Meet the Researchers

The project team comprises Professor Fiona de Londras (PI), Dr Jessie Blackbourn (CoI), and Dr Lydia Morgan (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow).


Fiona de Londras joined Birmingham Law School as the inaugural Chair in Global Legal Studies in the summer of 2015, following time as professor of law at Durham Law School and a lecturer at University College Dublin. Fiona’s research and teaching are in the fields of human rights and comparative constitutional law, exploring the role of rights in contentious policy context with a particular focus on counter-terrorism. Fiona’s research has been funded by the European Commission, the British Academy, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, and under the auspices of an ERC grant held in the Israel Democracy Institute. In 2017 she was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in law, awarded to recognise the achievement of outstanding researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising.

Fiona is the author and editor of three books on counter-terrorism:

  • The Impact, Legitimacy and Effectiveness of EU Counter Terrorism (with Josephine Doody) (Routledge, 2015);
  • Critical Debates on Counter-Terrorism Judicial Review (edited with Fergal Davis) (Cambridge University Press, 2014);
  • Detention in the War on Terror: Can Human Rights Fight Back?,(Cambridge University Press, 2011).

She has also published numerous articles and book chapters on counter-terrorism, including: ‘Evaluation and Effectiveness of Counter-Terrorism’ in Wim Hardyns, Koen Ponnet, Genserik Reniers, Wim Smit, Luc Braeckmans and  Barbara Segaert (eds), Socially Responsible Innovation in Security: Critical Reflections (2017); ‘Hybrid (Counter-) Terrorism’ in Nicolas Lemay-Hebert & Rosa Freedman, Hybridity: Law, Culture, and Development  (Routledge, 2016) ‘Accounting for Rights in EU Counter-Terrorism’(2016) 22(2) Columbia Journal of European Law; ‘Guantánamo Bay, the Rise of Courts and the Revenge of Politics’ in David Jenkins, Anders Henriksen & Amanda Jacobsen (eds). The Long Decade: How 9/11 Has Changed the Law (Oxford University Press, 2014); ‘Counter-Terrorist Detention and International Human Rights Law’ in Ben Saul (ed), Research Handbook on Terrorism and International Law (Edward Elgar, 2014); ‘Prevention, Detention and Extraordinariness’ in Fionnuala ní Aoláin and Oren Gross (eds), Guantánamo Bay and Beyond Exceptional Courts and Military Commissions In Comparative and Policy Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2013)Closing Guantánamo Bay: The Triumph of Politics over Law?’ (2012) Public Law; ‘Can Counter-Terrorist Internment Ever Be Legitimate?’ (2011) 33(3) Human Rights Quarterly.

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Dr Jessie Blackbourn is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford and Socio-Legal Research Fellow at Wolfson College. She was previously a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the University of New South Wales, working on Professor George Williams’ Australian Research Council Laureate funded project on ‘Anti-Terrorism Law and the Democratic Challenge’, and she has taught at the University of Salford and Kingston University. Jessie’s research interests lie broadly in the field of anti-terrorism law with a particular focus on oversight and review and she has published widely in this area. She is the author and co-author of two books: Anti-Terrorism Law and Foreign Fighters (with Deniz Kayis and Nicola McGarrity (Routledge, 2018) and Anti-Terrorism Law and Normalising Northern Ireland (Routledge, 2015).

Her articles and book chapters on counter-terrorism include: ‘Interdiction and Indoctrination: The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015’ (2016) 79(5) Modern Law Review (with Clive Walker); ‘The Independent National Security Legislation Monitor’s First Term: an Appraisal’ (2016) 39(3) UNSW Law Journal; ‘Anti-Terrorism Laws and Human Rights’ in Leanne Weber, Elaine Fishwick and Marinella Marmo (eds.) The Routledge International Handbook of Criminology and Human Rights (with Nicola McGarrity) (Routledge, 2016); ‘Secret Material and Anti-Terrorism Review in Australia and Canada’, in Miiko Kumar, Greg Martin and Rebecca Scott Bray (eds.), Secrecy, Law and Society (Routledge, 2015); ‘Evaluating the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation’ (2014) 67(4) Parliamentary Affairs; ‘Anti-Terrorism Law Reform: Now or Never?’ (2014) 25(1) Public Law Review; ‘Independent Reviewers as Alternative; an Empirical Study from Australia and the UK’, in Fergal Davis and Fiona de Londras (eds.), Critical Debates on Counter-Terrorism Judicial Review (Cambridge University Press, 2014) ‘Academic Consensus and Legislative Definitions of Terrorism: Applying Schmid and Jongman’ (2013) 34(3) Statute Law Review (with Fergal Davis and Natasha Taylor); ‘The UK’s Anti-Terrorism Laws: Does their Practical Use Correspond to Legislative Intention?’ (2013) 8(1) Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism; ‘Power without Responsibility: There is no Valid Scrutiny of Australia’s Anti-Terrorism Laws’, in D. Baldino (ed.), Spooked (University of New South Wales Press, 2013); and ‘Listening and Hearings: Intercept Evidence in the Courtroom’ (2012) 2 Journal of Commonwealth Criminal Law (with Nicola McGarrity).


Dr Lydia Morgan is the Post-Doctoral Research Fellow on the Counter-Terrorism Review Project. She graduated with a First Class degree in Philosophy and Cultural Studies from the University of Sussex in 2008 and went on to gain an MSc in Political Theory from the LSE. After a short period working in the Third Sector in youth development and homelessness, she returned to higher education to study for her PhD in Law and Politics at the University of Bristol. As well as receiving her Doctorate in 2015, she undertook a three month AHRC Kluge Fellowship at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. She has taught at the University of Bristol, University of East Anglia and the University of Birmingham. Her research interests focus on state secrecy, the UK security services, the regulation of investigatory measures and the responses of liberal theory to contemporary political practices. Her publications include ‘(Re)Conceptualising State Secrecy’ in the Northern Ireland Law Quarterly (Forthcoming 2018) and ‘Understanding Dworkin through Art: Object-based Learning and Law’ (2017) The Law Teacher.


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