Mark Bennett

Email: M.N.Bennett@liverpool.ac.uk
Twitter: @markbennett_

Previous education

LLB (Hons) Class I, Liverpool John Moores University
LLM (Distinction) in ‘Global Crime, Justice and Security’, Liverpool John Moores University

Thesis title

‘Unravelling the Constitution: The Impact of International Terrorism on the Constitutional Arrangements of the United Kingdom’

Supervisors

Dr Michael Gordon and Dr Adam Tucker

Research summary

My research explores the challenges posed by the phenomenon of international terrorism, and the narratives which this phenomenon drives, to the constitutional arrangements of the United Kingdom, broadly conceived as comprising a commitment to the principles of the rule of law, the legislative sovereignty of Parliament, and the separation of powers between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government.

The threat of international terrorism is conceptualised as a ‘constitutional trigger’ in the United Kingdom, and my research examines this characterisation of international terrorism not only as a constitutional phenomenon capable of ‘unravelling’ well-established legal and political principles, but as a phenomenon by reference to which certain legislative and executive action which may otherwise have been deemed unconstitutional, in the light of the United Kingdom’s constitutional underpinnings, is seemingly justified.

The interaction between the ‘unravelling’ and the ‘justificatory’ constitutional dimensions of international terrorism is explored in the context of the many contemporary challenges to the United Kingdom’s constitutional settlement, including the United Kingdom’s future relationship with Europe following the outcome of the referendum on continued membership of the European Union in June 2016, and the Conservative government’s 2015 manifesto commitments to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998, extricate the United Kingdom from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights and implement a ‘British Bill of Rights’. It is against this backdrop that the constitutional impact of international terrorism, i.e. the extent to which constitutional change can be attributed to, or has been affected by, the influence or threat of international terrorism and the responses of successive British governments (particularly in the early 21st century) to this phenomenon, is assessed.

Research interests

Constitutional Law; Public Law; Legal Theory; Human Rights; Terrorism; Conflict and Security
Publications: N/A