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Professor Philip Leach appointed Specialist Adviser to Joint Committee on Human Rights

Law professor assists inquiry into mental health and deaths in prisons

Prison fencingProfessor Philip Leach, Professor of Human Rights Law, has been appointed Specialist Adviser to an inquiry on mental health and deaths in prison by the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

The inquiry, which was launched at the end of 2016, will seek to establish whether a human rights-based approach can help prevent mental health-related deaths in prison.

“I am very pleased to be assisting the Committee as a Specialist Adviser,” said Professor Leach.

“Deaths in custody have been increasing alarmingly and there has rightly been a lot of focus on this issue in recent years. However, recommendations made in successive reports have not been implemented.

“It is a fundamental aspect of this inquiry that the Committee's scrutiny will consider in particular how to get the most common recommendations successfully implemented now.”

A Director of the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC) and solicitor, Professor Leach has extensive experience representing applicants before the European Court of Human Rights, in particular against Russia, Turkey and the UK.

Academics from Middlesex University have recently launched the Prison Research Group (PRG), which brings together Middlesex staff and students to critically examine prison reform, issues and debates.

Like much of the University’s research output, the PRG is underpinned by principles of social justice and humanity.

“We are committed to prison reform so that prisons are places of real life change and contribute to positive future outcomes for those incarcerated within them,” explained Dr Jennifer Ward, PRG Convener and Senior Lecturer in Criminology.

Learn more about studying human rights and criminology at Middlesex

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