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The University of Southampton
Institute of Criminal Justice Research

"Making Sense: Identifying the exceptional: pre-crime anti-terrorism policy and practice" Event

4 February 2013
Highfield Campus, University of Southampton

For more information regarding this event, please email Phil Palmer at .

Event details

Speaker: Phil Palmer, LLB, MA Faculty of Law and Business, University of Southampton

This paper seeks to explore the way in which the criminal justice system and its laws respond to intelligence that suggests a terrorist threat. In the context of counter-terrorism policy, risk identification and management have become a key principle in operational police and security service practices. Part of this response is the adoption of pre-emptive strategies that can be described as a shift towards a pre-crime society that include the conferring of additional powers on the police and security services to deal with activities or associations they deem may precede a terrorist attack. This demands that the police and security services ask the question, ‘what is the threat and how should we respond to it?’ Does the obligation to protect justify the use of coercive police and state powers that apply in advance of, or without, charge or trial? Does the obligation create a moral duty on the state that must be fulfilled at any cost? Where do you draw the line between personal freedom and individual liberty? Such questions require a nuanced analysis of the ways in which, where the assessment of risk appears, it is integrated into complex legal, ethical and practical debate.

Speaker information

Phil Palmer,Phil Palmer is the Co Director of the Institute of Criminal Justice Research at the University of Southampton. He has over 30 years of policing experience. His previous posts include Head of Police Operations at the National Crime and Operations Faculty and Head of Public Protection at the National Centre of Policing. In 2000 he was appointed as Visiting Professor of Policing at John Jay College, City University of New York. He has also been a member of several Association of Chief Police Officer (ACPO) Committees.

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