Professor Patrick Birkinshaw, University of Hull
In this lecture, Patrick Birkinshaw examines the impact that European Law (both EU and ECHR) have had on English and UK law and the UK constitution. The lecture will come at a time when a projected in/out referendum will take place on EU membership if the Conservative Party are returned to office in 2015 and when calls to leave the Council of Europe and to repatriate our human rights law are made by politicians and judges respectively. How have our constitution and public law changed under European influence and what, if any, are the enduring legacies of these changes?
Professor Patrick Birkinshaw has been a professor since 1990, and has lectured at Hull University since 1976. He is Director of the Institute of European Public Law, inaugurated by Sir Leon Brittan in 1992, and has been Editor in Chief of the quarterly journal European Public Law since 1995. He has written various books including: Freedom of Information: the Law, the Practice and the Ideal 4th ed 2010 Cambridge University Press, Government and Information: the Law Relating to Access, Disclosure and their Regulation (4th ed. with Dr Mike Varney 2011), European Public Law – The Achievement and the Challenge (2nd ed 2014) and Grievances Remedies and the State (2nd ed 1995). Professor Birkinshaw worked as a specialist adviser to the Commons Public Administration Select Committee in its enquiry into 'Political Memoirs' in 2005/2006. He has acted as a government and parliamentary adviser and has represented the UK in numerous international legal seminars. From 1997 until 1999, he served as a specialist adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee on Public Administration in its review of Government proposals, and the Bill, on Freedom of Information. Between 2000 and 2008 he was a member of the transparency team for Nirex (subsequently part of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority) and acted as an ombudsmen on information requests. Professor Birkinshaw is also on the Assessment Board for the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Science, which allocates public funds for academic research. Between 2003 and 2006 he was chair of the AHRC postgraduate committee for Law, Theology and Philosophy.
The IEL Annual Lecture:
Each year the Institute of European Law invites an eminent European lawyer or academic to present its annual lecture on a European legal topic. Past speakers have included such distinguished visitors as Sir David Edward, Professor Alan Dashwood and Sir Konrad Schiermann, Gisela Stuart, Hon Mr Justice Elias, Judge Nicholas Forwood, Sir Christopher Bellamy and Professor Piet Eeckhout.