Some Thoughts on the Encryption Regulatory Debate

Henry Pearce
Lecturer in Law, University of Hertfordshire, and Doctoral Researcher at the Institute for Law and the Web at the University of Southampton.

This article was originally posted on the UKCLA blog

Debates about the regulation of encryption technologies and surveillance have been around for decades. It is in unfortunate circumstances that these debates have now been thrust back into the public eye. Following the horrifying Westminster attack which occurred on 22nd March 2017 Amber Rudd, the UK’s Home Secretary, has been very vocal in suggesting that in order for the police and security services to be able to effectively investigate and prevent future terrorist acts they must be given access to over-the-top messaging services that utilise end-to-end encryption, such as WhatsApp. (End-to-end encryption services can generally be described as those which allows for conversations to be read only by the sender and recipient of individual messages, meaning that such messages cannot be intercepted and read by a third party.) Her comments appeared to have been driven by the fact that Khalid Masood, the perpetrator of the attack, had used WhatsApp shortly before commencing his appalling actions. In particular, Rudd has claimed it is “unacceptable” that governmental agencies were unable to read messages protected by WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption, and in an interview given to the BBC on Sunday 26th March, intimated that she would consider pursuing the enactment of new legislation which would require the providers of encrypted messaging services to grant access to the UK intelligence agencies. This sentiment has since broadly been endorsed by the UK government. Continue reading “Some Thoughts on the Encryption Regulatory Debate”

Rape victims “raped all over again” during gruelling cross examinations

Chloe Jones
LLB Student at the University of Hertfordshire

Cross examination refers to the questioning of a party or witness during a trial, hearing or deposition by the opposing party whom require the person to testify, to enable them to evaluate the truth and reliability of their testimony, often to enable them to develop it further. The questions during cross-examination are limited to the subjects covered in the direct examination of the witness. Leading questions may be asked and a strong cross-examination can force contradictions and expressions of doubts. Cross examination on victims can be extremely difficult and personal, often involving reliving emotional periods of their lives. This particularly runs true to those involved in crimes of a sexual nature, such as sexual assault and rape. Continue reading “Rape victims “raped all over again” during gruelling cross examinations”

Reflections on visits to the Houses of Parliament and UK Supreme Court

Claire Chok Mann and Cheska Tatiana
LLB Students at the University of Hertfordshire


Reflections on the Houses of Parliament


Sir Charles Barry’s magnum opus truly captures the monumental culture and history of the United Kingdom. His romantic vision of a gothic palace manifested before our eyes. The Palace of Westminster; his crowning achievement. An air of excitement with a mixture of gasps and clicks of the camera hung in the air. The art connoisseurs and aesthetician amongst us law students, started to comment on the fine art and sculptures, which were interlaced with building’s grand architecture.

A word of advice, have a hearty meal and ensure that your photo-taking device is fully charged before you start on your adventure. Continue reading “Reflections on visits to the Houses of Parliament and UK Supreme Court”

Is the EU moving refugees from one danger zone to another?

Mehwisch Khan
Joint Honours (Law and European Languages) student at the University of Hertfordshire

The agreement between the European Union (EU) and Turkey aims to address the overwhelming flow of irregular migrants and asylum seekers traveling from Turkey to the EU, in efforts to enter into Europe by dangerous means. In return, EU Member States will resettle Syrian refugees in Turkey and provide financial help for Turkey’s refugees. The idea of returns coupled with large-scale resettlement seems reasonable and achievable only from a utopian perspective. However, following close analysis of the agreement since its implementation, there are serious human rights concerns raised by Amnesty International and Member States.[1] There are also well-documented limitations of the existing asylum mechanism and the protection of fundamental rights in “safe third countries”. This allows for only one conclusion: refugees and migrants are being transported from one dangerous war zone such as Syria to another equally dangerous zone, Turkey, only this time the dangers are in a different form with the protection of basic human rights still being endangered.

Continue reading “Is the EU moving refugees from one danger zone to another?”

Are we all serious about integration?

Muki Gorar
Lecturer in Law at the University of Hertfordshire

Europe has embraced millions of immigrants for various reasons since the middle of the 20th century, from economic migrants to those who flee to a safer land in order to save their lives.  Economic opportunities, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights (as enjoyed in Europe) are sought by those who suffer the lack of these conditions in their home country. As a home to many different people from many different backgrounds, Europe has become a multicultural continent. Continue reading “Are we all serious about integration?”