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+00:00 July 20th, 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+00:00 June 7th, 2017|Blog, Law, Security|Comments Off on Not for wimps: the pragmatic case for human rights

Terrorism, Tolerance and Human Rights

I spoke in October 2016 to the Legal Affairs and Political Affairs Committees of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, as part of its #nohatenofear campaign.  It was an honour to share the platform with the French journalist Antoine Leiris and the Italian teacher Luciana Milani, both of whom lost close relatives in the Bataclan attack in Paris last [...]

By | 2017-06-07T11:42:56+00:00 October 12th, 2016|KEEPING|Comments Off on Terrorism, Tolerance and Human Rights