Consular assistance is a vital tool that enables the UK Government to offer protections to its
nationals detained overseas. However, the discretionary nature of consular assistance stands at
odds with the UK’s international obligations and falls short of the protection its nationals
deserve. Establishing a legal right to consular assistance for those suffering (or at risk of) human
rights violations would provide benefits not only to British nationals facing dire circumstances
abroad, but also to the British State, showing that British values do not stop at our borders.
Transforming consular assistance from a mere discretion into a legal obligation would ensure
more robust safeguards for British nationals at risk of human rights abuses abroad and solidify
the State’s responsibility to secure the rights and wellbeing of its most vulnerable citizens