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St Mary’s to Host Seminar on ECHR and Police Operations in Europe

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On 10th December, the School of Management and Social Sciences (MSS) at St Mary’s University, Twickenham will host a free public research seminar exploring police operations in the UK and Europe. Titled ‘Lethal Force and the Democratic State under the ECHR’, the seminar will be delivered by Dr Stephen Skinner, Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Exeter. In recent years a number of incidents involving fatal casualties resulting from police operations have hit the headlines in the UK and across Europe. Under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), specifically Article 2 on the Right to Life, such casualties will not constitute a breach of that Article if the resort to force was “absolutely necessary” for a specified legitimate purpose, such as “in defence of any person from unlawful violence”. Using examples from Article 2 cases over the past twenty years, since the first lethal force judgment in 1995 (McCann v UK), Dr Skinner will present a paper during the seminar to explore the relationship between lethal force and democracy in ECHR law. Dr Skinner’s current research focuses on the State's use of lethal force in relation to the Right to Life under Article 2, and especially the significance of State killing and human rights law in modern democracies. He commented, “the ECHR case law in this area has been one of the fastest growing bodies of human rights law in the past two decades and highlights the delicate balancing act faced by States in seeking to provide security while protecting rights.”The free public lecture will take place on Wednesday 10th December at 3pm in Room B13 at St Mary’s Strawberry Hill campus. For more information please contact Dr Victoria Armstrong at
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