the involvement of countries in international institutions when we can bring pressure and influence to bear on them to meet higher standards when it comes to the rule of law and human rights. That is an ongoing process; it is a dialogue.

In the same spirit, I should also stress that there are, of course, individual British companies that do business in Saudi Arabia, and there are shared security interests as well. Any responsible Government will always want to balance those interests with standing up for and making the case for progress in the realm of human rights, and that has been the consistent policy of this Government.