Intelligence handling and the recent terrorist attacks

After many years of relative failure, this spring has seen terrorists mount vile and contemptible attacks at Westminster Bridge, Manchester Arena, London Bridge and Finsbury Park.  I have been asked, by letter from the Home Secretary of 28 June, to provide "independent assurance" of internal reviews that police and MI5 have initiated in response.   My intention (after six years of immersion in the [...]

By |2017-12-06T07:56:25+00:00June 28th, 2017|Blog, Security|0 Comments

Not for wimps: the pragmatic case for human rights

Internationally recognised human rights standards are an essential benchmark for anyone who seeks an informed view on the laws governing terrorism, surveillance and extremism. But contrary to the belief propagated by some, those standards do not amount to unrealistic aspirations, dreamed up by out-of-touch academics.  Nor do they unthinkingly prioritise individual rights over our responsibilities to each other.  The ECHR, as interpreted by [...]

By |2017-06-29T08:18:23+00:00June 7th, 2017|Blog, Law, Security|Comments Off on Not for wimps: the pragmatic case for human rights

Terrorism, Surveillance and Extremism

This is not a blog post as such, but a compilation.  I thought it might be useful to link to what I have had to say in the past several years on counter-terrorism, surveillance and countering extremism. Counter-Terrorism In this field, my successor Max Hill QC now holds the reins as Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation (@terrorwatchdog). His first reports were published [...]

By |2018-06-01T09:49:57+00:00June 6th, 2017|Blog, Security|0 Comments

Purdah – Lifting the Veil

During this General Election campaign there have been several disputes over the application of pre-election purdah - ironically, a practice that was specifically designed to avoid imbroiling the Civil Service in controversy. My own last report as Independent Reviewer, on Deportation with Assurances, fell victim to purdah and has not yet been published, despite being submitted to the Government in final [...]

By |2017-06-29T08:26:56+00:00June 6th, 2017|Blog, Law, Media|Comments Off on Purdah – Lifting the Veil