Tag Archives: human rights

Russell’s Revolution: Is not voting really the answer?

Not having a TV, I missed Russell Brand’s Newsnight interview when it first aired, but with what feels like the whole world currently singing Brand’s praises (and the ‘R’ word being liberally flung about), I thought I’d better see what all the fuss was about. I applaud Brand, and any celebrity for that matter (Benedict Cumberbatch, Dominic […]

Undercover Policing on Trial

Background Earlier this year a book and Channel 4 documentary by Paul Lewis and Rob Evans blew the lid off the darker side of British undercover policing, revealing that since the 1970s undercover police officers of the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) had routinely deceived female activists into committed sexual relationships.  This followed the inadvertent outing […]

Further criminalisation of squatting: unnecessary and unjust

Last year the UK coalition government brought in new powers further criminalising squatting in residential buildings. Section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) came into force on 1st September 2012 and carries a maximum 6 month sentence and/or £5000 fine. This, despite the fact that ‘adverse occupation’ is already […]

North Korea Freedom Week in Europe

I tend to stick to domestic legal affairs but this is an issue I feel particularly strongly about, and given that this blog is largely centred around human rights I feel it would be wrong to overlook it.  This week is the very first North Korea Freedom Week in Europe – a week of events […]

Arbitrary Detention Powers and the War on Journalism

“At 08:05 on Sunday, 18 August a 28-year-old man was detained at Heathrow airport under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. He was not arrested. He was subsequently released at 17:00.” The 28-year-old man in question was David Miranda, partner of Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who along with Edward Snowden exposed to the […]

Taser use: more deaths, less accountability

**I was inspired to write this having attended a panel discussion on tasers at The Law Society, London.  I will reference comments made by the panel as “LS” throughout, here is a link to a podcast of the event so you can check out their comments, as well as comments and questions from the audience, […]

Tear Gas Everywhere

Whether it be mainstream or citizen journalism, a striking feature of photos from the protests in Turkey is the ever-present cloud of pale yellow gas lurking in the background or engulfing protesters, particularly in images captured after dark. This flagrant use of tear gas, often as a first-resort, by these countries’ police services (with implied […]

“Raped by the state”: undercover policing exposed

Hats off to Paul Lewis and Channel 4, who last night managed to shed some well-needed light on the extent to which undercover police officers are used to spy on British activists. ‘Dispatches: The Police’s Dirty Secret’ centres around former undercover officer Peter Francis, who has decided to blow the whistle on the operations of […]

Kettling for intelligence ruled unlawful by High Court

The High Court has issued an important ruling relating to Police intelligence gathering during containment situations. During a TUC demonstration in London on 30th November 2011, a kettle was imposed on UK Uncut protesters in order to stop an imminent breach of the peace. Protesters were then told that they could leave the kettle, but […]