Extremism and the Law

Extremism and the Law was the subject of my Middle Temple Treasurer's Lecture on Monday evening.  It was attended by a wonderfully diverse crowd, ranging from Supreme Court Justices to East London sixth-formers who had got to hear about it through The Big Voice, a legal outreach charity. The lecture is framed by the experience [...]

By |2019-03-20T11:52:55+00:00March 20th, 2019|Blog, Featured, Law, Security|0 Comments

Reporting Terrorism

This is the text of a lecture I delivered to journalism students and others at the University of Essex on 11 February 2019.  Among the issues covered are the appearance vs the reality of terrorism in the West, and some of the dilemmas facing journalists as both investigators and reporters of terrorism.  It finishes with a short discussion of [...]

By |2019-03-13T12:14:08+00:00March 1st, 2019|Blog, Featured, Law, Media, Security|Comments Off on Reporting Terrorism

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 |2019-03-13T12:14:12+00:00October 26th, 2018|Blog, Law, Security|Comments Off on The Fly in the China Shop

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 |2019-03-13T12:14:20+00:00October 26th, 2018|Blog, Law, Security|Comments Off on Human rights and the future of surveillance

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 |2019-03-11T10:20:54+00:00April 24th, 2018|Blog, Featured, Law, Security|0 Comments

Watching the watchers – implementation stocktake

The Home Secretary wrote to me today - just in time for my evidence session this afternoon before the Home Affairs Select Committee - setting out the terms for a new assignment.  That will be a "stocktake" of the implementation by MI5 and Counter-Terrorism Policing of the 126 recommendations that came out of the post-attack reviews and Operational Improvement Review completed [...]

By |2019-06-28T15:59:54+00:00January 30th, 2018|Blog, Security|0 Comments

Shades of Independent Review

This new working paper, Shades of Independent Review (draft updated April 2018) is the sequel to a 2014 article (reproduced by kind permission of Public Law) on the responsibilities and influence of the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation (IRTL). The latest paper concentrates on changes to the functions of the IRTL in 2015, and on the potential influence of specially-commissioned reports [...]

By |2018-04-25T10:46:29+00:00December 6th, 2017|Blog, Featured, Security|0 Comments

Report into MI5/Police intelligence-handling reviews

The Home Secretary has today published my report (submitted to her on 2 November) into the nine internal reviews by MI5 and Counter-Terrorism Police of their handling of intelligence prior to this year's terrorist attacks at Westminster, Manchester Arena, London Bridge and Finsbury Park.  I am grateful to the Investigatory Powers Commissioner's Office and to [...]

By |2019-03-11T11:23:32+00:00December 5th, 2017|Blog, Security|0 Comments

The Qatada Complex

When the celebrated lawyer Gareth Peirce suggested that I drop in on "Mr Othman" (Abu Qatada) for a cup of tea at his house, I jumped at the chance.  Charismatic even in a grey sweatsuit, he talked with animation about everything from the politics of the Middle East to the awkwardness of being recognised in his local (Stanmore) branch of Tesco. [...]

By |2017-12-06T13:28:41+00:00July 20th, 2017|Blog, Security|0 Comments

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