Counter-terrorism review in the United Kingdom

Presented by ANU College of Law


Counter-terrorism review is an understudied phenomenon, and yet in the United Kingdom there is a vast assemblage of actors, processes and mechanisms that engage in evaluative review in the counter-terrorist space. Based on an 18-month empirical study and a forthcoming book 'Accountability and Review in the Counter-Terrorist State' (2019, Bristol University Press; with Blackbourn and Morgan), this lecture presents three key arguments: a. that counter-terrorism review is a critical mechanism for enhancing accountability in counter-terrorism, b. that the counter-terrorism review assemblage in the United Kingdom operates as a 'pluralistic jumble' that is largely successful in ensuring counter-terrorism is subjected to meaningful evaluation, but c. that realising the accountability-enhancing potential of such review depends largely on executive and legislative willingness to commit to accountability in counter-terrorism. This requires a fundamental dispositional shift in the United Kingdom.

Fiona de Londras is the Professor of Global Legal Studies at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. She has published widely on human rights and constitutionalism, particularly in the counter-terrorism context. Her work has been funded by the European Commission, British Academy, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, and Leverhulme Trust. In 2017 she was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in Law which is supporting her research agenda from 2018-2021.

She is the author or editor of ten books and dozens of articles and chapters, and the joint editor in chief of the Irish Yearbook of International Law. Her next books are an edited collection with Cora Chan called 'China's National Security: Endangering Hong Kong's Rule of Law' and a coauthored monograph with Blackbourn and Morgan entitled 'Accountability and Review in the Counter-Terrorist State'. Both will be released at the end of 2019, with Hart and Bristol University Press respectively.