Students Staff

06 February 2013

Top QC to give lecture on terrorism

David Anderson QC

The Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, David Anderson QC, will discuss special legal powers designed to tackle domestic and international terrorism and whether they are necessary at the University of Essex School of Law Clifford Chance Lecture next week.

Speaking at the offices of Clifford Chance at Canary Wharf on 13 February, David Anderson will talk about controversial powers including stop and search, Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures, asset-freezing and extended detention before charge.

In his lecture, ‘The Meaning of Terrorism’, he will also examine different definitions of terrorism, what special powers are needed and what changes could be made to better align the availability of special powers with the areas where there is an operational need for them.

David Anderson QC said: “Anti-terrorism laws are everywhere: but what are they actually for? I look forward to examining the shifting and uncertain definition of terrorism, and looking at its impact on civil liberties in the UK and beyond. The record of the University of Essex in human rights, both in theory and in practice, is second to none. I look forward to a lively audience at Clifford Chance.”

Professor Geoff Gilbert, Head of the School of Law at Essex, added: “As the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, David Anderson QC is privy to a lot of sensitive material. He consults widely, both in the UK and abroad, on the operation of anti-terrorism laws, providing reports directly to ministers and Parliament. Since 9/11, the definition and nature of international terrorism has changed significantly, resulting in rapidly changing legal requirements. There is a danger in a situation like this that the need to ‘rush things through’ means normal safeguards are not maintained, so it is vital that there is an open dialogue for an informed debate.”

David Anderson, of Brick Court Chambers, is one of the country’s leading QCs in the field of EU law, a Recorder and a Visiting Professor at King’s College London. He has made more than 150 appearances in the European Court of Justice and 30 cases in the European Court of Human Rights. He was named EU/Competition Silk of the Year at the 2009 Chambers Bar Awards. Since 2011 he has served as the Government’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation reporting to the Home Secretary and to Parliament.

The Lecture will be chaired by Michael Smith, former partner at Clifford Chance.

The University of Essex School of Law Clifford Chance Lecture takes place at Clifford Chance, 10 Upper Bank Street, Canary Wharf, E14 5JJ at 6.00pm, registration from 5.30pm, on Wednesday 13 February. To book your place e-mail: or telephone: 01206 873484.


Notes to editors
You are invited to send a reporter/crew/photographer to the 2013 University of Essex School of Law Clifford Chance Lecture on 13 February. For further information or to attend, please contact the University of Essex Communications Office, telephone: 01206 873529 or e-mail:

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