Challenges to Judicial Independence in Times of Crisis

Judicial independence is increasingly under threat, at home and abroad. The rise of populist and nationalist sentiment threatens to undermine the separation of powers, with judges being portrayed as elitist and ‘enemies of the people’, and governmental interference with judicial matters becoming routine. This interdisciplinary conference seeks to situate contemporary challenges to judicial independence in their legal, philosophical, sociopolitical, comparative and historical contexts. It will bring together academic scholars, judges, politicians, third sector experts and legal professionals. The conference asks what core shared democratic values judicial independence seeks to protect, and how can threats to that independence be protected against.

Dr Yvonne McDermott Rees, Swansea University
Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, Brunel University

Speakers include:
Dr Daniel Aguirre, University of Greenwich
Professor Ilias G. Anagnostopoulos, Athens Law School
Professor Vian Bakir, Bangor University
Dr Moa Bladini, University of Gothenburg
M Guy Canivet, former President, Cour de Cassation
Dame Sue Carr, Presiding Judge of the Midland Circuit
Professor Fiona De Londras, University of Birmingham
Professor Martina Feilzer, Bangor University
Professor John Jackson, University of Nottingham
Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore, Justice of the Supreme Court
Professor Kate Malleson, Queen Mary University of London
Dr Lawrence McNamara, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and University of York
Professor Raphaële Parizot, Université Paris-Nanterre
His Honour Jeremy Roberts QC, The Parole Board for England and Wales
Professor Julian Petley, Brunel University London
Sir Konrad Schiemman, Court of Justice of the European Union
Dr Stephen Skinner, University of Exeter
Professor David Sklansky, Stanford University
Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, former Lord Justice of England and Wales

Please click here for a copy of the current conference programme.

A registration fee is payable at the time of booking. For further information and details of how to book please click on ‘Book event’.

Standard Admission: £95 for both days; £50 for one day
Early Bird booking (before 31 January 2018): £75 for both days; £40 for one day
Concessions: £36 for both days; £20 for one day

Image credit: Sir Thomas More Refusing to Grant Wolsey a Subsidy, 1523 © Parliamentary Art Collection

book event

Debating Matters London North Championship

The Academy of Ideas have partnered with Brunel University for the Debating Matters London North Championship on 5 March 2018. This all-day event will see 150 students from 12 schools across London debating Human Rights, facilitated by experts at Brunel.

dmmastheadlarge05 - Debating Matters London North Championship

The day is open to all staff, students and members of the public who wish to join and learn from the great minds of the future, and to hear some brilliant ideas. Debating matters because ideas matter. This is the premise of the Academy of Ideas Debating Matters Competition for sixth form students which emphasises substance, not just style, and the importance of taking ideas seriously.

The London North Championship at Brunel University, London, on 5 March 2018 is a part of the ‘Knowing our Rights’ research project, which aims to provide analysis, and to deepen and increase understanding, of the application of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in the UK. Debates at the London North Championship will take on a human rights theme.


Max Hill QC, The Independent Reviewer of Terrorism

Fighting Terrorism Within the Law

Max Hill QC

12.00 – 1.30pm Tuesday 27th February 2018

Moot Court
Elliot Jaques Building
Brunel University London
Kingston Lane

The Brunel Law School and the “Knowing Our Rights” project are delighted to host a special talk by the Government’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, Max Hill QC who will be providing analysis on the ongoing fight against terrorism and the protection of human rights.

Please join us in the Moot Court, at the Elliott Jaques Building, for a 12 o’clock start (there will be a buffet lunch after the session).

Max Hill QC is Head of Red Lion Chambers and, since March 2017, the current Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation. He is also the former Leader of the South Eastern Circuit (2014-16) and Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association (2011-12).  Whilst unable to advise or appear in terrorism related cases during his tenure as Independent Reviewer, Max maintains a heavy-weight crime practice, defending and prosecuting in a number of complex cases of homicide, violent crime and high value fraud and corporate crime. He also has extensive advisory experience both nationally and internationally.

We look forward to seeing you on the 27th February


Sir Geoffrey Nice QC – Book Launch – Justice for All and How to Achieve It

The ‘Knowing our Rights‘ research project and the Brunel Law Society are delighted to invite you to a launch of Sir Geoffrey Nice QC’s new book:

Justice for All and How to Achieve It:

Citizens, lawyers and the law in the age of human rights.  

What is a crime against humanity and when should it be investigated? What does ‘human rights’ mean? Is law the new religion and are its high priests, the lawyers, really all that bad? What is the role of the law in sexual behaviour? These and many other crucial questions are explored with wit, panache and consummate even-handedness by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, in this book, which brings together the lectures he delivered as Gresham Professor of Law, 2012-2016. Drawing on events from around the world and from different periods of history, Sir Geoffrey applies his own experience to moral problems which are as pressing in today’s anxious world as they ever have been.

Sir Geoffrey Nice QC has practised as a barrister since 1971. He led the prosecution of Slobodan Milošević and much of his work since then has been connected to the International Criminal Court or pro bono for victims’ groups.

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The Body and Human Rights Symposium

Hosted by Brunel University London’s Global Lives Research CentreKnowing Our Rights research project, and Britain in Europe think tank – and convened by Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos (Brunel University) and Meredith Jones (Brunel University) – The Body and Human Rights Symposium is a cross-disciplinary colloquium taking place at Friends House in Euston on the 12th February.

In recent decades the body has become a major area of research across many disciplines, especially in the arts and social sciences. Feminist scholars have made important interventions in the ways that bodies are represented, managed, regulated, treated medically, and modified. Simultaneously, human rights scholars have engaged with challenging questions of how the human body should be legally understood and defined, and what may legitimate the State to become involved with individual choices about what to do with one’s body (or how individuals might protect their autonomy from state invasions). This symposium will draw together these two areas.


Britain in Europe Brunel University Open Society Foundation