Was Brexit (the 2016 referendum) argued on the basis of accurate information fairly presented? Slogans were, and may always be, better at gathering votes. With the reality of Brexit a few months away, a sober look at what we actually gain or lose is needed in two areas: What is sovereignty of an island like our own?
Could we draw a line round the coast line (and the Irish border) and contain and control all that is inside? And what of rights within that line? Can they all be home grown and nationally defined? Are we indeed an island?
Prior to the referendum, on 26th May 2016, we hosted a debate chaired by Sir Richard Evans with Daniel Hodson and Matthew Elliott on the Leave side and Sir Geoffrey Nice QC and Dominic Grieve QC MP on the Remain side.
You can watch that debate here:
Sir Geoffrey Nice QC has practised as a barrister since 1971. He worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia – the ICTY – between 1998 and 2006 and led the prosecution of Slobodan Milošević, former President of Serbia. Much of his work since has been connected to cases before the permanent International Criminal Court – Sudan, Kenya, Libya – or pro bono for victims groups – Iran, Burma, North Korea – whose cases cannot get to any international court. He works for several related NGO’s and lectures and commentates in the media in various countries on international war crimes issues. He has been a part-time judge since 1984 sitting at the Old Bailey and has sat as judge in other jurisdictions, tribunals and inquiries. Between 2009 and 2012 he was Vice-Chair of the Bar Standards Board, the body that regulates barristers.
The six free public law lectures for 2013/14 Sir Geoffrey delivered as Gresham Professor of Law included four lectures on how legal process can fail the citizen in armed conflict, one explaining advocacy work in courts, and a final lecture covering recent legal changes.
The first five of his 2012-13 lectures dealt with issues arising from the work of international criminal courts and tribunals. The sixth contrasted the practice of law in international criminal courts where there is little or no effective regulation of lawyers and judges with the present working practices of the English Bar.
Professor Sir Geoffrey Nice QC continues his Law series in the 2015/16 academic year, entitled 'Law and Lawyers - not all bad?'.
Professor Nice's previous lecture series are as follows:
All of Professor Nice's past Gresham lectures can be accessed here.