We are delighted to report that Murray Hunt is to be the new Director of the Bingham Centre. Murray is currently the Legal Adviser to the UK Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights and a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford. He is also a practising barrister and was one of the founders of Matrix in London, to which he will be returning as an Associate Member. He brings extensive practical knowledge and research experience in dealing with rule of law issues both nationally and internationally, especially in the context of the role of parliaments. Murray will join the Centre on 26 June 2017.
On 3 May 2017, Lord Judge delivered the Annual Bingham Lecture at the Honourable Society of Grayâ€™s Inn in the presence of the late Lord Bingham's family. His remarks, which can be read in full on our website, illustrated the importance of effective parliamentary scrutiny of legislative measures, especially during the process of UK withdrawal from the EU. In response, Dame Sian Elias, Chief Justice of New Zealand, offered an international perspective on these issues. The lecture was chaired by former UK Supreme Court President and the President of BIICL, The Rt. Hon. The Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers. There was extensive coverage of the lecture in the media. The Bingham Centre is grateful to Linklaters for its generous sponsorship of this event.
Events The Bob McDonnell Case and the Trump Administration: Implications for the persecution of corruption in the UK and the rest of the world 21 April 2017 The Center for International and Comparative Law at Duke Law, in collaboration with the Global Rule of Law Exchange (GROLEX) at the Bingham Centre, hosted a round table discussion on â€œThe Bob McDonnell Case and the Trump Administrationâ€. The event gathered leading anti-corruption academics, legal practitioners, former government officials and NGOs to discuss the relationship between politics and policies in relation to corruption, and the possible impact of the McDonnell case and the new Trump administration on judicial review on corruption. GROLEX at the Bingham Centre is sponsored by Jones Day.
Doing business in a post-Brexit Europe: What of the Single Market? 3 May 2017 GROLEX at the Bingham Centre, together with the Exchange's global partner Jones Day, convened a round table discussion on the future of the single market after Brexit. This was organised at Jones Day in Brussels. Speakers included the Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium (Alexander de Croo), business representatives (Laura Ahto and Hendrik Bourgeois) and the former Chairman of the European Parliamentâ€™s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (Malcolm Harbour). Among other things, speakers agreed on the importance of transitional agreements and the need for flexibility in the outcome of Brexit negotiations.
Where to After Watson: The challenges and future of data retention in the UK 11 May 2017
We examined the future of data retention law in the UK, following the decision by the Court of Justice of the EU in the Watson case. The judgment highlighted a number of shortcomings in UK data retention law and took a distinctly rights-protecting approach to data collection. Speakers, including Max Hill QC, the newly-appointed Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, discussed a number of important issues including the nature and quality of oversight of data retention, and the ways in which data can be collected in a proportionate manner. A summary report of the event will be available on our website soon. The Bingham Centre is grateful to Simmons & Simmons for hosting this event.
Implementation of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights May 15 2017
The Bingham Centre and Leicester Law School hosted a public event on â€˜Implementation of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights: Opportunities and Challenges for the Rule of Lawâ€™. This followed a successful conference on 20 April 2016, â€˜The Rule of Law, The European Court of Human Rights and the UK: A New Court for a New Era?â€™ (the report from that event is available here). This second event provided an opportunity to hear experts comment on the UK's implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and to reflect on the wider implementation crisis at Strasbourg. Panellists discussed key challenges ahead for the Committee of Ministers, the body responsible for supervising execution of judgments, and possible reform options. A full report of the event will be available on our website soon.
The Bingham Centre schools project has reached another exciting milestone. Our Research Fellow, Michael Olatokun, has completed the creation of a new teaching resource targeting KS4, 'The Rule of Law for Citizenship Education: International Law and Human Rights', and we have begun to roll out the book across England. Travers Smith will be hosting a launch event for the book at the end of June where teachers will have the opportunity to trial the exercises in the book. They will also hear from a range of citizenship practitioners about how students can best be engaged in discussion of public issues at a turbulent time in world affairs. The event will be followed by a number of live demonstrations over the next few months to encourage teachers to deliver lessons from the book. Samples are available on our website.
Brexit, Devolution and Human Rights - roundtable 27 April 2017 - BIICL
On 27 April 2017, the Bingham Centre together with the University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Europa Institute, hosted a roundtable meeting on â€˜Brexit, Devolution and Human Rightsâ€™. This followed a successful workshop on 27 October 2016 in Edinburgh on â€˜Brexit and the British Bill of Rightsâ€™ (the report from that event is available here). This second event provided an opportunity for academics, practitioners and parliamentarians to come together to continue the conversation. The first panel considered the impact of Brexit on human rights and the consequences of Brexit for Scotland, including analysis of the governmentâ€™s Great Repeal Bill White Paper. In the second session, speakers examined the implications of Brexit for Northern Ireland, focusing on transitional justice issues, the peace process and questions of identity; and options for Northern Ireland going forward. A full report of the event will be available on our website soon.
The rule of law has an impact in many and varied areas of the law. The Bingham Centre delivered its one-day course in April, â€˜Rule of Law: From Principles to Practiceâ€™, to a group of 21 participants from a wide range of professional backgrounds and workplaces to explain and explore how the rule of law is encountered in specific contexts. Using case studies and examples from the work of the Bingham Centre, Centre staff (Dr Jan van Zyl Smit and Dr Julinda Bequiraj) and external presenters (Professor Ian Cram, University of Leeds School of Law, and Kathryn Rand, Assistant Director of Great Britain China Centre) lectured on the importance of the rule of law. This was examined in contexts including human rights in China, the use of executive orders in the United States and the independence of the judiciary.
Feedback from participants was very positive. Sessions were thought of as â€˜very insightfulâ€™, â€˜engagingâ€™ and â€˜thought-provokingâ€™. Another course will be run again this autumn on Brexit and the Rule of Law.
The All Party Parliamentary Group on the Rule of Law continues to provide a cross party forum for discussions around rule of law issues for MPs and peers. It met in March to consider the topic â€˜EU Law, the Investigatory Powers Act, and UK-EU Cross-Border Crime and Security Cooperationâ€™. It discussed issues arising from the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 and the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Watsoncase which found blanket retention of communications data to be contrary to EU privacy law. A report of that meeting is available here. It also met to consider â€˜The Role of the UN Universal Periodic Review in Assessing the UK's Human Rights Recordâ€™ and was convened in conjunction with the APPG on the United Nations, Parliamentary Human Rights Group and the British Group Inter-Parliamentary Union.
In the light of the general election, the APPG will be in abeyance until Parliament meets after the election. A General Meeting to re-establish the APPG in accordance with the Parliamentary Rules for APPGs will be convened in due course.
The Bingham Appeal raises funds to ensure the sustainability of the Centre. We need to raise a further Â£2 million by 2020 in order to respond to the growing demand for the Centreâ€™s work.
We are extremely grateful to all our donors and would like to thank Mishcon de Reya for their recent pledge to support the Citizenship Education Programme and Linklaters for their sponsorship of the 2017 Annual Bingham Lecture.
The development team is constantly looking for new donors, volunteers and partners. If you or your organisation would like to help, please contact Sarah Taylor, Development Director, on 020 7862 5433 or email email@example.com.