Foreign Lobbying Laws: Options for Progress

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Foreign Lobbying Laws: Options for Progress

10th February 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

In the 2019 Queen’s Speech, the Government announced it was “considering whether to follow allies in adopting a form of foreign agent registration”. The Government’s announcement followed a series of concerning accounts of strategic adversaries conducting disinformation and aggressive lobbying operations in London, at the risk of undermining the UK’s democratic system.


In order to put flesh to the bones of the Government’s ambitions, Bob Seely MP has written a report for the Henry Jackson Society laying out options for such legislation. In so doing, he turned to the examples of the UK’s allies including the USA’s FARA legislation and to Australia’s  more recent foreign interference laws.


Joining Bob Seely to discuss both the need and options for such laws, HJS is delighted to welcome George Brandis who drafted Australia’s foreign interference laws. Alongside them will be two of the Western world’s most prominent writers on the subject of foreign interference, Ed Lucas and Clive Hamilton.


We hope you can join what promises to be a lively discussion with input from some of the globe’s leading experts.



Bob Seely is the Member of Parliament for the Isle of Wight. He sits on the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee. Mr Seely writes academically and journalistically on foreign affairs as well as more generally on non-conventional and new forms of conflict. Prior to his election in June 2017, Mr Seely served on the Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and ISIS campaigns as a member of the Armed Forces. From 1990 to 1994, Mr Seely lived in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet states. His academic and foreign affairs writing is available online at: Mr Seely has written one of the few peer-reviewed definitions of Contemporary Russian Conflict Strategy available in the West (



George Brandis has had a distinguished career in law and politics in Australia. A barrister by profession, he served as a Senator in the Australian Parliament for 18 years. He was a Minister in the Governments of John Howard, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull. His ministerial appointments included Minister for the Arts, Attorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate. As Attorney-General, he was responsible for the reform of Australia’s espionage and foreign interference laws, and played a leading role in the introduction of marriage equality in Australia in 2017.



Edward Lucas is a columnist for The Times and an expert in intelligence and cyber-security issues. He covered Central and Eastern Europe for more than 20 years, witnessing the final years of the last Cold War, the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of the Soviet empire, Boris Yeltsin’s downfall and Vladimir Putin’s rise to power. Formerly a senior editor at The Economist, he is now a senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). From 1992 to 1994, Lucas was managing editor of The Baltic Independent, a weekly newspaper published in Tallinn. He holds a BSc from the London School of Economics, and studied Polish at the Jagiellonian University, Cracow. He is married to Cristina Odone with three children. “The New Cold War” (2008) was his first book. “Deception”, about east-west espionage, was published in 2011. “The Snowden Operation” was published as an e-book in 2014. His latest book is “Cyberphobia”.



Clive Hamilton is an Australian author and public intellectual. Since 2008 he has been Professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra. In 2018, his controversial book, Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia, was published by Hardie Grant after three other publishers pulled out citing fear of punishment from Beijing. It became an immediate best-seller, and has been published in Chinese and Japanese. It was followed in 2020 by Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party is Reshaping the World, co-authored with German Sinologist Mareike Ohlberg.  He has since been banned from entering China over his writings. For 14 years, until February 2008, he was the Executive Director of The Australia Institute, a progressive think tank he founded. He holds an arts degree from the Australian National University and an economics degree from the University of Sydney. He completed a doctorate in the economics of development at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex.



Dr Jade McGlynn is a Research Fellow at HJS specialising in Russian political culture and foreign relations. She lived in Russia for five years and has worked across the broader post-Soviet space, from Ukraine to Kazakhstan. Jade holds a DPhil in Russian from the University of Oxford, where she also gained her BA in Russian and Spanish. She also has a Masters by Research from the University of Birmingham. Her DPhil examined how the Russian government have used the politics of memory and national identity to legitimise Russian foreign and domestic policy. She is currently preparing a manuscript based on this research for publication in 2021, entitled Making History Great Again: The Politics of Memory and Belonging in Contemporary Russia. Jade has also published her research as articles, chapters, and reports in leading academic journals, collected volumes, and think tanks. Prior to joining HJS, Jade worked as a Lecturer and Research Assistant at the University of Oxford, teaching papers in Russian language and literature, as well as courses on History as part of Oxford University’s new access outreach programme (Opportunity Oxford). She has also held fellowships and research positions at the University of Birmingham, University of


You can RSVP for your tickets HERE.



10th February 2021
10:00 am - 11:00 am


United Kingdom


Henry Jackson Society
+44 (0) 20 7340 4520


Bob Seely MP, George Brandis QC, Ed Lucas, Clive Hamilton, Dr Jade McGlynn


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