Actions and Detail Panel
Does Prevent undermine equality on campus?
Thu 23 March 2017, 14:00 – 16:00 GMT
Since 2015, universities – alongside other public institutions – have a statutory duty to pay ‘due regard’ to ‘prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. Since it came into force, there are signs that the new duty may be compromising principles of academic freedom and equality in the University sector. Yet, in all the discussion of the effects of the new duty there has been little attention to the way that Prevent might compromise the ability of Universities to fulfill other legal duties – these include protecting academic freedom and freedom of speech, but also require public bodies to pay the same 'due regard' to promoting equality (under the Equality Act 2010).
This event asks what is impact of this change in the law on the practice and role of equality within the University and examines how best any issues might be handled.
The event will include the following speakers:
Claire Lesko (Equalities and Human Rights Commission) will present the EHRC’s recently published guidance on universities' obligations to equality and human rights in the context of Prevent.
Saimo Chahal QC (Hon) a partner at Bindmans LLP will speak about the law and the Prevent duty as it applies to Higher education institutions and the way it conflicts with the duty on educational institutions to promote freedom of speech. She acts in the case of R (Dr Butt) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, a case about these issues and the legality of the collection and dissemination of data about alleged “extremists” by the Home Office.
Dr. Narzanin Massoumi (University of Bath) will present research that examines university practice and the conflicts between their equality and Prevent duties.
Prof. David Miller (University of Bath) will present research on the evidence base and expertise informing Prevent policies at higher education.
The event will be chaired by Jack Grove (Times Higher Education)