School of Law

Leeds terrorism law expert advises the government on ‘foreign terrorist fighters’

26 January 2017 | Rebekah Bradley

Leeds terrorism law expert advises the government on ‘foreign terrorist fighters’

The Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation was appointed in 2001 to provide expert analysis and advice on the laws relating to terrorism. The current Reviewer is David Anderson QC. Professor Emeritus Clive Walker was appointed as the sole adviser to the Reviewer in 2010, reflecting his long-standing status as the leading academic legal expert on the subject, as reflected in his many books such as Terrorism and the Law (Oxford University Press, 2011), The Anti-Terrorism Legislation, (3rd ed., Oxford University Press, 2014), and the Routledge Handbook of Law and Terrorism (Routledge, 2015). Recognition of this leading role is reflected in the recent 6th annual report of the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation into the operation of the Terrorism Acts which was published on 1 December 2016. For the first time, one of the Reviewer’s reports includes a substantial part written by someone else. In the words of the Reviewer:

‘…the report ends with a guest chapter by my Senior Special Adviser, the estimable Professor Emeritus Clive Walker QC (Hon.), on Foreign Terrorist Fighters and UK Counter-Terrorism Laws, which I have left to speak for itself, and with the text of my short recent speech to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Terrorism and Tolerance.’

The chapter surveys the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters in Iraq and Syria, with reference to those who come from the UK. Professor Walker was funded to undertake this research by the Home Office in summer 2016. He interviewed a wide range of professionals in the security agencies and in the legal sector and took evidence from a number of Continental jurisdictions. He also visited a number of academic institutions for discussions, such as the Asser Instituut in The Hague. His report was fully accepted by David Anderson and is now being reflected upon by the government.

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