A complex, far-reaching, legal framework governs the way information about terrorism is obtained by the media and conveyed to the public.  Counter-terrorism legislation is important, but so are defamation, contempt, official secrets, freedom of information, free speech rights, the protection of journalists' sources, and the legal and ethical rules surrounding how lawyers deal with the media.

This research programme aims to examine, within that framework, how democratic traditions of media freedom which characterise and sustain our liberal democracy through open, informed public debate - the basis of the public's right to know - can best be balanced against the contemporary demands of national and international security. 

The first of three linked projects looks at the media experience of reporting on terrorism. Using interviews with journalists and lawyers, the project will study the impact of the legal framework and consider also how agencies of the government manage and release information. The second project analyses legislative and judicial approaches to balancing openness and secrecy. The third project brings key stakeholders together at a conference to elicit and analyse their perspectives on how openness and secrecy should be balanced to achieve both liberty and security.



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Comments on the potential broadcasting of the Detainee Inquiry's open proceedings

Author: Lawrence McNamara Date: 30 September 2013 Other

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Submission to the Senate inquiry into the provisions of the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2010

Author: Lawrence McNamara Date: 30 September 2013 Other

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Submission to Australian Law Reform Commission, Review of Secrecy Laws (Discussion Paper 74)

Author: Lawrence McNamara Date: 30 September 2013 Other

Civil Liberties, Open Justice and Protection from Terrorism

Author: Lawrence McNamara Date: 30 September 2013 Dissemination / Communication

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Terrorism & Security Research in the UK: Using and Understanding Legal Resources

Organiser: Lawrence McNamara Date: 30 September 2013 Training course

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Law, Terrorism and the Right to Know

Author: Lawrence McNamara Date: 30 September 2013 Other

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Law, Terrorism and the Right to Know

Author: Lawrence McNamara Date: 30 September 2013 Other

The view from the bench: Judicial perspectives on terrorism cases and the media

Author: Lawrence McNamara Date: 13 September 2012 Conference paper/presentation

Book review: Haneef: A Question of Character

Author: Lawrence McNamara Date: 01 September 2012 Journal article

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Judicial perspectives on open justice and security

Author: Lawrence McNamara Date: 11 June 2012 Conference proceedings

Lord Neuberger's seven principles empower judges to speak

Author: Lawrence McNamara Date: 16 March 2012 Newspaper

Judicial perspectives on terrorism cases and the media

Speaker: Lawrence McNamara Date: 29 February 2012 Conference paper/presentation

Justice, security and secrecy

Author: Lawrence McNamara Date: 23 February 2012 Other publication/report

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Supplementary written evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights

Author: Lawrence McNamara Date: 09 February 2012 Evidence

Oral evidence

Author: Lawrence McNamara Date: 07 February 2012 Evidence

Written evidence submitted by Dr Lawrence McNamara, University of Reading (JS 8)

Author: Lawrence McNamara Date: 01 February 2012 Evidence

Countering Terrorism: Journalists' Legal Obligations to Disclose Information to the Authorities

Author: Lawrence McNamara Date: 06 September 2011 Conference paper/presentation

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Open justice and national security: A study of media access to, and state control over, information in terrorism investigations and prosecutions

Author: Lawrence McNamara Date: 06 June 2011 Conference paper/presentation

Media freedom and the right to know : the effects of counter-terrorism laws and cultures

Speaker: Lawrence McNamara Date: 03 June 2011 Seminar/workshop

Secrecy, security and the media : how counter-terrorism laws affect media reporting in Australia and the UK

Speaker: Lawrence McNamara Date: 03 June 2011 Seminar/workshop

Law, terrorism and the right to know : research aims, methods and problems

Speaker: Lawrence McNamara Date: 03 June 2011 Seminar/workshop

Secrecy, the state and the media : disclosing information about terrorism to the authorities

Speaker: Lawrence McNamara Date: 03 June 2011 Seminar/workshop

Secrecy, the state and the media : disclosing information about terrorism to the authorities

Speaker: Lawrence McNamara Date: 03 June 2011 Seminar/workshop

Proxies for the authorities? : using media information in the investigation and prosecution of terrorism offences

Speaker: Lawrence McNamara Date: 03 June 2011 Conference paper/presentation

The troubles of telling : journalists' legal obligations to disclose information to the authorities

Speaker: Lawrence McNamara Date: 03 June 2011 Conference paper/presentation

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Start date
30 June 2009
End date
29 June 2013
Grant holder
Dr Lawrence McNamara
Grant amount
£251,951.47
Grant reference
RES-071-27-0038
Discipline
Socio Legal Studies
Socio-Legal Studies
Grant type