Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Law

Professor Emeritus Clive Walker contributes to Parliamentary report on Counter-Extremism

31 August 2016 | Alana Barker

The report just published from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, Counter-Extremism (2016-17 HL Paper 39, HC 105) is highly critical of the government's promise to legislate further against ‘extremists’ (such as Anjem Choudary). But its proposals are shown to be lacking in precision, unnecessary because of existing laws, and dangerous to individual rights to free speech. The Committee relies at a number of crucial points upon the evidence provided by Professor Emeritus Clive Walker, School of Law, who argued that '[T]he attempts to date to define ‘extremism’ with legal precision have so far failed... This progression from suppressing violent extremism to suppressing political extremism increases the dangers of repressive state action based on an unproven causal connection.' His own view, quoted in the Report, is that ‘It is a sign of a liberal society that it must tolerate minority views, some of which may be patently mistaken and even offensive, shocking or disturbing.’ 

Read the full report here

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