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The orthodox view is that the United Kingdom opposes the death penalty in all places at all times, and actively promotes abolition internationally. However, in recent years it has come to light that the practice of the UK does not always match its rhetoric. In this paper, I aim to explore why the UK sometimes fails to adhere to its commitment to promote abolition abroad. In particular, I consider whether the UK’s approach to the death penalty in the colonial era can shed any light on the UK’s contemporary relationship with capital punishment. 

Bio: Bharat Malkani is a Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University, where he convenes a module on Miscarriages of Justice. His research focuses on the intersection between human rights and criminal justice, with a particular focus on capital punishment, racism, and wrongful convictions. He is the author of Slavery and the Death Penalty: A Study in Abolition (Routledge 2018)