24-May-22 MI5, Abuse and the Patriarchal State

Last week, the BBC published details of a long-running investigation into an MI5 agent who, it is alleged, terrorised, abused and attempted to kill an intimate partner. The BBC had further located an intimate partner in another country, with similar experiences, and suggestions of active targeting of young women, by this agent, for exploitation. TheContinue reading “24-May-22 MI5, Abuse and the Patriarchal State”

26-Apr-22 Sanctions for Sexual Violence in War

Reports from Ukraine in recent weeks evidence that, as in other conflicts around the world and through time, rape is being used as a tool of war. Traditionally, this issue has received minimal attention in the history books. Writing in 1995, Copelon (p.197) observes that: When war is done, rape is comfortably filed away asContinue reading “26-Apr-22 Sanctions for Sexual Violence in War”

9-Apr-21 Escalation mentality

On Monday, I was listening to Eric Nelson, defence attorney for Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who faces three charges of second and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the killing of George Floyd.  Nelson was questioning prosecution witness and Chief of the Minneapolis Police Department Medaria Arradondo, who had fired all four policeContinue reading “9-Apr-21 Escalation mentality”

31-Dec-20 Criminal Conduct Authorisations

On 24 September 2020, the Government introduced the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill 2019-21. The Government explained the Bill rationale as follows: Undercover operatives and agents play a crucial role in preventing and safeguarding victims from the most serious crimes, including terrorism and child sexual abuse. In order to gain the trust ofContinue reading “31-Dec-20 Criminal Conduct Authorisations”

05-Oct-20 The Outsiders and Youth Justice

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home” (Hinton, p.1) This opening line will resonate for many who read The Outsiders (London: Penguin Books, 2016; originally USA: Viking Penguin, 1967) as a teenager andContinue reading “05-Oct-20 The Outsiders and Youth Justice”

27-Sept-20 Marshals and Police

Like all significant social events, COVID-19 has its own lexicon of words and phrases that we find ourselves hearing and using – ‘test, track and trace’, ‘a V-shaped recovery’, ‘asymptomatic’, ‘lockdown’, ‘second spike’, and so on. One word doing the rounds currently is ‘marshal’. To ensure that the public are following social distancing rules, BorisContinue reading “27-Sept-20 Marshals and Police”

10-Aug-20 Abuse in Religious Organisations

On 5 August 2020, the BBC reported leaked excerpts from a forthcoming report by independent investigator Vicky Lawson-Brown into abuse of women and children within the ‘Jesus Army’ or ‘Jesus Fellowship’. Established in 1969 at a chapel in Northamptonshire, the Jesus Army grew quickly, drawing in the homeless and substance misusers, among others, to liveContinue reading “10-Aug-20 Abuse in Religious Organisations”

24-July-20 Achebe and retributive justice

My current read is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (first published by William Heinemann, 1958 though my copy is Penguin, 2001). Born in 1930 in Nigeria, Achebe studied in London and worked for the BBC, later becoming Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The book has a great back story.Continue reading “24-July-20 Achebe and retributive justice”