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Justine Stefanelli

CITIZENSHIP

Weekly Update 29 July 2022

Weekly Update 29 July 2022 Dear Friends, This is our last edition before the Weekly Update takes a break for the summer. We wish all Northern Hemisphere readers a respite from the widespread heatwaves, and look forward to bringing you more news from September. On 12 September, the UK's controversial "Bill of Rights" Bill is due to be debated in the House of Commons. The Bingham Centre already has a programme of work examining this Bill. This week, we are pleased to announce a joint project…

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Weekly Update 01 July 2022

Weekly Update 01 July 2022 Dear Friends, Public debate about the role of courts in protecting human rights has become increasingly bitter in both the UK and the USA in recent weeks. A particular approach to the interpretation of rights guarantees - the "living instrument" doctrine, which judges use to interpret rights in the light of contemporary social norms -has come under fire in both countries. In the UK, the Government argues that it has led the Strasbourg Court to be too generous in…

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Weekly Update 24 June 2022

Weekly Update 24 June 2022 Dear Friends, The UK Government published its Bill of Rights Bill this week. We are still analysing the substantive contents of this Bill, which, if enacted, would repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and replace it with a so-called "Bill of Rights". The Bill has profound implications for the effective protection of rights under the European Convention on Human Rights in UK law and for the devolution settlement, for which protection of Convention rights is…

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Weekly Update 27 May 2022

Weekly Update 27 May 2022 Dear Friends, This week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he took "full responsibility" for a series of parties in Downing Street that had breached COVID-19 regulations and led to him being fined by the Metropolitan police, among a total of 126 fines issued. Yet he did not resign. The "Partygate" scandal is not only about breaches of the criminal law, which some have likened to mere "parking fines", while others have recalled the serious public health purpose…

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Weekly Update 20 May 2022

Weekly Update 20 May 2022 Dear Friends, On Tuesday, the Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, announced to the House of Commons that the UK Government would be introducing legislation to make changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol. The United Kingdom seems to be going outside of the framework provided by the Withdrawal Agreement and the Protocol to resolve difficulties in a move reminiscent of the UK Internal Market Bill clauses from 2020, which were widely criticised for undermining the Rule…

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Weekly Update 29 April 2022

Weekly Update 29 April 2022 Dear Friends, What is the state of the Rule of Law in Europe today, and what can be done to strengthen it? This question has become ever more important - even for mainstream politicians - in the context of the war in Ukraine, increasingly bitter disputes about democratic "backsliding", and a growing body of regional Rule of Law standards and monitoring mechanisms. For some, the European Rule of Law glass is half-full, while others insist that it is half-empty. This…

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Weekly Update 1 April 2022

Weekly Update 1 April 2022 Dear Friends, Defending the Rule of Law sometimes means standing up, again and again, for principled solutions in politically sensitive areas. Refugee and asylum law is one such area. Today, the Bingham Centre publishes its fourth report on the Nationality and Borders Bill. We argue that the House of Lords should resist pressure from the House of Commons which has reinserted a number of problematic clauses into the Bill. Among these are clauses that would…

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Weekly Update 11 March 2022

Weekly Update 11 March 2022 Dear Friends, Last week, we reported on an initiative to establish a special tribunal on the crime of aggression in relation to Ukraine. The creation of such a tribunal would enable the international Rule of Law to be upheld by filling the gap which currently exists in the machinery for ensuring that the crime of aggression on the territory of Ukraine does not go unpunished. The establishment of a special criminal tribunal continues to attract support from…

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Weekly Update 18 February 2022

Weekly Update 18 February 2022 Dear Friends, This week saw a significant milestone for the Rule of Law in the European Union. On Wednesday, the Court of Justice of the EU upheld the validity of the regulation on a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget, rejecting arguments to the contrary by Hungary and Poland. The judgment means that the European Commission is finally free to adopt guidelines on the use of the regulation. This means the Commission…

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Weekly Update 11 February 2022

Weekly Update 11 February 2022 Dear Friends, Rule of Law arguments continue to make the headlines. In a wide-ranging lecture entitled 'In democracy we trust?' to the Institute of Government on Thursday, the former Prime Minister Sir John Major stated that "The Prime Minister and our present Government not only challenge the law, but also seem to believe that they - and they alone - need not obey the rules". The continuing fallout from the "partygate" revelations for trust in the Government…

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Weekly Update 17 December 2021

Weekly Update 17 December 2021 Dear Friends, It has been a dramatic week. The UK Government's cavalier attitude to the Rule of Law was partly responsible for the collapse in the Prime Minister's political authority over his own MPs on Tuesday, as almost 100 of them voted against the latest Coronavirus measures, amidst mounting anxiety that the system for making such significant laws in a hurry is no longer fit for purpose. And the growing sense that the Government considers itself above…

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School Exclusions and The Rule of Law

School Exclusions and The Rule of Law Introduction Lord Bingham stated that equality is a key principle of the rule of law, arguing that everyone should receive the equal benefit of the law as well as be held equally accountable before it. Throughout 2020, the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, together with the Oxford University Centre for Global History, held a series of expert roundtables on 'Achieving Racial Justice and Equality Before the Law'. Further roundtables are planned and together,…

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Weekly Update 19 November 2021

Weekly Update 19 November 2021 Dear Friends, On Monday 22 November, the Bingham Centre will hold an event in Belfast, on the topic of the UK Government's Legacy Proposals and the Rule of Law. The Legacy Proposals include a statute of limitations, preventing investigations and prosecutions on all Troubles-related incidents in Northern Ireland, as well as a bar on all civil claims and inquests arising out of the Troubles. This week, a bipartisan group of 21 members of the US Congress published…

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Weekly Update 5 November 2021

Weekly Update 5 November 2021 Dear Friends, The Rule of Law was once again front and centre in UK news this week, as the Government appeared to seek to avoid the application of the rules for upholding parliamentary standards to one of the governing party's former ministers. One of the central and most easily understood ideas inherent in the Rule of Law is that laws and rules apply to everyone, including the Government. Governments which seek to avoid the rules applying to them demonstrate…

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Weekly Update 29 October 2021

Weekly Update 29 October 2021 Dear Friends, In a week which saw the EU's Rule of Law stand-off with Poland come to a head, and the UK House of Commons debate for the first time the Government's Judicial Review and Courts Bill, we are reminded of how fundamentally important the Rule of Law is to the health and well-being of democratic societies. The invisible underpinning that it provides to democracy has been taken for granted for so long that we need to ensure that we remain vigilant…

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Weekly Update 22 October 2021

Weekly Update 22 October 2021 Dear Friends, This week, we held our first live panel discussion for 18 months - on the subject of ​​Build Back Better: Online Civil Justice after the Pandemic. ​​To examine the rapid spread of online court proceedings, and discuss their future after the pandemic, we worked with the City of London Corporation and the Magna Carta Trust to bring together a panel of distinguished speakers from the judiciary, legal profession and civil society. The event took…

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Weekly Update 15 October 2021

Weekly Update 15 October 2021 Dear Friends, Rule of Law principles provide a valuable framework for scrutiny of legislation, policy and practice, whether the context is emergencies such as the Coronavirus pandemic, or longstanding challenges facing society. This week, we bring you news of our engagement with UK Coronavirus legislation, Black History Month and the UK legal profession, European debates about rebuilding the Rule of Law in illiberal democracies and reviewing counter-terrorism…

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Weekly Update 8 October 2021

Weekly Update 8 October 2021 Dear Friends, The Coronavirus pandemic has severely tested all branches of Government. On the Parliamentary front, we bring you news of our joint webinar on Parliamentary Review of the Coronavirus Act 2020: Scrutiny Delayed, or Scrutiny Denied?, which will take place on 14th October, in the run-up to a debate in which Parliament must decide on the future of this far-reaching Act. The Executive branch of Government, and new agencies such as NHS Test and Trace,…

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Weekly Update 1 October 2021

Weekly Update 1 October 2021 Dear Friends, The Bingham Centre welcomes the initiative of the Scottish Government in setting out proposals to establish a public inquiry into the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland. In this week's Update we share our submission on the scope of the Scottish inquiry, in which we emphasised that it should examine Rule of Law issues. We also bring you news of an inquiry submission on Closed Material Procedures, our public engagement activities in schools,…

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The Rule of Law Online: Who Targets Me and What Does It Mean For My Rights?

The Rule of Law Online: Who Targets Me and What Does It Mean For My Rights? Event - Tags Share Links Event - Timings and Location      Event Details The Bingham Centre and the City of London are excited to be teaming up to run an event on technology, democracy and the Rule of Law. Whilst the Digital Age presents us with cutting-edge opportunities,…

CITIZENSHIP

The Rule of Law Online: Who Targets Me and What Does It Mean For My Rights?

On 15 September 2020 the Bingham Centre and the City of London teamed up to run an event on technology, democracy and the Rule of Law. Whilst the Digital Age presents us with cutting-edge opportunities, it also brings the potential for new social problems. How often do we pause to reflect on important questions such as "Which corporations are targeting me with misinformation?" "How can I avoid harm on public social media platforms?" "What new forms of technology are being developed and will…

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Unity and Diversity in National Understandings of the Rule of Law in the EU (Reconnect deliverable 7.1)

The working paper aims to show that the rule of law is not only one amongst the few overarching constitutional principles that can together be regarded as undergirding all legal systems in Europe, but it is also a constitutional principle whose core meaning is consensual and well-defined. The paper submits that there is now a broad legal consensus in Europe on the core meaning of this principle, its minimum components, and how it relates to other key values such as democracy and respect…

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Public and Youth Engagement Programme

Young people should be equipped with the knowledge, skills and confidence to become active, participatory citizens. Our Public and Youth Engagement Programme is designed to do precisely that. The Bingham Centre has been a long-term contributor to citizenship education in the UK. We have produced award-winning textbooks , shared best practice at international conferences, and continue to convene a highly successful Massive Open Online Course  with over 10,000 students. This year…

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Defending Democracy

For Justice Week 2020 (24-28 February), the Bar Council published a series of papers from different authors on key legal issues, each falling into one of the key themes of Justice Week. In his paper, 'Defending Democracy', Michael discusses the role of the law in protecting important democratic freedoms in the face of new, modern threats. We would like to thank our former Research Assistant Emma Lee for her assistance in copyediting the paper. Publication - Download…

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Justice Week 2020

The Bar Council, Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and Law Society ran a week-long campaign from 24th - 28th February to promote access to justice and the Rule of Law called 'Justice Week'. The Bingham Centre was both a member of the advisory committee for the campaign and one of its leading participants. Michael Abiodun Olatokun led a series of activities that included the following: Monday 24th February- a panel discussion on the topic 'Can PLE Increase A2J'. The event was convened…

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Consult beyond the usual suspects to renew the constitution

The Prime Minister has delivered on his General Election promise of "getting Brexit done". Having completed one totemic mission, he must now salve tensions that have been exposed by Brexit. The Queen's Speech contained a pledge to establish the Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission to "develop proposals to restore trust in how our democracy operates". This is a tough ask. If this Commission is going to deliver then the Government should make sure that it is set up to empower citizens…

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Citizenship and the Rule of Law Massive Open Online Course

Citizenship and the Rule of Law Massive Open Online Course Event - Tags Share Links Course Details BIICL and the Bingham Centre are proud to announce the launch of an exciting course called 'Citizenship and the Rule of Law'. This six-week course communicates our expertise in human rights, Rule of Law and international law through video lectures, articles, assessments…

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Citizenship and the Rule of Law: Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

The Bingham Centre has been a leading provider of public legal education to school students aged 11-18 since 2014. Alongside this work, the Centre has run short courses on the Rule of Law for legal practitioners and government officials. Developing this work, we have partnered with the University of London and Coursera to reach people around the world who can help to defend the Rule of Law in their contexts. 'Citizenship and the Rule of Law: Advancing Democracy and Human Rights'…

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Launch of an exciting new course, 'Citizenship and the Rule of Law'

Launch of an exciting new course, 'Citizenship and the Rule of Law' BIICL and the Bingham Centre are proud to announce the launch of an exciting course called 'Citizenship and the Rule of Law'. This six-week course communicates our expertise in human rights, Rule of Law and international law through video lectures, articles, assessments and discussion forums. The initiative is aimed at lawyers, campaigners and students interested in learning more about the practical requirements of the…

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Rule of Law: Five Years of Public Legal Education

On 13th January 2020 the Bingham Centre convened an event hosted by Travers Smith LLP. "Citizenship and the Rule of Law: Five Years of Public Legal Education" detailed major findings from the Bingham Centre's evaluation of its pioneering project teaching human rights and democracy in schools since 2014. The event also served as the launch event for a new Massive Open Online Course run collaboratively between the Bingham Centre, BIICL, the University of London and Coursera. Speakers for the…

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Citizenship and the Rule of Law: Five Years of Public Legal Education

Citizenship and the Rule of Law: Five Years of Public Legal Education Event - Tags Share Links Event Details Since the Bingham Centre has pioneered a programme of Citizenship Education that has empowered over 36,000 young people to grow as active citizens, using the power of the law to effect social justice. Over 400 schools across England have delivered lessons…

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Courts are becoming modern but may leave many behind

An ambitious programme of reform The UK stands on the precipice of legal reforms that will revolutionise the way that litigants interact with the justice system. Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) is implementing over fifty projects in a £1billion programme of reform  to "modernise and upgrade our justice system so that it works even better for everyone." Though disparate in scope and subject matter, each of these projects seeks to facilitate access to justice through…

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The Rule of Law Should be Taught in Schools

The Bingham Centre is part of a consortium of institutions running 'RECONNECT', a four-year multidisciplinary research project on 'Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and the Rule of Law'. In this RECONNECT post, Michael Abiodun Olatokun underscores the important role that human rights education can serve in solidifying the rule of law.  This post first appeared on the EU Reconnect website .Poland and Hungary are new democracies where a developing rule of law culture…

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Joint response to a consultation of the Care of Children in Jersey Review Panel regarding the powers of the Jersey Children's Commissioner

Joint response to a consultation of the Care of Children in Jersey Review Panel regarding the powers of the Jersey Children's Commissioner The State of Jersey has recently created a Children's Commissioner post in response to the recommendations of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry. Its legislature, the States Greffe, is in the process of legislating to set out the Commissioner's powers. Bingham Centre researcher Michael Abiodun Olatokun responded to a consultation regarding the draft…

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Justice Week 2018

The regulators of lawyers in England and Wales run an annual campaign called 'Justice Week'. This initiative aims to boost the profile of justice and the rule of law, helping to place them at the centre stage of public and political debate. With many parts of the system at breaking point, now is the time to make a strong and clear case for why they are so fundamental to our society, economy and democracy. During the week the Bingham Centre convened politicians to discuss the rule of law…

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A Vision for Public Legal Education and The Rule of Law: A Joint Meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on The Rule of Law and Public Legal Education & Pro Bono

Democratising the law requires people to be legally capable Many of the assumptions of the enforceability of the justice system rely on the notion that people with legal problems or disputes will act upon those issues to receive the entitlements they are due. Extensive research has shown that many people lack the knowledge, skills and confidence to do this. As a result, the Bingham Centre has worked tirelessly with others to promote the legal education of the public. This briefing paper…

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A Vision for Public Legal Education

The Bingham Centre is a leading member of the Solicitor General's Public Legal Education Committee. As a member of this Committee, we have been at the forefront of developing the government's vision for public legal education in the United Kingdom. At a joint meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Public Legal Education and The Rule of Law in October 2018, then Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP launched a government statement on the importance of public legal education.…

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Rule of Law Implications of the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill Briefing Note

Following a succession of mainland terrorist attacks in 2017 that took thelives of 36 British citizens, the government committed to a review of its 'CONTEST' counter-terrorism policy. In July 2018 the Centre convened leading experts, including the then Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, to discuss the role that The Counter Terrorism and Border Security Bill would play in the CONTEST process. Elements of the discussion (summarised in the Briefing Note) revolved around: Whether…

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Awakening the Sleeping Giant

As Americans head off to Independence Day celebrations, it is hard to ignore that the United States, like much of the world, is experiencing significant upheaval when it comes to the Rule of Law, and the norms, principles, and values that underlie it Published in The Hill  on 4 July 2018 All is not well in the Union, such that developments that a couple years ago would have been unthinkable now appear on the front pages of American newspapers almost daily. Despite this fact, and the challenges…

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DLA Piper Global Fellows Development Programme

Over the last two years The Bingham Centre has partnered with DLA Piper to deliver training to graduate lawyers from across the world. These lawyers have been supported by DLA Piper as part of its Global Scholarships Programme. This initiative supports outstanding law students, known as Fellows, from less developed countries around the world and helps them define and achieve their own professional goals. There are currently 22 Fellows on the Global Scholarships Programme from countries…

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Human rights education

Michael Olatokun, Research Fellow in Citizenship Education and the Rule of Law, and Sabina Garahan, Researcher, wrote a blog about the importance of human rights education for the British Institute of Human Right's "March for Human Rights" Campaign. On 28 March 2018, a group of academics, campaigners and civil society leaders will gather at the Bingham Centre to discuss how we can best use human rights education ("HRE") to empower young people across the country to become active citizens in…

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Erasmus and Brexit

The provision of cross-border educational exchanges is a key achievement of the European Union. Despite this, Erasmus and the Erasmus+ programme have not featured as big ticket items in the Brexit discussion. Michael Abiodun Olatokun considered five key international education questions in 2017. This is available as a podcast interview here:  https://soundcloud.com/user-918926390/erasmus-and-brexit-michael-olatokun Q: What was the Erasmus programme?  A: The Erasmus programme was…

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Bingham Centre Submission to the Ad Hoc Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement

Schools in England have been required to teach Citizenship Education since 2002. The provision of this subject has been marked by a period of decay over the last two decades. Michael Abiodun Olatokun wrote the Centre's submission on this issue to the Ad Hoc Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement. Publication - Download PDF Share Links Publication - Tags

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The Rule of Law for Citizenship Education: International Law and Human Rights

Following the success to 'The Rule of Law for Citizenship Education: Understanding Justice' the Bingham Centre published 'The Rule of Law for Citizenship Education: International Law and Human Rights' a textbook that brings fascinating case studies of child labour, international conflict and the application of human rights laws into the classroom. Former Bingham Centre Research Fellows Xiao Hui Eng (the book's principal author) and Lawrence McNamara worked with Michael Abiodun Olatokun…

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The Solicitor General's Public Legal Education Committee

The Bingham Centre is a member of the Solicitor General's Public Legal Education (PLE) Committee. The Committee was convened in 2017 by Robert Buckland QC MP to drive forward  initiatives that increase the knowledge, skills and confidence of the public to deal with legal issues in their lives. Since its formation, the group has established a vision for PLE work in the UK. The group is currently working towards the following seven goals: PLE will be supported by a robust evidence…

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Human Rights Education for teachers

The Bingham Centre is a member of the Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT). This article was published in its Summer 2017 journal. ACT is the key thoughtleader in the Citizenship Education space and has been centrally involved in the development of the subject in England. Part of this thoughtleadership involves providing insightful articles on matters of relevance to ACT members. The Centre has engaged with citizenship teachers through communications, events and ACT conferences…

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The Rule Of Law Must Be At The Centre Of Brexit

The Rule of Law Must Be At The Centre of Brexit This post first appeared on the Huffington Post website. Friday morning's reaction to the Article 50 judgment has made me deeply reflective about the state of our politics. The Brexit era has been characterised by political announcements redolent of the deepest farce from 'The Thick Of It'. The EU Referendum has changed everything about British public life, and it is difficult to get a stable sense of what is actually going on as we lurch…

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The Rule of Law for Citizenship Education: Understanding Justice

In 2014, the Centre published an innovative, ground-breaking educational resource called 'The Rule of Law for Citizenship Education: Understanding Justice'. We want to share our work with you. The book was developed to help teachers in secondary schools to deliver lessons on equality, human rights and access to justice. The book proved to be very popular and has been used by over 400 teachers across England. These resources were supplemented by support and events to improve teachers'…

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The Rule of Law for Citizenship Education: Overview

In 2014, the Centre launched an innovative curriculum of lessons on equality, human rights and access to justice.  These lesson plans  twere initially piloted amongst a small number of schools and then later refined in a second edition textbook for Key Stage 3 (KS3). This model was replicated for Key Stage 4 (KS4) and scaled across England for both age brackets over the next four academic years. hat have been used by teachers across England. These resources were supplemented…

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Report on Immigration Detention and the Rule of Law

The Bingham Centre has published its report, Immigration Detention and the Rule of Law: Safeguarding Principles. Led by Michael Fordham QC, with Research Fellows Justine Stefanelli and Sophie Eser, this report draws on legal instruments, promulgated standards, working illustrations and judicial observations. It includes 'soft law' sources and finds inspiration in the principled proactivity of non-governmental organisations. The Bingham Centre was awarded a research grant by the Nuffield…

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