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Completed Projects

‘A Taxonomy of Evidence before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia’

BCIL Deputy Director, Yvonne McDermott, has been awarded a British Academy Quantitative Skills Award, worth £9983, for her project, ‘A Taxonomy of Evidence before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia’, which will commence on 1 September 2013.

The area of evidence in international criminal law is relatively under-researched, and no quantitative study has been undertaken to date which analyses the types of evidence used in recent international criminal trials. Using a sample of five cases spanning the lifetime of the Tribunal, this project will classify the types of evidence (such as oral testimony, written witness statements, documentary evidence, transcripts from previous trials and judicial notice of established facts) deemed admissible before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and analyse the weight given to each type of evidence. This funding will enable Yvonne to acquire the quantitative skills to formulate a database, which will quantify the types of evidence admitted in the five selected cases, and the weight given thereto, based on a number of set variables. Prof. John Jackson of Nottingham University, an expert in evidence law and co-author of the leading study on the Diplock courts in Northern Ireland, has been appointed mentor for this project. Prof. Jackson will advise on the database design and the methods used, and provide guidance and feedback throughout the project’s lifetime.

International Criminal Procedure – Principles and Rules

Former BCIL Director, Professor Suzannah Linton, has been part of the leadership team of a major project, the International Experts Framework on International Criminal Procedure, running from 2007-2012. Conceived by Professor Goran Sluiter of Amsterdam University, the project brought together 50 of the world’s top experts on International Criminal Procedure. BCIL Director Dr Yvonne McDermott Rees also participated. The experts worked in groups focusing on particular themes, met as a plenary several times in The Hague and Amsterdam to debate their progressing work, and presented the final product at a Concluding Conference at the Peace Palace in The Hague on 27 and 28 October 2011, organised by Professor Linton with the Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law and the Amsterdam Centre for International Law. The project has now concluded with the publication by Oxford University Press of the book, International Criminal Procedure: Principles and Rules, in March 2013 (the book launch will be in The Hague in May 2013).

New Projects

BCIL Director Dr. Yvonne McDermott Rees is a co-investigator on a project entitled "DATA-PSST! Debating and Analysing Transparency Arrangements: Privacy, Security, Surveillance, Trust" 

This 2-year Seminar Series is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Seminar Series. It will explore, from multi-disciplinary perspectives, how different aspects of transparency (whether voluntarily entered into, or state/commercially/peer-imposed) affect questions of privacy, security, sur/sous/veillance and trust. These areas have been chosen, as transparency violates privacy; is argued as necessary for security; indiscriminately mass surveills; and both demands and compromises trust. To explore these topics, we will draw on perspectives from Journalism, Media, Sociology, Criminology, Law, Politics, International Relations, Intelligence, Business, History, Computer Science and Philosophy, and on end users from media, journalism, law, governing bodies, regulators, NGOs, business and security. Seminars will be hosted in Bangor, Aberystwyth, Sheffield and London, and will be free to participants.

Research Networking Grant, awarded under the Connected Communities Programme, a major cross-Research Council research programme led by the AHRC

Over a 24 month period, BCIL member Dr Alison Mawhinney and Peter Cumper (Co-investigator, University of Leicester) will establish and direct the activities of an interdisciplinary research network of scholars to examine the question of collective worship in schools.

The legal requirement for state schools to provide acts of collective worship, as well as the fact that the majority of such acts of collective worship during any school term must be of a ‘wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character’, has long attracted controversy in the UK. Yet, perhaps surprisingly, relatively little has been published on this issue − a state of affairs which the Research Network aims to rectify.

The Research Network will be composed of leading scholars from a range of disciplines including educationalists, lawyers, philosophers and sociologists. Members of the Network will be drawn from the four nations of the United Kingdom. This is a particularly relevant consideration given that the Network aims to examine whether the current laws, policies and practices surrounding the provision of collective worship throughout the UK sufficiently exploit the potential of such acts to (i) enhance individual well-being (ii) foster a sense of a collective school identity, and (iii) create flourishing school communities.

The papers presented at the Network’s seminars and conference will be published in an edited collection of essays. It is also planned that the inter-disciplinary ties and close working-relationships forged as a result of the activities of the Network will lead to the development of a larger funding bid to facilitate empirical work on the important – yet oft neglected – issue of collective worship in schools.


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