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Biography

Liora Lazarus, BA (UCT), LLB (LSE), DPhil (Oxon), is an Associate Professor in Law, and a Fellow of St. Anne's College. Her primary research interests are in comparative human rights, security and human rights, comparative theory and comparative criminal justice.

Born and raised in South Africa, she studied African Economic History at the University of Cape Town and Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. From 1994-95 she was a Fellow of the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, Freiburg, Germany. She came to Oxford in 1995 to write her doctorate at Balliol College, after which she went on to become a law fellow at St Anne's College.

RESEARCH

Liora's various academic publications are in the area of prisoners' rights, criminal justice and security and human rights.

Her first book, Contrasting Prisoners' Rights, was published in 2004 and explored the constitutional and criminal justice cultures which formed the prisoners' legal status in Germany and the UK. In 2006, Liora widened her research field and co-edited Security and Human Rights with Benjamin Goold. She has focused on this area since then. Her most recent publications focus, inter alia, on the philosophical foundations of the right to security, the coercive duties arising from positive rights in the criminal justice sphere, and the parliamentary protection of human rights.   

Liora co-edited the recently published collection, Reasoning Rightswith Chris McCrudden and Nigel Bowles. She is now focusing exclusively on two serialised forthcoming monographs entitled Securing Legality and Juridifying Security, the research for which began during her British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship.  The completion of this work continues to be funded by the Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights For Future Generations.

TEACHING

Liora has developed three courses in her time at Oxford:  Human Rights Law which is offered as an optional course on the FHS, Criminal Justice Security and Human Rights on the BCL course and Comparative Criminal Justice, Security and Human Rights on the MSc in Criminal Justice and Criminology.  All of the courses reflect her own research and public interest work, in particular those available at the post graduate level.  The course content changes as developments in this complex field arise.  

PUBLIC INTEREST WORK

Throughout her career, Liora has sought to balance academic research with public interest work.

She has completed two public reports for the UK Ministry of Justice on balancing public protection with human rights, and on the relationship between rights and responsibilities.   She also produced a major report, with Oxford colleagues, on the evolution of fundamental rights for the European Union Parliament.  She has acted as an advisor to the UK Stern Review on Rape Complaints (2013), was asked to give evidence to the Parliamentary Modern Slavery Bill Committee (2014), and was part of an International Committee of Experts to the Basque Working Group on Treatment of Political Detainees (2014)

Liora co-founded and is actively involved in the work of Oxford Pro Bono Publico, and she has supervised a range of their reports.  She is also an Associate of the Oxford Human Rights Hub.   The influence of Liora's research in the public sphere was recently explored in an Oxford Impact Video on her work.

UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION

Liora acted as the Law Faculty's first admissions co-ordinator from 2002 - 2005.  During that time she designed the ADSS system for law, introduced structural reforms in order to co-ordinate admissions across colleges within the Faculty, and developed the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT).  In 2006, Liora was seconded to the Vice-Chancellor's Office to act as the drafting secretary to the Governance Working Party. In that year, she drafted the White Paper on University Governance on their behalf.  

AFFILIATIONS  

Liora is a Member of Oxford's Centre for Criminological Research, and sits on the Advisory Board of Oxford's Centre for Ethics and Law in Armed Conflict and the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law.  She was previously the book review editor of the European Human Rights Law Review, and continutes to sit on the editorial board of the Journal of Human Rights Practice.  She has held visiting fellowships at the Gilbert and Tobin Centre for Public Law at UNSW, Sydney; and a research association at the Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town.Currently, Liora is closely involved with the development of a new Institute for Human Rights at the University of Oxford, and is in the process of establishing a new book series with Hart Publishing focusing on the area of Security and Justice.  Outside of legal academia, Liora is an Associate Member of the Institute of Cultural Inquiry in Berlin. 

You can follow Liora's posts on all aspects of her work on Facebook and Twitter.

Publications

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  • L Lazarus, Securing Legality (Hart Publishing 2016) (forthcoming)
    Drawing on theoretical, legal and policy material, Securing Legality seeks to develop a robust normative framework in which to understand the relationship between security, the rule of law and human rights. The book challenges the entrenched dichotomy, commonly invoked by activists, analysts and scholars, of the rule of law and human rights on the one hand and security on the other. It argues that security actors often fail adequately to grasp the role of law and legal legitimacy in their conceptions of security, while guardians of legality too easily overlook the intrinsic and explicit role that security plays in our conception of the rule of law and human rights. At the same time Securing Legality warns against the risk of 'securitising law', a process whereby the rule of law and human rights is increasingly viewed through the narrow lens of security. The book seeks to re-conceptualise the relationship between law and security, arguing that the concept of security should concern not only the safety of society, but also the value of its broader social arrangements.
  • L Lazarus and Natasha Simonsen, 'Democratic Deliberation and Judicial Review' in Murray Hunt (ed), Parliament and Human Rights: Redressing the Democratic Deficit (Oxford University Press 2015)
    This chapter argues provides a model which Courts could apply in their assessment of Parliamentary deliberation of rights limiting legislation. It argues for such a transparent assessment as a prerequisite of the exercise of judicial deference.
  • L Lazarus, 'The Right to Security' in Rowan Cruft, Matthew Liao and Massimo Renzo (eds), The Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights (Oxford University Press 2015)
    This paper surveys and critiques the philosophical theories that engage with and support a moral right to security.
  • L Lazarus, Chris McCrudden and Nigel Bowles (eds), Reasoning Rights: Comparative Judicial Engagement (Hart Publishing 2014)
    This collection examines judicial engagement with human rights from a comparative perspective. It is divided into four sections: proportionality, security and human rights, religion and human rights and socio-economic rights.
  • Miles Jackson, Tamas Szigeti and L Lazarus, Report for Hungarian Civil Liberties Union on Comparative Hate Crime (Oxford Pro Bono Publico 2014)
    This research report offers a comparative analysis of the application of hate crime laws to victims who belong to non-disadvantaged or majority groups in the surveyed jurisdictions. The report was commissioned by by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU), a Budapest-based human rights and civil liberties NGO.
  • Eirik Bjorge, Vrinda Bhandari, Eleanor Mitchell, Kate Mitchell and L Lazarus, Report for UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary Detention on Rights of Persons Deprived of their Liberty (Oxford Pro Bono Publico 2014)
    This is a report prepared by Oxford Pro Bono Publico (‘OPBP’) for the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary Detention. The Special Rapporteur has been tasked by the United Nations Human Rights Council with preparing a set of principles and guidelines on ‘remedies and procedures on the right of anyone deprived of his or her liberty by arrest or detention to bring proceedings before a court’.
  • Kate Mitchell, Tamas Szigeti and L Lazarus, Comparative Study for Blackstone Chambers on Mass Surveillance and Civil Liberties (Oxford Pro Bono Publico 2013)
    This report explores the existing legal frameworks governing national security programmes of mass surveillance, in light of the recently discovered PRISM and TEMPORA programmes in the United States (US) and United Kingdom. The report was prepared to support the work of Tom Hickman and Ravi Mehta of Blackstone Chambers in August 2013.
  • L Lazarus and Ryan Goss, 'Criminal Justice under the UK Human Rights Act: dynamic interaction between domestic and international law' (2013) Singapore Academy of Law Journal
    The article demonstrates how, both before and after the HRA, UK courts and legislators have sought to reconcile common law approaches to protecting rights and liberties with the approaches of the Strasbourg Court. It uses the development of the case law as an insight into a dynamic institutional dialogue: how interaction with the ECtHR has shaped the way that UK courts, governments and Parliament have acted on criminal justice issues and vice versa.
  • L Lazarus, 'Positive Obligations and Criminal Justice: Duties to Protect or Coerce' in Julian Roberts and Lucia Zedner (eds), Principled Approaches to Criminal Law and Criminal Justice: Essays in Honour of Professor Andrew Ashworth (Oxford University Press 2012)
    Human rights advocates internationally, and supporters of socio-economic rights, have battled for many years to get States and courts to accept that human rights give rise to positive obligations upon States and that such obligations ought to be justiciable in principle. Much of the rhetoric deployed in this campaign has focused on the importance of protecting and respecting basic human needs and capabilities, and ensuring that individuals enjoy a basic level of subsistence in order to secure the enjoyment of all rights. In the context of criminal justice and criminal law: positive obligations are very often cast as duties on the State to protect individuals from the criminal acts of others (protective duties). Very little attention is paid however to the potential for such positive obligations to give rise to what I term ‘coercive duties’. In other words, duties upon the State to coerce individuals through the criminal law, or criminal justice mechanisms, in the name of protecting others from their criminal acts. The coercive aspect of positive obligations comes more sharply into focus when we look at the rhetoric around, and judicial enforcement of ,the right to security. But the development of coercive duties are evident in the positive aspect of other rights too. This chapter explores the ambiguity involved in the growing development of positive rights in the field of criminal law and criminal justice. It dwells briefly on the emerging right to security case law and rhetoric internationally, and goes on to examine cases within the UK and ECHR. The thesis of the chapter is that while some protective duties arising from human rights may be a positive development, the extension of coercive duties on the State to coerce others in the name of another individual’s rights is an overseen and more pernicious part of this development of human rights. The chapter will end by exploring how we reconcile coercive duties arising out of human rights with opposing negative rights protections, or even other protective duties.
  • L Lazarus, 'The Right to Security - Securing Rights or Securitizing Rights' in Dickinson et al (ed), Examining Critical Perspectives on Human Rights (Cambridge University Press 2012)
    This paper examines the rise of the right to security within human rights discourse and its potential to erode human rights more generally. It argues that political discourse around the apparent conflict between security and rights since 9/11 has been complicated by an emerging notion of the 'right to security' as the meta-right (the right of rights). This claim (and the inherent ambiguity of what the right to security requires) has the potential to lead to a 'securitization' of human rights, a process that threatens to erode the traditional foundations of human rights, and human rights themselves. Operating in tandem with this 'securitization' process, the discourse of the right to security has been used to sanitize, or at least to legitimate, coercive security measures. This is a process I refer to as 'righting' security. These two processes combine in complex ways to give security an effective trump claim over other rights.
  • L Lazarus, Adam Tomkins and Helen Fenwick, 'Terrorist asset-freezing - Continuing flaws in the current scheme' (2011) 25 International Review of Law, Computers and Technology 117
    The Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc Act 2010 came into force on 17 December 2010. The 2010 Act repealed the previous Temporary Provisions Act. This article does not purport to provide comprehensive coverage of the Act; it outlines four main areas of concern that arose in respect of the Draft Terrorist Asset-Freezing Bill and that now arise in respect of the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc Act 2010. In summary, these are as follows: problems of parliamentary scrutiny relating to the scope of the Act; problems relating to the reasonable suspicion test; problems relating to judicial process; problems relating to ECHR rights.
  • Alecia Johns, Hayley Hooper and L Lazarus, Report for JCHR - Supplementary Comparative Research on the use of Secret Evidence in the United States (Oxford Pro Bono Publico 2011)
    This was a follow-up to the 2011 comparative report on secret evidence, requested by the JCHR. It focused on the operation of security-cleared counsel in US habeas corpus proceedings as well as the US doctrine of State secrets privilege in order to help the JCHR whether those aspects of US practice should be adopted in the UK.
  • Anne Carter, Nabiya Syed, Ryan Goss and L Lazarus, Report for JCHR - The Use of Secret Evidence in Judicial Proceedings: A Comparative Survey (Oxford Pro Bono Publico 2011)
    On 19 October 2011 the Government published a Green Paper on Justice and Security that proposes reforms to the use of secret evidence. This research paper by Oxford Pro Bono Publico (OPBP) is intended to assist the Joint Committee of Human Rights (JCHR) in its scrutiny of the Government's proposals in the Green Paper.
  • L Lazarus, Cathryn Costello, Nazila Ghanea-Hercock and Katja Ziegler, The Evolution of Fundamental Rights Charters and Case Law (European Parliament Directorate General for Internal Policies 2011)
    This report examines the human rights protection systems of the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the European Union. It explores the substantive rights, protection mechanisms, modes of engagement within, and the interactions between each system. The report also outlines the protection of minority rights, and the political processes through which human rights and institutions evolve and interact. A series of recommendations are made on how to advance the EU human rights system.
  • L Lazarus, A Tomkins and H Fenwick, Submission in response to HM Treasury: Public Consultation: Draft Terrorist Asset-Freezing Bill (Cm 7852) ( 2010)
  • L Lazarus, 'Inspecting the Tail of the Dog' in Melissa McCarthy (ed), Incarceration and Human Rights (Manchester University Press 2010)
  • Miles Jackson, Patricia Jimenez Kwast and L Lazarus, Memorandum for Reprieve UK and Clive Stafford Smith on Kiyemba v Obama (Oxford Pro Bono Publico 2009)
    This research concerned the content of the writ of habeus corpus as it existed in the UK in 1789
  • Jennifer Robinson and L Lazarus, Report for the UN Special Rapporteur on Business and Human Rights - Obstacles for Victims of Corporate Human Rights Violations (Oxford Pro Bono Publico 2008)
    OPBP prepared this submission to inform the mandate of Professor John Ruggie, the Special Representative of the United Nations' Secretary-General on business and human rights. It explores the obstacles victims of corporate human rights abuse face in accessing justice and obtaining remediation through domestic legal systems either in their own countries where the business operations and human rights abuse takes place or in the countries in which the alleged offending transnational corporation is registered or incorporated. It considers these obstacles in relation to 13 specific jurisdictions: Australia, Canada, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Malaysia, the People's Republic of China, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • L Lazarus, 'Report for UN SR on Business and Human Rights - Obstacles to Justice and Redress for Victims of Corporate Human Rights Abuses ' (2008) Oxford Pro Bono Publico
    OPBP prepared this submission under my supervision to inform the mandate of Professor John Ruggie, the Special Representative of the United Nations' Secretary-General on business and human rights. It explores the obstacles victims of corporate human rights abuse face in accessing justice and obtaining remediation through domestic legal systems either in their own countries where the business operations and human rights abuse takes place or in the countries in which the alleged offending transnational corporation is registered or incorporated. It considers these obstacles in relation to 13 specific jurisdictions: Australia, Canada, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Malaysia, the People's Republic of China, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • L Lazarus, 'Civilizing Security by I Loader and N Walker' (2008) Public Law Winter [Review]
  • L Lazarus, 'Mapping the Right to Security' in Benjamin J Goold and Liora Lazarus (eds), Security and Human Rights (Hart Publishing 2007)
    ISBN: 978-1-84113-608-0
  • Veronika Fikfak and L Lazarus, Legal Research to assist with the drafting of Amendments to the Law on Criminal Procedure of Bosnia-Herzegovina (Oxford Pro Bono Publico 2005)
    This legal research was provided to Judge Malik Hadziomeragic, Judge of the Supreme Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and member of Work Group for making a Draft on Amendments to the Law on Criminal Procedure of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Judge Hadziomeragic asked for assistance with several specific research questions about English criminal procedure, as the Work Group is trying to incorporate as much as possible elements of English criminal procedure into its Draft on Amendments.
  • Sarah McCosker, Ben Saul, Deborah Sandler and L Lazarus, Privileged Memo for Clive Stafford Smith for US v AL QOSI (Oxford Public Interest Lawyers 2004)
    This report included specific research questions set to OXPIL by Clive Stafford Smith regarding the charges against Mr. Al Qosi in the Guantanamo Bay military tribunal.
  • L Lazarus, 'Delivering Rights: How the Human Rights Act is Working by J Jowell and J Cooper' (2004) Public Law Winter [Review]
  • L Lazarus, A Ashworth, S Ball and A Davies, 'Submission to United Kingdom Joint Parliamentary Committeee of Human Rights on The Case for a Human Rights Commission (HL Paper 160, HC 1142)' (2001)
  • L Lazarus, 'Oxford Pro Bono Report on use of Secret Evidence' (2000) Joint Committee on Human Rights
    On 19 October 2011 the Government published a Green Paper, entitled Justice and Security, which proposes reforms to the way secret evidence is used in judicial proceedings. Oxford Pro Bono Publico (OPBP) has produced a Research Paper to assist the Joint Committee of Human Rights (JCHR) in its scrutiny of the Government’s proposals. In particular, the report by OPBP provides a detailed comparative perspective on how secret evidence is used across various jurisdictions. The report was conducted by graduate students working pro bono under the joint supervision of Liora Lazarus and Murray Hunt.

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Research Interests

Criminal justice, human rights, security, comparative method, prisoners' rights, comparative constitutional culture, South African constitutional culture; German constitutional law and culture; UK human rights and constitutional law

Options taught

Administrative Law, Constitutional Law (Senior Status), Human Rights Law, Criminal Justice, Security and Human Rights, Constitutional Law (Mods), Comparative Criminal Justice, Security and Human Rights

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