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COMMENTS 

From Indyref to Indignados: how passions and politics mix

As Scotland heads to the polls, this piece discusses the extent to which emotions have arrived at the heart of contemporary politics – yet we still hesitate to admit it. Emotions can neither be banished nor ignored when we discuss what constitutes political communities, how political decisions should be made and political action springs into being. Yet to embrace the rise of emotional politics without acknowledging how intimately it is and should be entangled with reason equally risks undermining just political action.
Dr Uta Staiger
18 September 2014
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Starts: Sep 18, 2014 12:00:00 AM

10 things you need to know about what will happen if Scotland votes yes

As the Scottish independence referendum draws closer the outcome is hard to predict. Both Westminster politicians and the wider public are asking what – in practical terms – would happen if the Scots were to vote Yes. Robert Hazell offers a 10-point overview of what the road to independence might look like.
Professor Robert Hazell
9 September 2014
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Starts: Sep 9, 2014 12:00:00 AM

The truth is, Scandinavia is neither heaven nor hell

The Nordic countries have received exceptionally good press in the UK - at least until earlier this year, when British travel writer and resident of Denmark, Michael Booth, claimed to dispel the of Scandinavia as the perfect place to live. Many are now confused. Is everything we believed about the social ideals of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland a lie? Well, not entirely but we’re not all drunk serial killers either.
Dr Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen
19 August 2014 More...

Starts: Sep 8, 2014 12:00:00 AM

UCL academics in the media: the European Court of Human Rights

25 April 2012

Prof Philippe Sands (UCL Laws) and Prof Richard Bellamy (UCL Public Policy) comment on recent British reactions to the ECtHR.


Human rights and Europe: Down to the Wire

Britain’s campaign to change the ECHR is about to be tested
14 Apr 2012 | The Economist

Many in Britain and elsewhere think the ECtHR has grown too big for its boots. The reforms currently proposed under British Chairmanship of the ECtHR would lighten the court’s load in part by tightening criteria for accepting cases and amending the convention to give national judicial systems more wriggle room. Some fear these measures would reduce not only the court’s workload but also its power. That power,As Philippe Sands argues, may not be vital in countries like Britain and Germany, but vital in states where, in the absence of an independent and effective local judiciary, “the court serves as a first and a last resort for individuals who are subject to real and extensive abuses.”

Read the full article here.


U.K.’s Fight to Deport Cleric Mirrors Old European Feuds

By Kit Chellel
24 April 2012 | Bloomberg

The U.K. hosted a summit last week on the future of the European Court of Human Rights even as relations were strained by a dispute over extraditing terrorism suspect Abu Qatada. Qatada’s case, in which he claims evidence obtained through torture will be used against him, has revived old arguments about Europe’s role in British affairs. Prime Minister David Cameron wants to limit the ECtHR’s remit; other British politicians want to go further and ignore the court’s rulings altogether. Yet the perception that the ECtHR tells the U.K. what to do is wrong, argues Richard Bellamy in this article. Less than 2 percent of cases the court heard since 1966 have resulted in local rulings being overturned. “Those very small number of cases that go against us is probably a salutary thing. It makes people think,” Bellamy said.

Read the full article here.