Code of Conduct for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)

Until my recent appointment as Solicitor General, I was rapporteur to the Rules Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on creating a Code of Conduct for members. The Assembly covers 47 countries across Europe and also includes Russia, Turkey and other non EU states. There has been a demand for rules to cover principles of behaviour and rules on matters such as declaration of gifts and ensuring that lobbying is controlled. After holding evidence and drafting sessions, I was prepared to present my report to plenary in Strasbourg last week. My Ministerial appointment meant that I could not do so, but my colleague Robert Walter MP kindly stepped in and made an excellent speech introducing the new Code. I was delighted to see that the Code was adopted with overwhelming support. The new Code draws heavily on the Seven Principles of Public Life used in the UK and it is good to see the use of these principles being extended abroad. Having spent more than a year on this project, I was pleased there was such a positive outcome, which will help the Assembly to maintain its reputation.

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