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Opportunity for 18-month, full time post-doc position

Together with Jessie Blackbourn of the Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, I recently was awarded a grant to pursue an 18-month project on counter-terrorism review in the UK. The project will identify existing knowledge gaps in UK counter-terrorism review, explore the implications and impacts for rights of how counter-terrorism review currently works, and propose reforms based on the findings of this cross-disciplinary research. The project will produce both academic outputs and a stakeholder-oriented report that will outline, justify and contextualise the major policy reform proposals resulting from the research.

We are now hiring a research fellow to be part of the research team. The post-holder will be based in Birmingham, although some national travel will be required. The research fellow will have an excellent grounding in law, counter-terrorism, security, public administration or cognate fields, and a demonstrated ability to work independently to the very highest levels of research excellence. The research fellow will work with the project leaders to develop appropriate methodologies, relationships with stakeholders, and publications from the project that will make both intellectual and practical contributions to the field.

The full details are here and the closing date is 7 July 2017.

Tearing up human rights law won’t protect us from terrorism

Prime minister Theresa May has announced her resolve to tear up human rights law if it prevents her, and her government, from tackling extremism and countering terrorism.

This rhetoric is hardly new. It echoes Tony Blair’s post 9/11 claim that “the rules of the game are changing”. It’s also a continuation of May’s approach as home secretary. Over her term in that role, she systematically sought to dismantle legal barriers to desired government action. Indeed, it chimes well with longstanding concerns on the part of many Conservatives that human rights law is nothing more than an obstacle to security. Continue reading Tearing up human rights law won’t protect us from terrorism

I have a column in today’s The Independent on Jeremy Corbyn’s remarks on the importance of addressing the causes of terrorism and the potential for foreign affairs policies to impact on terrorism at home. The full column is available for free here, and here is a taster

In most other policy fields, we expect government to act on the basis of evidence; to survey the research, to consider it in context, to forecast the possible outcomes, to make the best laws and policies they can on the basis of this, to evaluate those laws and policies after some time, and to change them if they are not working. In the field of counterterrorism, however, this is perceived as weakness rather than prudence. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The JCHR Enquiry on Derogation from the ECHR: My Written Evidence

The Joint Committee on Human Rights has now published all of the written evidence it received about the proposed derogations by the UK from the ECHR in situations of conflict abroad. My submission is available here, and the executive summary is as follows: Continue reading The JCHR Enquiry on Derogation from the ECHR: My Written Evidence