2016: 25th anniversary conference

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STATEWATCHING EUROPE: Civil liberties, the state and the European Union

European conference marking Statewatch's 25th anniversary

10:00 - 17:00, Saturday 25 June 2016

Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London N7

Workshops and discussions on the refugee crisis; mass surveillance; the EU's crisis of legitimacy and accountability; the policing of protest and criminalisation of communities; racism, xenophobia and the far right; strategies of resistance and the defence of civil liberties.

Programme (pdf)


Our thanks to those organisations that have supported the conference by publicising it in their networks:

National Union of Journalists (NUJ)
Institute of Race Relations (IRR)
Red Pepper
Privacy International (PI)
European Group for the Study of Deviancy and Social Control 
Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC)
Ethical Journalism Network (EJN)
Campaign to Close Campsfield
European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)
The Hope Centre, Elpis, Lesvos
The Monitoring Group
Migration Rights Network
Spokesman Books
ECRE (European Council on Refugees & Exiles)

Speaker biographies

Amadine Bach (policy adviser, GUE/NGL group, European Parliament)

Amandine is policy adviser for the GUE/NGL Group in the European Parliament (EP). She has been following since 2013 in the EP migration and asylum legislative and political processes such as the new FRONTEX regulation, the asylum package or the directive on seasonal workers. She has been participating to many delegations to assess the situation of refugees and migrants on the ground in the past 3 years, notably in Sicily and Lampedusa, in the Balkans, in Greece and Turkey. She worked previously as policy officer at the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) for 5 years where her main mission was to advocate for migrant women's rights as well as building up joint advocacy initiatives with migration and asylum NGOs. She also supported a networking dynamic that led to the launch of the European Network of Migrant Women in 2010. Parallel to her professional trajectory, she has been active as a volunteer in different feminist NGOs and citizens movements supporting refugees. Twitter: @AmandineBach

Moazzam Begg, (Outreach Director, Cage)

Moazzam is one of nine British citizens who were held at Camp X-Ray, Guantánamo Bay by the government of the United States of America. He was labelled an ‘enemy combatant’ by the US government, imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit and whose precise nature has never been determined. He was released on January 25, 2005 without charge though he received no explanation or apology. As Outreach Director for the advocacy organisation, CAGE, Moazzam appears extensively both in the media in the UK and internationally, lecturing on issues surrounding imprisonment without trial, torture, anti-terror legislation and community relations. Twitter: @Moazzam_Begg

Ralf Bendrath (Senior Policy Advisor to Jan Philipp Albrecht MEP)

Ralf hacked the Commodore C-64 in the eighties, studied security policy and information warfare in the nineties, and has been researching various aspects of internet privacy since the 2000s. Since 2012 he has been Jan Philipp Albrecht’s senior policy advisor and has worked primarily on the EU data protection reform, but also on other issues such as the Snowden inquiry, ACTA, or trade agreements. Ralf was a civil society member of the German delegation to the UN World Summit on the Information Society in 2003 and 2005 and coordinated the related civil society activities on privacy and security. He is a member of the advisory board of Privacy International. blog: http://bendrath.blogspot.com Twitter: @bendrath

Tony Bunyan (Director, Statewatch)

Tony is a writer and investigative journalist. He specialises in EU justice and home affairs, civil liberties, the state and freedom of information in the EU. He has been the Director of Statewatch since 1990 and edits Statewatch News Online. Tony is the author of "The history and practice of the Political Police in Britain" (1977), "Secrecy and openness in the EU" (1999) and "The Shape of Things to Come" (2009) and edited "The War on Freedom and Democracy" (2005). In November 2011 Statewatch/Tony were given a Liberty “Long Walk” Human Rights Award (alongside Private Eye). He is a Visiting Research Fellow at London Metropolitan University, University of Bristol and University of Dundee.

Heiner Busch (editor of Bürgerrechte & Polizei/CILIP)

Heiner works for the Swiss migrants' rights organization "Solidarité sans frontiers" and as a freelance journalist for the Zurich left wing weekly "Wochenzeitung" (WOZ). He is one of the editors of the Berlin based journal "Bürgerrechte & Polizei/CILIP" and member of the German Committee for Fundamental Rights and Democracy. Twitter: @cilip_de

Debbie Coles (Director of Inquest)

Deborah is a committed activist working on social justice issues. She is Director of INQUEST a unique charity that provides expertise on contentious deaths and their investigation with a particular focus on deaths in custody and detention and other deaths raising concerns about state or corporate failings. Deborah leads the policy, legal and strategic work for social change and has considerable expertise in working to prevent the deaths and ill treatment of people in all forms of detention, and in campaigning for better treatment of bereaved people, more effective investigations, learning and state and corporate accountability. She is regularly consulted by NGO's and international human rights groups, human rights lawyers, government, parliamentarians, regulation, inspection and investigation bodies and coroners. She is on the board of trustees of Women in Prison, Clean Break, Emma Humphreys Memorial Fund and Buwan Kothi International Trust. Twitter: @DebatINQUEST

Deirdre Curtin (Professor of EU Law, European University Institute)

Deirdre’s previous role has been Professor of European Law of the University of Amsterdam (2008-2015), where she was the founding director of the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG), a centre of excellence. Her research agenda and publications relate to accountability of EU executive power as well as secrecy and privacy in a global context.

Staffan Dahllof (journalist, Denmark)

Staffan is a Swedish freelance journalist based in Copenhagen Denmark. He covers Danish politics for Swedish media and EU-related news for Scandinavian media, with a special interest in institutional matters. Staffan has been involved in different cross border projects among journalists such as farmsubsidy.org on EU's financial support to farmers, wobbing.eu on transparency and recently the MEPs Project on the accountability of the EU-Parliament. He is the author of the report ”Through tinted windows” published by the think tank Organisation for European Interstate Cooperation. Twitter: @StaffaniDK

Liz Fekete (Director, Institute of Race Relations)

Liz has worked at IRR for 29 years. She writes and speaks extensively on aspects of contemporary racism, refugee rights, far-right extremism and Islamophobia across Europe and is author of A suitable enemy: racism, migration and Islamophobia in Europe and They Are Children Too: a study of Europe’s deportation policies. Liz was part of the CARF Collective, and an expert witness at the Basso Permanent People’s Tribunal on asylum and the World Tribunal on Iraq. She is currently an associate of the International State Crime Initiative at King’s College London. Her most recent project, Alternative Voices on Integration in Europe, foregrounded the work of youth groups and innovative anti-racist projects whose initiatives are largely ignored by the mainstream.

Stratos Georgoulas (Associate Professor, Director Laboratory EKNEXA, University of Aegean, Greece)

Stratos work concerns several legislative committees and special advisory roles (including to the Greek Ombudsman, and Ministry of Justice). He has been Visiting Professor in FSU, University of Toronto, University of Damascus, Slovak Academy of Science and University of Amman. He has published several books, chapters in edited volumes and journal articles in Greek and English; he is the editor of the journal “Youth, Crime and Society”. Twitter: @S_Georgoulas

Courtenay Griffith QC

Courtenay has a wide-ranging practice in domestic and international criminal law.  He is widely regarded as being one of the most outstanding jury advocates of his generation.  He has been involved in some of the most high profile and notable cases of the past two decades, including the two murder trials for the killing of PC Keith Blakelock during the Tottenham Riots of 1985, the Brighton, Canary Warf and Harrods bombings, and the trial of Charles Taylor, the former President of Liberia. Twitter: @cgxqc

Suresh Grover (Director, The Monitoring Group)

Suresh is a leading anti-racist civil campaigner based in the UK. Recognised internationally as a leading exponent of family justice campaigns, Suresh has coordinated over a hundred campaigns, many attaining iconic status and some have led to Public Judicial Inquiries and subsequent positive changes in legislation and policy. He has been granted core participant status by the current Undercover Police Inquiry set up to examine police spying of campaigns & protest groups. The Guardian Newspaper has named him as one of the hundred most influential people in Social Policy in the UK.

Ben Hayes (Researcher)

Ben worked for Statewatch from 1996 to 2014. He has worked extensively on issues relating to international security, counter-terrorism, surveillance, data protection and human rights. He is a Fellow of the Transnational Institute and also works as independent researcher and consultant. He is currently working for UNHCR. Twitter: @drbenhayes

Gus Hosein (Executive Director, Privacy International)

For nearly twenty years Gus has worked at the intersection of technology and human rights. He worked closely with Statewatch and the American Civil Liberties Union on the joint Policy Laundering Project. He was previously a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Twitter: GusHosein

Caroline Intrand (Migreurop)

Caroline is the co-director of Ciré (la Coordination et initiatives pour réfugiés et étrangers) a Belgian NGO focusing on refugee and asylum seekers. She is also a member of the Migreurop network.

Vasileios Karydis (Deputy Ombudsman, Greece)

Vasileios is the Deputy Ombudsman in charge of human rights since 2010, and Acting Ombudsman since October 2015. Professor at the Department of Social and Educational Policy, University of Peloponnese. Visiting Professor at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Athens. He has worked extensively in the fields of immigrant integration and crime, youth cultures and violence, hidden criminality, prison system, justice system and delivery of criminal justice. His latest books are “Visions of Social Control in Greece. Moral Panics, Criminal Justice”, 2010 (with E. Fytrakis) “Penal Incarceration and Rights. The Ombudsman’s Perspective”, 2011 and “Moral Panics, Power and Rights”, 2015 (with Ath. Chouliaras). Member of ad hoc Law-Making Committees at the Ministry of Public Order and Ministry of Justice. Elected member of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT-Council of Europe).

Ska Keller MEP (MEP Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament)

Ska is vice-president, migration and trade policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament. She is a member of the Committee on International Trade (INTA) and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). Ska's main focus is on TTIP, CETA, TiSA and the effects of global (free) trade on development issues. She fights for refugees' rights and a fair asylum system in Europe. She is also a member of the European Parliament's Turkey and Mexico Delegations. Previously, Ska studied Islamic Studies, Turkology and Jewish Studies in Berlin and Istanbul. Twitter: @SkaKeller

Eric Kempson (Hope Centre, Lesvos)

Eric has been resident in Eftalou north Lesvos, Greece for sixteen years. He is an artist, painter & sculpture and has an art shop in Eftalou. Since early last year Eric and his family have worked on the north coast of Lesvos assisting refugees landing on the beaches. October 2015 saw the highest number of arrivals and the highest number of casualties so at the moment Eric and his family are working on a project called "The Hope Centre", an unused hotel renovated to be used as a safe place for refugees and those in need of short term sanctuary. Twitter: @EricKempson

Jean Lambert MEP (Greens/EFA group)

Jean was first elected to the European Parliament in 1999 as the Green Member for London, representing the views of those who want an environmentally sustainable fairer society. She was re-elected for a fourth term in the May 2014 European Elections. She is a full member of the committee on Employment and Social Affairs and a substitute member of the committee on Civil Liberties where she works on issues related to asylum, immigration, children's rights and anti-discrimination. Jean was Rapporteur on the Qualifications Directive and on the establishment of the European Asylum Support Office, and shadow Rapporteur on the Reception Conditions Directive and the reform of the Dublin Regulation. Twitter: @GreenJeanMEP

Eveline Lubbers (Undercover Research Group)

Eveline is an independent researcher and a civil rights advocate based in Amsterdam, and working in the UK. Taking off in the 1980s with the Jansen & Janssen bureau, she never stopped monitoring police and secret services, and supporting activists against surveillance. The latest of her projects are the Undercover Research Group, investigating undercover policing and the Special Branch Files Project, where released files on political policing are shared. Her books include: Secret Manoeuvres in the Dark, Corporate and Police spying on Activists (2012); Battling Big Business: Countering Greenwash, Front Groups and Other Forms of Corporate Bullying (2002). Twitter: @evelinelubbers

Marie Martin (EuroMed Rights)

Marie graduated in Migration Studies at Sussex University, and has been actively involved in the analysis of migration policies and the defence of migrants’ and refugees’ rights since 2008. She has previously worked in Lebanon, Cyprus, and in London as a former staff member of Statewatch. In her current position involving documentation, advocacy and, she is particularly looking at EU’s external policies with South and South East Mediterranean countries in the field of migration and asylum especially in relation to the EU’s “externalised” migration policies, namely Frontex, Mobility Partnerships, as well as national policy developments in the Maghreb, the Mashreq and in Turkey. EuroMed Rights jointly co-ordinates the Frontexit campaign with the Migreurop network.

Matthias Monroy (Research Assistant to Andrej Hunko, German Bundestag member)

Matthias first dealt with state repression after being evicted from home in 1997, then plaintiff against police violence in Genoa G8 summit 2001. Turned this into a feature when mobilizing for summit protests against G8 and NATO. Now working part-time for German member of Bundestag Andrej Hunko, focusing on European police collaboration, undercover policing, surveillance technologies, internet monitoring, satellites, drones. He is also a researcher, activist and editor of the German civil rights journal Bürgerrechte & Polizei/CILIP, and frequently publishes in left-wing newspapers, online-media, and netzpolitik.org. All texts and interviews can be found at digit.so36.net. Twitter: @gipfelsoli

Steve Peers (Professor of Law, University of Essex)

Steve’ s research interests include EU Constitutional and Administrative, Justice and Home Affairs, External Relations, Human Rights, Internal Market and Social Law. He has written over fifty articles on many aspects of EU law in journals including the Common Market Law Review, European Law Review, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Yearbook of European Law and the Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies, as well as many chapters in books. He has worked as a consultant for the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union and the Council of Europe, and contributed to the work of NGOs such as Amnesty International, Justice, Statewatch, ILGA-Europe and the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA). Twitter: @StevePeers

Stafford Scott (Coordinator for ‘Justice for Mark Duggan Campaign’ and ‘Tottenham Rights’)

Stafford is a qualified Youth & Community Development worker and has worked in this field, in various guises, for the past 30 years. Stafford’s career began with estate based work in the 1980’s on the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham, North London. Stafford is probably best known for the campaigning work that he has been doing since his days on BWF where he was instrumental in setting up the Broadwater Farm Defence Campaign which campaigned, successfully, for the release of the Tottenham Three after their wrongful arrest and conviction for the murder of PC Keith Blakelock. He is currently the coordinator of the Justice for Mark Duggan Campaign & Co-ordinator of Tottenham Rights? Stafford occasionally writes articles for the Guardian Newspaper on matters relating to the black community and policing. Twitter: @StaffordScott_

Val Swain (founder Netpol: Network for Police Monitoring)

Val is a founder member of Netpol which provides legal and practical support to protesters, but also brings together experienced activists, campaigners and lawyers to document, analyse and (where appropriate) challenge policing strategies.  Previously Val was part of the activist group ‘Fitwatch’, which opposed the aggressive surveillance tactics of police Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT), and brought to public attention the existence of police ‘protester databases’.  She is currently a Phd candidate at the Law School of University of East Anglia, researching the application of legal frameworks to police surveillance of protest. Twitter: @valswain

Eric Töpfer (editor and political scientist, Berlin)

Eric is a political scientist, working on human rights, policing and surveillance for more than 15 years. He lives in Berlin where he is, among others, an editor of the journal “Bürgerrechte & Polizei/CILIP”. Twitter: @e_blurbs

Lorenzo Trucco (Director, ASGI, Italy)

Philippe Wanneson (Passeurs d'hospitalités, Calais)

For 7 years Philippe has been involved in migrant support activities in Calais, editor of the blog Passeurs d'hospitalités, and is an individual member of the network Migreurop.

Frances Webber (Vice Chair, Institute of Race Relations)

Frances was a barrister specialising in immigration, asylum and human rights law until her retirement in 2008, and now writes on issues of race, policing and migration, mainly for the Institute of Race Relations. Her book ‘Borderline Justice: the fight for refugee and migrant rights’ was published in 2012. Twitter: @FrancesWebber5

Dave Whyte (Professor of Socio-legal Studies at the University of Liverpool)

David is Professor of Socio-legal Studies at the University of Liverpool where he teaches and researches sociology and criminology.  His main research interest is on how the rule of law enables the concentration of power in corporate and state elites.  His most recent publications are ‘How Corrupt is Britain?’ (Pluto Press, 2015), ‘The Corporate Criminal‘ (with Steve Tombs, Routledge, 2015) and ‘The Mythology of Business’ (Institute of Employment Rights, 2015). Twitter: @d_whyte100

Steve Wright (Reader in Applied Global Ethics at Leeds Beckett University)

Steve has been active in researching state structures for over 40 years now, most especially what can be broadly called technologies of political control. He is the author of the original STOA report an Appraisal of the Technologies of Political Control which broke the NSA spying saga to the European parliament way back in 1998. He worked actively for democratic accountability of the police in the Eighties as the Head of Manchester City Council's Police Monitoring Unit. In the Nineties he helped set up the Omega Foundation which used field work to track Western arms collusions with the torturing states. His current work revolves around new developments in paralyzing and incapacitating weapons at borders and the emergence of new classes of non-human weapons systems which decide for themselves who shall be a target and who shall not.

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