Baroness Kennedy of Shaws Portrait

Baroness Kennedy of Shaws

Labour - Life peer

Became Member: 27th October 1997


Justice and Home Affairs Committee
14th Apr 2021 - 31st Jan 2023
EU Justice Sub-Committee
12th Jun 2015 - 2nd Jul 2019
European Union Committee
8th Jun 2015 - 1st Jul 2019
Human Rights (Joint Committee)
16th May 2012 - 30th Mar 2015


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Baroness Kennedy of Shaws has voted in 317 divisions, and 5 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Covid-19 Pandemic and the Coronavirus Act 2020 - View Vote Context
Baroness Kennedy of Shaws voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 4 Labour No votes vs 6 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 119 Noes - 279
21 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Kennedy of Shaws voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Labour Aye votes vs 116 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 29 Noes - 440
15 Jun 2020 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 - View Vote Context
Baroness Kennedy of Shaws voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Labour No votes vs 105 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 355 Noes - 77
8 Dec 2021 - Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Kennedy of Shaws voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Labour No votes vs 59 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 211 Noes - 82
1 Mar 2023 - National Security Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Kennedy of Shaws voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Labour Aye votes vs 1 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 82 Noes - 212
View All Baroness Kennedy of Shaws Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(38 debate interactions)
Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
(10 debate interactions)
Lord Stewart of Dirleton (Conservative)
Advocate General for Scotland
(8 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(36 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(22 debate contributions)
Scotland Office
(20 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Online Safety Act 2023
(4,808 words contributed)
Domestic Abuse Bill 2019-21
(4,394 words contributed)
Trade Bill 2019-21
(4,315 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Baroness Kennedy of Shaws's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness Kennedy of Shaws, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


2 Bills introduced by Baroness Kennedy of Shaws


A Bill to make provision about prevention of and response to genocide and other atrocity crimes.

Lords Completed

Last Event - 3rd Reading
Friday 17th May 2024
(Read Debate)

A bill to enable the Secretary of State or an immigration officer to refuse entry, or to vary or curtail leave to enter or remain which has already been granted, to a person who is known to be, or to have been, involved in gross human rights abuses and who is not a UK or EEA national

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 22nd January 2020
(Read Debate)

Baroness Kennedy of Shaws has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


Latest 15 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
21st Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the current state of media freedom in Hong Kong; and what discussions they have had with the Hong Kong government regarding this.

Under the National Security Law, a once free and vibrant press in Hong Kong has been severely diminished. As the Foreign Secretary made clear in the latest Six-monthly Report to Parliament, published on 19 September, journalists and other media workers are being deliberately targeted under the guise of national security to silence criticism. The Foreign Secretary has made clear our views on the erosion of Hong Kong's autonomy, rights and freedoms at the UN Human Rights Council and with Chinese Vice President Han Zheng, most recently on 31 August. We were honoured to lead a side event in Geneva on 27 September on media freedom in Hong Kong. Co-sponsorship by 24 countries is a clear signal of the level of international concern at the erosion of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to monitor the treatment of Jimmy Lai, currently imprisoned in Hong Kong; and what discussions they have had with the Hong Kong government regarding the fairness and integrity of Mr Lai’s trial.

As the Foreign Secretary made clear in the latest Six-monthly Report to Parliament, published on 19 September, Jimmy Lai and others are being deliberately targeted under the guise of national security to silence criticism. The Foreign Secretary has made clear our views and raised Mr Lai's case with Chinese Vice President Han Zheng, most recently on 31 August. The Minister for the Indo-Pacific also raised Mr Lai's case with Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of Hong Kong, on 18 April. Senior officials have and will continue to raise cases such as Mr Lai's with the Hong Kong authorities. We continue to press for consular access to Mr Lai and diplomats at our Consulate-General in Hong Kong attend Mr Lai's court proceedings.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the treatment of Taiwanese national and activist Yang Chih-yuan, who was arrested in Zhejiang, China, in August 2022, meets international standards on the treatment of prisoners, including the United Nations' Nelson Mandela Rules.

There are increasing restrictions on civil and political rights and freedom of expression in China. The UK Government continues to monitor the treatment of prisoners in China, including Yang Chih-yuan. We regularly raise human rights and freedom of speech concerns directly with the Chinese authorities and in multilateral fora. Most recently, the Foreign Secretary did so in a meeting with his Chinese counterpart on 20 February 2023.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Yazidi Justice Committee State Responsibility and the Genocide of the Yazidis, published on 6 July, what plans they have to prevent any acts in contravention of the Genocide Convention from being carried out against the Yazidis.

We note the Yazidi Justice Committee's report on "State Responsibility and the Yazidi Genocide". The UK is supporting the Government of Iraq to take the necessary actions to secure justice for victims of Daesh's crimes in Iraq, including the Yazidis. The UK advocated strongly for the passing of the Yazidi Survivors Law in March 2021 and continues to advocate for the work of the Directorate of Yazidi Affairs, which is responsible for providing reparations to survivors and supporting judicial bodies hold perpetrators to account. UK Ministers regularly raise the importance of full implementation of the Yazidi Survivors law with the Government of Iraq and Kurdistan Regional Government, most recently by me in the week 4 July. In parallel, we have also provided £2 million to the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh (UNITAD).

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Yazidi Justice Committee State Responsibility and the Genocide of the Yazidis, published on 6 July; and what steps they plan to take in response.

We note the Yazidi Justice Committee's report on "State Responsibility and the Yazidi Genocide". The UK is supporting the Government of Iraq to take the necessary actions to secure justice for victims of Daesh's crimes in Iraq, including the Yazidis. The UK advocated strongly for the passing of the Yazidi Survivors Law in March 2021 and continues to advocate for the work of the Directorate of Yazidi Affairs, which is responsible for providing reparations to survivors and supporting judicial bodies hold perpetrators to account. UK Ministers regularly raise the importance of full implementation of the Yazidi Survivors law with the Government of Iraq and Kurdistan Regional Government, most recently by me in the week 4 July. In parallel, we have also provided £2 million to the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh (UNITAD).

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Yazidi Justice Committee State Responsibility and the Genocide of the Yazidis, published on 6 July, what steps they will take if Syria does not punish the perpetrators of genocide resident in that country; and what plans they have, if any, to urge the UN Security Council to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court.

The UK is committed to highlighting the appalling violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Syria and to pursuing accountability for the most serious crimes. We use our position at the UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council and our leadership of the regular Syria resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council to draw international attention to the ongoing human rights violations and abuses in Syria, and consistently call for Syria to abide by international human rights conventions and norms. The UK Government supports efforts to pursue accountability for the most serious crimes committed in Syria, including through the UN Commission of Inquiry and the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism with which we signed an Memorandum of Understanding in March this year. These bodies were established with the express purpose of inquiring into and investigating potential war crimes. The UK has previously voted at the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court but such action has been blocked by Russia and China.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Yazidi Justice Committee State Responsibility and the Genocide of the Yazidis, published on 6 July; and in particular, the conclusion that Syria failed in its obligation to (1) prevent, and (2) punish, genocides against the Yazidis; and what steps they are taking to hold Syria to account.

We note the findings from the Yazidi Justice Committee report. The UK is supporting the Government of Iraq to take the necessary actions to secure justice for the Yazidi people and many other victims of Daesh's crimes. We regularly emphasise the need for dialogue and cooperation between Turkey and Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, to combat terrorism, ensure regional security, and protect civilians including religious and ethnic minorities.

We will continue to use our position at the UN, including as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and our leadership of the regular Syria resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council to draw international attention to the ongoing human rights violations and abuses in Syria, to raise situations of concern and to deploy all appropriate tools available to the UN in dealing with potential mass atrocities. Our focus is always on securing an end to violence, protecting civilians and calling for accountability.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Yazidi Justice Committee State Responsibility and the Genocide of the Yazidis, published on 6 July, what plans they have to use dispute resolution mechanisms such as the International Court of Justice to ensure that (1) Syria, (2) Iraq, and (3) Turkey, adhere to their responsibilities under the Genocide Convention.

We note the findings from the Yazidi Justice Committee report. The UK is supporting the Government of Iraq to take the necessary actions to secure justice for the Yazidi people and many other victims of Daesh's crimes. We regularly emphasise the need for dialogue and cooperation between Turkey and Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, to combat terrorism, ensure regional security, and protect civilians including religious and ethnic minorities.

We will continue to use our position at the UN, including as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and our leadership of the regular Syria resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council to draw international attention to the ongoing human rights violations and abuses in Syria, to raise situations of concern and to deploy all appropriate tools available to the UN in dealing with potential mass atrocities. Our focus is always on securing an end to violence, protecting civilians and calling for accountability.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have had assets frozen in the UK in the last five years; how many of those had assets frozen due to possible involvement with Islamic State; how many such cases have involved legal challenge by the individuals affected; and in how many such cases was the decision to freeze assets upheld.

Between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2020, 118 individuals and entities were designated in the UK under UN, EU and UK counter-terrorism financial sanctions regimes. Of these 118 individuals and entities, 110 were designated under the United Nation’s ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List and the EU Autonomous ISIL (Da’esh) and Al Qaida regime. We have not delineated between Al-Qaida and Islamic State affiliation for those designated during this period. Under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (“TAFA 2010”), the Treasury was required to report to Parliament, quarterly, on its operation of the UK’s counter-terrorism asset freezing regime mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 1373. Previous reports can be found on the 2015 to 2020 quarterly report to Parliament page. We are not aware of any legal challenges that have been brought in the UK to designations made under these two regimes between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2020.
8th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many Afghans have been accepted under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme whose resettlement is suspended; what is the cause of, and what steps are being taken to resolve, such suspensions; and what assistance is being provided to families pending resettlement.

We continue to honour our commitment to bring eligible Afghans to the UK and plans are underway to relocate families as soon as possible. Data on how many Afghans have been accepted on ACRS and are in third countries is internal operational data and not for release at this time.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how are decisions made on, and what is the process for, resettling more Afghans from Pakistan who are facing expulsion in addition to the 3,000 already accepted under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme; and what steps they are taking in that regard, including on prioritising the 20 female Afghan judges who are in Pakistan.

Resettlement of eligible Afghans remains a top priority for this government. As of June 2023, around 24,600 vulnerable people affected by the events in Afghanistan have been brought to safety. This includes British Nationals and their families, Afghans who loyally served the UK and others identified as particularly at-risk, such as campaigners for women’s rights, human rights defenders, Chevening scholars, journalists, judges and members of the LGBT+ community.

We are aware of the recent Government of Pakistan announcements regarding Afghans in Pakistan and appreciate the impact of this on those awaiting resettlement. HMG has engaged intensively with the Government of Pakistan to secure assurances that none of those eligible under the UK’s Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) and the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) will be subject to deportation.

Visas continue to be issued to individuals eligible for the ACRS and ARAP schemes and flights are continuing to bring eligible Afghans to the UK.

The ACRS is not open to applications. Instead, eligible individuals are prioritised and referred for resettlement to the UK through the existing pathways under this scheme. We are not certain which female Afghan judges the question refers to; however our Afghan schemes have been designed to be fair and equitable in identifying those in need of resettlement or relocation to the UK. As has been the practice under successive governments, the Home Office does not routinely comment on individual cases.

We recognise there are many vulnerable individuals who remain in Afghanistan and the region. Whilst the UK maintains a generous resettlement offer, we must recognise that the capacity of the UK to resettle people is not unlimited, and difficult decisions have to be made on who will be prioritised for resettlement.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to provide visas to Afghan women at risk, especially judges, lawyers, MPs, journalists and human rights defenders, and (2) to work with domestic and international partners on identifying such women.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), announced on 18 August, will provide those put at risk by recent events in Afghanistan with a route to safety. The scheme will prioritise:

  • those who have assisted the UK efforts in Afghanistan and stood up for values such as democracy, women’s rights and freedom of speech, rule of law (for example, judges, women’s rights activists, academics, journalists); and
  • vulnerable people, including women and girls at risk, and members of minority groups at risk (including ethnic and religious minorities and LGBT+).

In delivering the ACRS, the Government will work with the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR and other international partners in the region to identify and resettle people at risk, including women and girls.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
15th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Afghan women at risk, including judges, lawyers, MPs, journalists and human rights defenders, were resettled to the UK in August and September.

The United Kingdom evacuated around 5,000 Afghan nationals under the ARAP scheme and around 500 special cases of particularly vulnerable Afghans, including Chevening scholars, journalists, human rights defenders, campaigners for women’s rights, judges, and many others. Around half of those resettled were women.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
15th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what practical assistance they are providing to Afghan women, particularly judges, lawyers, MPs, journalists, human rights defenders and others at particular risk.

A bespoke new safe and legal route will welcome Afghans most at risk who have been forced to flee the country, including women, girls and religious and other minorities given their particular vulnerability, to the UK.  The ACRS will prioritise:

Those who have assisted the UK efforts in Afghanistan and stood up for values such as democracy, women’s rights and freedom of speech, rule of law (for example, judges, women’s rights activists, journalists); and vulnerable people, including women and girls at risk, and members of minority groups at risk (including ethnic and religious minorities and LGBT+).

Under Operation Warm Welcome, we are taking a cross-government approach to ensuring Afghans arriving in the UK are able to rebuild their lives, find work, pursue education and integrate with their local communities.

All those brought to the UK under ACRS will have the right to work, access to education and healthcare and be able to apply for public funds. To ensure they will be supported properly, changes will be made to legislation so that, if necessary, people arriving under ACRS do not need to meet the habitual residence test.

They will also receive comprehensive integration support as they start their new lives in the UK. A package of support to acclimatise to the UK, learn English, and find work, will enable rapid self-sufficiency and social integration in UK communities.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)