Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Bill

This Bill, prompted by recent atrocities in Fishmongers' Hall and Streatham, has been introduced with the objective - which I support - of ensuring that terrorist offenders with determinate sentences are not automatically released before the end of their custodial term.  The Parole Board must first have a chance to examine whether they pose a [...]

By |2020-03-30T15:59:30+00:00February 21st, 2020|Blog, Law, Security|Comments Off on Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Bill

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 |2019-11-15T10:39:18+00:00October 26th, 2018|Blog, Featured, Law, Security|Comments Off on The Fly in the China Shop

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 |2022-08-11T10:42:35+00:00December 5th, 2017|Blog, Security|Comments Off on Report into MI5/Police intelligence-handling reviews

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 |2020-02-24T10:26:57+00:00June 6th, 2017|Blog, Security|Comments Off on Terrorism, Surveillance and Extremism

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+00:00October 12th, 2016|KEEPING|Comments Off on Terrorism, Tolerance and Human Rights

Report of Bulk Powers Review, August 2016

The report of my Bulk Powers Review, which I delivered to the Prime Minister on 7 August, was published to Parliament (in unaltered form, and without redactions or confidential annex) at 11 am today. Web and print versions of the report are on the gov.uk website, and a PDF copy of the report is here: Bulk Powers Review – final [...]

By |2020-02-24T10:27:42+00:00August 16th, 2016|Blog, Security|Comments Off on Report of Bulk Powers Review, August 2016

Shielding the Compass: How to Fight Terrorism without Defeating the Law

Terrorism was commonplace prior to 9/11: yet the years since then have seen an unprecedented growth in anti-terrorism law. This paper suggests that some of the conventional justifications for terrorism-specific laws are overblown, and that such laws need to be justified by the particular demands of policing and prosecuting this type of crime.  An appropriate definition of terrorism, together with a culture of [...]

By |2020-02-24T10:27:52+00:00April 19th, 2013|Blog, KEEPING, Security|Comments Off on Shielding the Compass: How to Fight Terrorism without Defeating the Law
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