UKLFI Charitable Trust held a webinar on The UK Counter BDS Bill With Jonathan D.C. Turner, UKLFI Chief Executive, haired by Natasha Hausdorff on Monday 7 August 2023.
The UK government has presented a long-awaited Bill to Parliament to ban boycotts divestment and sanctions (BDS) by public bodies. This had been promised in the Conservative Party’s manifesto for the general election in 2019. The Bill has been welcomed by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council, as well as other Jewish and Israel-supporting organisations in the UK.
However, its drafting has been criticised by some as unclear, as restricting freedom of expression, for singling out Israel, and for allegedly contravening international law. The Bill passed a second reading in the House of Commons on 3 July 2023 after an amendment to reject it, tabled by the opposition Labour Party, was defeated.
Examination of the Bill is expected to continue in public committee in September following the Parliamentary recess. In this webinar Jonathan D.C. Turner, UKLFI Chief Executive, and Natasha Hausdorff, UKLFI Charitable Trust Legal Director, examine what the Bill says and criticisms that have been made of it.
More about the speakers:
Jonathan D.C. Turner has practised as a barrister specialising in intellectual property, competition and free trade law for 40 years. He co-founded UK Lawyers for Israel in 2011 and has played a leading role in its activities since then. He has successfully invoked different laws and rules to prevent numerous proposed BDS measures in the UK and around the world.
He is the author of the textbook “Intellectual Property and EU Competition Law” as well as legal articles and contributions to encyclopaedic works on the interface between intellectual property, competition and free trade law. He recently co-authored an article titled “Occupied Territories and the Exceptions to WTO and EU Rules on grounds of Public Morality, Public Order and Public Policy” published in the European Business Law Review in June 2023.
Natasha Hausdorff is a barrister at 6 Pump Court Chambers and a frequent speaker on International Law. She has a law degree from Oxford University, qualified as a solicitor at Skadden, and subsequently gained an LLM from Tel Aviv University, focussing on public international law and the law of armed conflict.
She clerked for Miriam Naor, President of Israel’s Supreme Court, and was a Fellow at Columbia Law School’s National Security Program. Natasha is legal director of UKLFI Charitable Trust.