New from the School of Law and Criminology: A Unique Special Issue on the Right to Privacy

On 20 February 2019, a conference on the right to privacy was organised at the University of Greenwich, with the support of Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). Subsequent to the conference, Dr Aysem Diker Vanberg and Dr Özgür Heval Çɪnar from School of Law and Criminology prepared a special issue on `The right to privacy in the digital age: different perspectives around the globe` which has now been published in the International Journal of Human Rights (Vol 25, Issue 1).

The right to privacy is one of the rights enshrined in international human rights law. However, with the increasing digitalisation of modern life, protecting one’s privacy has become more complicated, with both state and non-state organisations making frequent interventions in citizens’ private lives. In this special issue they focus on the right to privacy in the digital age with a view to see how it is implemented across the globe in different jurisdictions. This special issue is very unique as there have not been any publications with similar content covering the issue as extensively, which is a first in this regard. Links to each of the articles in the special issue are below, with contributions from the School of Law and Criminology’s Dr Kristian Humble, Dr Aysem Diker Vanberg, and Dr Özgür Heval Çɪnar:

International law, surveillance and the protection of privacy
Kristian P. Humble

The current case law of the European Court of Human Rights on privacy: challenges in the digital age
Özgür Heval Çɪnar

Informational privacy post GDPR – end of the road or the start of a long journey?
Aysem Diker Vanberg

Playing catch up – privacy regimes in South Asia
Smitha Krishna Prasad & Sharngan Aravindakshan

The long arm of GDPR in Africa: reflection on data privacy law reform and practice in Mauritius
Alex B. Makulilo

From privacy to data protection: the road ahead for the Inter-American System of human rights
Carlos Affonso SouzaCaio César de OliveiraChristian Perrone & Giovana Carneiro

  
If you have any comments/feedback please contact Dr Özgür Heval Çɪnar (o.h.cinar@greenwich.ac.uk) and/or Dr Aysem Diker Vanberg (a.dikervanberg@greenwich.ac.uk) directly who would be happy to discuss further.

The Gender, Deviance and Society Research Group was launched!

October 22nd marked the launch of the Gender, Deviance and Society (GDS) research group at the University of Greenwich and we marked the event with an online webinar.

Drawing together the research expertise of its leaders – Dr Stacy Banwell, Dr Alexandra Fanghanel, Dr Camille Stengel and Dr Giulia Zampini – GDS aims to push forward research innovation in gender-related matters through interdisciplinary approaches, horizontal leadership, and mentoring. We want to create a platform for all members of the group at all stages of their scholarship and research to come together and learn from each other.

The Gender, Deviance and Society (GDS) online launch webinar

The GDS launch focused on celebrating the publication of Dr Banwell’s monograph Gender and the Violence(s) of War and Armed Conflict: More Dangerous to be a Woman? The book is now out as an open access publication on Emerald Publishing. An animation of Dr Banwell’s book can be viewed here.

For this occasion, we were excited to be able to read one of our members’ work in full (academics struggle to find time to read these days, or at least to read slowly). We always support each other’s achievements, but we seldom have time to really dig deep into each other’s work and ideas, so reading Dr Banwell’s work was a privilege. And beyond that, witnessing her ideas come to life in the discussion and be delivered with enthusiasm and intellectual prowess was very exciting.

Venturing into the world of webinars for the first time posed some technical challenges, which we met with laughter and jokes (and some frantic emails and Team and WhatsApp messaging back and forth, which webinar chair Dr Stengel managed with an exemplary poker face).

Overall, we succeeded in keeping our audience during the 45 minutes question and answer-style webinar, where Dr Fanghanel and Dr Zampini “grilled” Dr Banwell with questions about her book. This was smoothly followed by some thought-provoking questions from the audience.

It was great to see a heterogeneous audience made up of students as well as scholars from other disciplines. This reflects the aims and objectives of the group to bring together scholars from different disciplines through affiliate membership and collaborations, as well as enabling research opportunities for young scholars.

GDS is planning an event in the spring of 2021 to discuss the soon-to-be published SAGE textbook Sex and Crime.

To join the group, or find out more, contact A.n.d.fanghanel@gre.ac.uk

FSEG features in Cordis Magazine with GEO-SAFE project

The University of Greenwich’s own Fire Safety Engineering Group featured in The Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) magazine.

Interviewed by the EU magazine, the leader of the FSEG Team, Professor Ed Galea gave an overview of the project, which was finalised in April 2020, including the challenges faced. GEO-SAFE is part of the multidisciplinary international project consisting of 107 researchers and end-users from 20 partners in 6 European countries (Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom) and Australia in a wide range of disciplinary fields (mathematics, modelling, fire safety and behavioural psychology, etc). The researchers collaborated across areas of expertise and with end users to understand the planning, logistical and real-time needs for addressing wildfires

The aim of GEO-SAFE is to create a network enabling the two regions to exchange knowledge, ideas and experience, thus boosting the progress of wildfires knowledge and the related development of innovative methods for dealing efficiently with such fires.

The article can be read here

Congratulations to FSEG for stealing the spotlight!

Summer research update from the School of Law and Criminology

We may have been locked down for the Spring and Summer but that has not hindered the research activities of our resident lawyers and criminologists. There have been a number of exciting publications launched over recent months and here is a round-up of some of the highlights, with links to each publication included.

A new chapter has been published by Dr Camille Stengel titled ‘Creating safe spaces in dangerous places: ‘Chicks Day’ for women who inject drugs in Budapest, Hungary‘. Published by Routledge, this chapter forms part of an interdisciplinary collection examining the role played by alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in framing certain groups as ‘dangerous’.

Dr Alexandra Fanghanel has authored a new article called ‘On Being Ugly in Public: The Politics of the Grotesque in Naked Protests . Published in Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, this article continues Alex’s innovative work around sexualised naked protest in public spaces.

Prof Olga Martin-Ortega and the Business, Human Rights and the Environment research group continue their march towards revolutionising the electronics industry in collaboration with the GoodElectronics Network and the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations. Their recently published report proposes a new approach to the urgent need for disclosure and transparency in the global electronics industry, and you can read more about it here.

Dr Melissa Pepper has recently co-authored the article ‘Exploring the Role and Contribution of Police Support Volunteers in an English Constabulary‘. Published in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, Melissa’s paper can be accessed here.

Perhaps one of the most topical publications in our update comes from Dr Maria Kaspersson who has recently contributed a chapter called ‘‘You Always Hurt the One You Love’: Homicide in a Domestic Context to the edited collection ‘Why We Kill: Understanding Violence Across Cultures and Disciplines’.

Finally, if audio content is what you’re here for then Dr Louise Hewitt has got you covered. Louise has recently launched her brand new Innocence Project London podcast where you can find an honest account of the organisation, how important their work is to a clinical legal education, and why it matters. You can find it here, and make sure you subscribe to catch every episode.

The Office of Undergraduate Research defies lockdown and launches its second publication

The Office of Undergraduate Research proudly presents its 2020 publication, in collaboration with Combined Sociology Students. The book, ‘When the Personal Gets Political: Linking Student’ Sociological Autobiographies to Broader Social and Political Contexts’  is the second edition of a series of collated Autobiographies  written by students and is available on request. Dr Louise Owusu-Kwarteng led the project.

Second edition

Simply put, we are in tricky times. Socially, political and economically, it has been like this for a while, 2020 has, however taken us to a whole new level. We’ve had COVID-19, the world wide global pandemic, which has had some serious ramifications for everyone. This has led to collective worries about our health, and that of others who are close to us. The lockdown meant we have not been able to see our families, in some cases for months. It has had a knock on effect for our students’ education, due to the switch to online teaching, which meant losing face to face contact with their tutors and peers.

For those who graduate this year, for many the lockdown means no physical graduation. There are concerns about opportunities for graduate employability, due to the downturn of the economy – also a result of the pandemic. Mental health is also a growing concern, especially since particularly since COVID. As noted in a Lancet case study, the mental health of the nation has deteriorated since the pandemic, largely because of the impacts of lockdown, fears of contracting the disease and loss of loved ones (www.lancet.com July 2020). Racism, though always prevalent in society, has reared its head in a virulent and violent way with the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and many others due to police violence. Islamophobic hate crimes also continue, and like racism it operates at a micro and macro level, and on a day to day basis…

Criminology student writes policy paper based on experience in working within the prison system

University of Greenwich student, Madeleine Hatton, an undergraduate Criminology and Criminology Psychology programme, expressed how she felt about the experience of working withing the prison system: “I feel that gaining a variety of experiences in the criminal justice system is invaluable. Earlier this year I gained a unique experience through my involvement with the Inside-Out programme, where I completed a criminology module inside of a prison”.

Madeleine worked closely with the prison policy team and completed a variety of activities, including conducting a literature review into the coping mechanisms for self-harm and suicide in prisons during a lockdown, writing a policy paper on the same topic, and then presenting the main findings of this paper to the prison policy team.  

Madeleine Hatton

“This module was extremely eye-opening and has encouraged me to widen my future career path to potentially working within the prison system. Over the lockdown period, I was fortunate enough to gain two weeks work experience with the Ministry of Justice”.

Although the lockdown in response to COVID-19 in prison has been one of the largest, it is not the first prison lockdown to occur. There have previously been prison lockdowns due to viral outbreaks and prison riots, amongst other reasons, so there is a lot to learn about prison lockdown responses, easing restrictions, and the impact this has on self-harm and suicide of incarcerated people and the staff who work in and around prisons. This policy paper explores the different aspects of self-harm and suicide in relation to the prison lockdown, additional coping strategies after lockdown restrictions are eased, and recommendations for the policy professionals.

The literature review highlighted multiple areas of research surrounding self-harm and suicide in prisons that require further research, listed in the research paper. The student found “the opportunity was challenging as the work revolved around investigating suicide and self-harm, as well as mental health and the impacts of COVID-19 on inmates, their friends and family, and the staff members”.

Madeleine concluded that “this experience was a preview of the work the Ministry of Justice do each day, and the pace and pressure of working here. Though, this has definitely fulfilled my aspirations for working for the Civil Service in the future. All of my work placement activities were completed remotely due to COVID-19, but this did not hamper my enjoyment of what proved to be an insightful experience. This opportunity has furthered my confidence in why the degree I do is so important, as we are the future generation of people that will hopefully be in the position to be able to make positive changes in the criminal justice system”.


Congratulations to Madeleine and the School of Law & Criminology for stealing the spotlight!

Victorian Popular Fiction Conference Returns to Greenwich

Over three days 15-17 July, the annual conference of the Victorian Popular Fiction Association (VPFA) was held by the University of Greenwich. It was the second year in a row that we held the conference  – the Association’s President is Professor Andrew King (HSS) – but the first it was held virtually. 103 delegates from 5 continents came together on Teams to discuss topics such as Medical Encounters, Science and the Supernatural, Vampires, Travel, and Disaster.

Professor Alexis Easley from the University of St Thomas, Minnesota, gave a stunningly researched paper which (literally) mapped and quantified the contributions of hundreds of women writers to the famous Chambers’s Journal, the first periodical to aim at a truly mass market in a modern sense. She showed how women were absolutely central to the founding of mass-market reading, and that, contrary to expectation, they suffered from less than a 3% pay discrimination. Such repositioning of women as core producers in the cultural industries and our narrative imaginary is fundamental to the VPFA’s mission, and almost all of the papers confirmed this.

A handful of the best papers will be selected for publication in Victorian Popular Fictions, the organ of the VPFA, edited by Andrew King and by Prof Mariaconcetta Costantini (University of Chieti-Pescara).

Conference participants

Conference delegates were unanimous that the conference was a great success: they were especially grateful that we found a way to go ahead when so many others have been cancelled or indefinitely postponed. Given the huge cuts in research budgets across the globe as well as the greener credentials of online conferences, what we have pioneered here may well be the way forward. In whatever form, planning for the 2021 conference at Greenwich is already underway. The successful conference was coordinated by Karen Ward from FLAS Research and Enterprise Support Office.

Congratulations to Professor Andrew King for stealing the online spotlight!

Dr Louise Owusu-Kwarteng and Dr Louise Hewitt join the humanitarian Together Book Project

Together: An anthology from the COVID-19 pandemic is the fundraiser book compiled by authors Dev Aditya and Dr Pauldy Otermans, two former Brunel students. The publication collects the global human experiences, emotions and stories from the time of the pandemic. The 100 contributors, from 5 continents, 50% BAME authors, express themselves through poems, prose, letters and art.

The project was created to support and fund movements, frontline services and initiatives, while fighting the COVID-19 virus. The main beneficiary in the UK is the National Health Service (NHS) with 90% allocation of funds raised and 10% is donated monthly to selected non-UK organisations in need of resources to perform their duties. Visit the website for more information and here to donate.

The book is available for pre-order on Amazon

Congratulations to both Scholars for making the University of Greenwich Community proud!

Landscape Architecture and Urbanism PhD Student creates amazing flip book

Professor Ed Wall proudly tweeted about the amazing work of one of his PhD students, who composed the flip book of The Landscapists AD. The book is available to buy online from Wiley or be accessed via Wiley Online Library. This is a great example of teacher / student collaboration at the University of Greenwich.

Congratulations to Professor Ed Wall for stealing the spotlight through mentorship!