John Eekelaar on the response to Abu Qatada’s deportation

by | Jul 11, 2013

author profile picture

About John Eekelaar

John Eekelaar (LL.B. (London) 1963; B.C.L. (Oxon) 1965; M.A. (Oxon) 1967, was a Tutorial Fellow at Pembroke College from 1965 to 2005; held a CUF Lecturership from 1966-91, and was Reader in Law from 1991 until 2005. He became part-time research fellow at the Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies in the mid-1970s, and was a founder member of the International Society of Family Law and its President from 1985-8, and founding co-editor of the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family. He was General Editor, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (1993 – 2005). He was elected to a Fellowship of the British Academy in July 2001, and an (Honorary) Fellowship of King’s College, London in 2019. Apart from many edited volumes and journal articles, his books include Family Security and Family Breakdown (1971) Family Law and Social Policy (1978, 1984), Regulating Divorce (1991), Family Law and Personal Life (2006, 2007 and 2017) and (with Robert Dingwall and Topsy Murray), The Protection of Children: State Intervention and Family Life (1983) (with Mavis Maclean) Maintenance after Divorce (1986),. The Parental Obligation: A Study of Parenthood across Households (1997), Family Lawyers; the Divorce Work of Solicitors (2013), Family Advocacy (2009), Family Justice: the Work of Family Judges in Uncertain Times (2013), Lawyers and Mediators (2016) and After the Act (2019).

It is depressing that some politicians are using the Abu Qatada case to denigrate our system for protecting human rights when we should be thankful that it has shown the high value the system places on justice and acceptance that use of evidence procured by torture is a denial of justice.

In forcing a reluctant government to achieve its objective of deportation consistently with upholding this value, the system works exactly as it should. One would have thought that a Secretary of State who holds a brief for ‘Justice’ would praise and defend it against critics who complain that it makes it more difficult for governments to take executive action that they deem most convenient. Shockingly, he has done the opposite.

John Eekelaar is a Fellow of the British Academy and Co-Director of the Oxford Centre for Family Law and Policy.  A copy of this letter appeared in The Independent on 10 July 2013.

Share this:

Related Content


Submit a Comment