Appointment of UK's Prevent Strategy Reviewer 'Undermines Credibility'
The Open Society Justice Initiative has joined a public statement with ten other civil society groups expressing concern over the independence of the top lawyer chosen by the UK government to head an independent review of its Prevent counter-extremism strategy.
The UK government named Lord Carlile of Berriew as Independent Reviewer of Prevent on August 12. It announced the creation of the Independent Review in January.
The joint statement says Lord Carlile’s "close ties with and publicly declared support for the Prevent strategy undermine the integrity and credibility of this review from the outset."
Established to “stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism,” Prevent has imposed since 2015 a statutory duty on health and education bodies in to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.”
In 2016, a report by the Justice Initiative, Eroding Trust, concluded that the strategy creates a serious risk of human rights violations and is also counterproductive. It argues that its application in schools, colleges, and healthcare institutions is damaging trust: between teachers and students; between doctors and patients; and between the police and members of the UK’s Muslim community, whose support is an essential element of counterterrorism efforts.