Colin Murray

About Colin Murray

Colin Murray is a senior lecturer at Newcastle Law School where he specialises in national security law, legal history and public law. Alongside Roger Masterman (Durham University) he is the author of "Exploring Constitutional and Administrative Law", a textbook on UK public law. You can contact him at colin.murray[at] or (+44) 191 2225805

Posts by Colin Murray:

Presumption of Guilt: Islamic State and UK Criminal Law

Today the UK terrorism threat level has once again been raised to severe, as a result of ‘developments in Syria and Iraq where terrorist groups are planning attacks against the west’. Within hours of the increased threat being announced, David Cameron was on hand (in Downing Street, not in Cornwall) to  ominously declare a “greater(…)

Rule of Law v National Security: The Big Fight Live

In his understated way, Lord Justice Gross announced the latest round of the prize-fight that has defined so much of the debate on the role of the legal system in a liberal democracy since the 9/11 attacks (at [4]): “From time to time, tensions between the principle of open justice and the needs of national(…)

What the Dogs in the Street Know: On the Runs and Hanging Peter Hain Out to Dry

“In Northern Ireland”, Peter Hain opined in his autobiography Outside In (pictured left), there is “always a crisis around the corner” (p.323). There is more of a feel of truth than truism to the statement, especially as the on-the-runs scandal dominated recent headlines (before being eclipsed by developments in the Crimea). I’d be surprised if a(…)

Pushing Their Luck? UK Counter-Terrorism Powers and David Miranda

Stop and Search certainly was the hot human rights news story of last summer within the UK. Schedule 7 powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 allow for extended powers to stop and search, and even detain for up to nine hours individuals in the context of ports and airports, for the purpose of assessing whether(…)

Martin Corey’s Release: The Sound of Silence?

“Political Prisoner” is a term to conjure with, a term that demands headlines. But woe to the campaign which tries to exploit this term’s unique resonance where the media finds the cause in question unfashionable. Martin Corey (pictured, left) was this week released after nearly four years in which he was detained in Maghaberry prison(…)

Lost in Time? Controversy over Police Powers in Northern Ireland

The Troubles just won’t slip conveniently into history. In recent weeks anyone confident that Northern Ireland has “moved on” will have received multiple jolts to such complacency. A car bomb (and last night a fire bomb, pictured left) and Loyalist protests have disrupted shopping in Belfast’s city centre in the run up to Christmas. And(…)

Edward Snowden, The European Convention on Human Rights and State Surveillance

The Edward Snowden Affair tells us much about how the role of intelligence agencies, and legal oversight of their activities, has changed in the 21st century. Some, like Professor Douwe Korff, writing in The Guardian, maintain that the ECHR will provide a legal solution to the questionable activities highlighted by Snowden; ‘under the ECHR the UK has(…)

Prisoner Voting: The Human Rights Issue that Keeps on Giving

The UK’s continued delays in responding to the issue of prisoner voting has spawned a hydra-headed legal debacle. Whereas countries like Ireland quickly passed legislation to enfranchise prisoners in the wake of Hirst v UK decision by the Grand Chamber of the European Court in 2005 (the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2006) the then Labour Government(…)

Living History: The Boston College Case and the SPADs Bill

“The past invades the present, The present lives in the past, The future will never come.” The closing words of Robert Greacen’s poem, Procession, lamented the atrophy of unionism in the aftermath of partition. In the last week, the troubled passage of the Special Advisers Bill through the Northern Ireland Assembly and the UK Government’s(…)

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