Kent LLM students help victims of misuse of counterterrorism laws to assert their legal rights
19 December 2017
Victims of the misuse of counterterrorism laws by international organisations such as the UN and Interpol are being helped to assert their legal rights by Kent Law School LLM students.
The students have been undertaking cutting-edge research under the supervision of Kent Law School Lecturer and Solicitor Dr Gavin Sullivan as part of an innovative clinical project to help people assert their due process rights. Dr Sullivan leads a module in Global Security Law for the Kent LLM (Master's in Law) that immerses students in contemporary security and accountability problems.
Nerifa Lukuamusa, Jade Knight and Gemma Mills are working in collaboration with Fair Trials International to assist people subjected to Interpol Red Notice electronic alerts. Dr Sullivan said: 'These alerts stop people wanted for crimes from travelling across borders and facilitate their extradition. But they have been misused by states to target journalists, refugees, human rights defenders and political opponents. Interpol has legal immunity, which means it cannot be challenged in court. Our students have been helping people request removal from Interpol's databases and researching how the Red Notice system can be made human rights compliant.'
Marina Zieman, Anamika Misra and Naomi Namugenyi are working with Reprieve researching EU member state policies on the use of armed drones outside of armed conflict. Their research will support the push by Reprieve and others to create a European Common Position on Armed Drones which, if adopted, will make EU states accountable for rights violations stemming from their involvement in targeted killing practices. Earlier this term, Tayyiba Bajwa of Reprieve came and delivered a guest lecture in this Global Security Law module on drone warfare and accountability.
Melanie Lafresiere and Jana Daoud are working with Dr Sullivan to assist two clients seeking removal from the UN Security Council's counterterrorism sanctions list. This has involved working with pro bono legal counsel – Rachel Barnes of Three Raymond Buildings chambers in London – as well as a team of law student volunteers from Roma Tre University in Italy directed by Dr Alice Riccardi. In November 2017, these students accompanied Dr Sullivan on a legal casework visit to Rome to interview the clients and collaboratively develop their cases. Last week, a delisting application was filed to the UN1267 Office of the Ombudsperson on the basis of this work.
Dr Sullivan joined Kent Law School in 2016. He is Coordinator of the Transnational Listing Project – a global law clinic providing pro bono representation to people targeted by security lists. As a solicitor, Dr Sullivan has a background in public law and human rights litigation and has represented clients in proceedings before the UK High Court and Court of Appeal, the European Court of Human Rights and the UN Security Council. He previously directed the Counterterrorism Program at the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin (Germany) and has advised peacebuilding organisations working in Somalia on the impact of counterterrorism measures on their work.
The Kent LLM is a one-year taught Master’s in Law offered at Kent's Canterbury campus with start dates in either September or January. The program enables students to broaden and deepen their knowledge and understanding of law by specialising in one or more different areas. Students applying to begin their studies next year can also apply now for a range of scholarships.