The Fly in the China Shop

I was invited to The Hague last month to deliver the Hague Lecture on International Law, to an invited audience of diplomats, international judges and others at the British Embassy. No expert on public international law, I concentrated instead on the threat of terrorism - real and perceived - and the role played by the courts of [...]

By | 2018-10-27T14:02:04+00:00 October 26th, 2018|Blog, Featured, Law, Security|0 Comments

Human rights and the future of surveillance

I spoke on this subject to the Human Rights Law Association on 25 October, at a meeting held to consider the effect of the 13 September 2018 Big Brother Watch judgment of the first section of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.  My slides, which focussed on the utility and lawfulness of bulk investigatory powers (sometimes referred [...]

By | 2018-10-26T11:55:35+00:00 October 26th, 2018|Blog, Featured, Law, Security|0 Comments

A Spanish Fisherman – in his own words

Generations of law students have grown up on Factortame - the Spanish Fishermen's case that for more than 25 years defined the UK's constitutional relationship with Europe. My own memoir of the case (in which I represented the Fishermen for 12 years) is to be published shortly in The European Advocate. Having helped me with that piece, [...]

By | 2018-05-23T17:53:30+00:00 May 23rd, 2018|Blog, Brexit, Law|0 Comments

David Vaughan QC 1938-2018

The life of David Vaughan QC, a colleague in Chambers whom (though we were not related) I considered to be my father in the law, was celebrated yesterday evening at a Memorial Service in Temple Church, the central point of the community of barristers living and working in London. I was asked to give a tribute [...]

By | 2018-05-01T09:19:30+00:00 May 1st, 2018|Blog, Brexit, Featured, Law|0 Comments

Who Governs the Internet?

Counsel, the magazine of the Bar of England and Wales, has published my article on the subject of internet content regulation. When I submitted the original version, just before the Cambridge Analytica revelations in March, the piece seemed quite daring.  By the time of publication, it was beginning to look more orthodox.  But the issues are [...]

By | 2018-05-23T18:13:55+00:00 April 24th, 2018|Blog, Featured, Law, 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+00:00 June 7th, 2017|Blog, Law, Security|Comments Off on Not for wimps: the pragmatic case for human rights

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+00:00 June 6th, 2017|Blog, Law, Media|Comments Off on Purdah – Lifting the Veil

Brexit: the security dimension

My article about Brexit and Security ("Terrorism: the EU picture") has just been published in Counsel Magazine.  In summary: The leadership role in the EU exercised by the UK in matters relating to security (in particular counter-terrorism) will inevitably be lost after Brexit. There are reasons to hope that broadly satisfactory arrangements can be made for [...]

By | 2018-07-11T09:05:03+00:00 April 25th, 2017|Blog, Brexit, KEEPING, Law, Security|Comments Off on Brexit: the security dimension

Lawyers in the Age of Trump

I had the great honour of giving the annual address at the annual Suffolk Justice Service in Bury St Edmunds Cathedral on 12 March 2017 - at the conclusion of my final term as Independent Reviewer, and just a few days before the attack in Westminster presaged the UK's worst year for terrorism since 2005.  The two previous addresses, by Supreme Court [...]

By | 2018-04-26T13:13:22+00:00 April 11th, 2017|Blog, Featured, Law|0 Comments