Foreword to the Festschrift in honour of Clive Walker
A book honouring Professor Clive Walker's contribution to the field of criminal justice studies has been published. David Wall and Adam Crawford have written a foreword:
At the 30th anniversary lecture for the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies in early 2017, Sir Keir Starmer MP said that his colleagues on both sides of Government regard Professor Clive Walker QC as ‘the expert of experts’ on matters of counter-terrorism law, civil rights and miscarriages of justice. This view was shared by the distinguished participants of the festschrift for Clive held over the two days of 30th November and 1st December 2017 – and who would disagree? The many distinguished presenters and participants at that event and those who have contributed to this book illustrate Clive’s good standing in the academy, the law and the Government.
We were very honoured to be asked by the editors of Clive’s festschrift to write the foreword. However, as readers will notice we have not contributed chapters to the book and this is primarily because neither of us would claim to be an expert in Clive’s key research areas of counter-terrorism law and policy and miscarriages of justice; and certainly not of the calibre of those whose contributions make up this impressive collection of essays. Our contribution is therefore that of long-term colleagues, loyal disciples and occasional sparing partners. We leave it to others in this collection (better placed than ourselves) to highlight and engage with the significant contribution, impact and implications of Clive’s scholarship across his primary chosen fields of study and analysis. This foreword is therefore a little more personal. We would like to add some collegial reflections and comments. For in addition to being a beacon - shining light in dark places - in the eyes of the academy, the law and Government, Clive remains to many also a cherished colleague and friend, including those who organised and attended the festschrift.
We have both worked with and alongside Clive for over 25 years (albeit one of us did a five year stretch in Durham – University that is); often following in Clive’s long intellectual shadow and occasionally trying to fill his well-worn and well-travelled boots. In essence, Clive brought us both to Leeds, employing us for slightly different purposes, at much the same time in 1992, for which we are immensely grateful. In the years that followed, it is fair to say, we collectively built what now stands as a great testimony to Clive’s foresight, intellectual philosophy and damn hard work – namely the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (CCJS). In this adventure, with all its twists and undulations, we were definitely Clive’s foot soldiers. Both of us subsequently went on to become the Director of CCJS (David between 2000 and 2005; Adam between 2005 and 2011), but we were merely holding tight to the wheel; maintaining the logistical direction set by our erstwhile helmsman and colleague, whose lodestar we dutifully followed.
If you were (hypothetically) to chop Clive’s arm off you would probably find the words University of Leeds written around the bone like a stick of Blackpool rock (plus ‘Hartlepool United’ in a smaller font). Born and bred in Hartlepool, Clive came to the University of Leeds to study law in 1972 and graduated with First class honours in 1975. He then trained and worked as a solicitor before moving to University of Manchester to work on his PhD and also take up a law lectureship. He moved back to a lectureship in law at University of Leeds - his Alma Mater - in 1983. At that time Leeds had a strong criminal law contingent which included amongst others Professor Brian Hogan QC, Peter Seago JP OBE, a lecturer and prominent local magistrate who later became head of the Law School and strongly supported the creation of the CCJS in 1987 and Ian Brownlee who later joined the Crown Prosecution Service.
One of the first of its kind, the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies gave Clive a focus for his research into counter-terrorism and human rights. He was, of course its first director and one of his first major publications from the Centre was Justice in Error (1993), a book of commissioned chapters which he edited with his former student and then rising barrister Keir Starmer. He also brought funded research into the Law School, still a novelty in those years and embraced socio-legal research in what was then a distinctly black-letter Law School. First, there was a study of pre-trial reviews and then a project on Legal Aid, and many more projects followed as the volume of staff increased. The MA in Criminal Justice Studies was designed and introduced in October 1993, the same year that Clive was conferred as Professor of Criminal Justice Studies. For the next three decades, the Centre grew in terms of research outputs, new degree programmes and staff. In 2001, the BA in Criminal Justice and Criminology was launched, which brought new students into the School and also additional staff to support the increased teaching. Today, and still located in the School of Law - which Clive headed from 2000 to 2005 - the CCJS has over 20 teaching and research staff and a greater number of researchers and PhD students, some of which remain under Clive’s tutelage. It is now a vibrant and internationally-regarded centre that has been instrumental in propelling the growing reputation of the School of Law to the high regard with which it is held.
While the CCJS was largely set up to build upon the legacy of Professor Brian Hogan, it was forged in Clive’s distinctive mould. Hence, if you were (hypothetically) to slice the CCJS in two - or less crudely, to engage in advanced molecular forensics - you would no doubt find Clive’s DNA inscribed therein. In many senses, its core attributes reflect key characteristics of Clive’s own approach to his research, learning and scholarship. To name but a few:
An ambition to subordinate the machinations of law to the demands of justice. This pursuit is so evident throughout Clive’s work, most notably his calls to constitutionalize counter-terrorism law in the UK and in drawing attention to miscarriages of justice and the forces that permit instances of justice in error. Equally, this has been a recurring theme of CCJS research across the decades in diverse fields of policing and criminal justice.
A concern for the relevance of research and its application to the real world to effect change, improve understanding and address injustices. Long before research ‘impact’ became a mantra of government and university managers, Clive’s work and that of CCJS was tied to its deep-rooted concern for societal influence and policy relevance. Engaging with professional practice to shape research questions, exchange knowledge, mobilise collective capabilities and generate new insights through coproduction, were all grist to the mill. We may have given these practices new names in the passing years but their essence was inscribed into the CCJS from the outset and embedded in formal practices through engagement with the CCJS Advisors, practitioner-focused conferences and wider public engagement.
An eye for the international significance of knowledge and learning. Clive has always been a keen exponent of the international mission of research and teaching in universities, whether that entails attracting international undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD students or building international research networks and collaborations. It also attends to thinking through the international and comparative dimensions of particular fields of study. While crime and justice are often conceived in relation to nation-states – as categories and symbols of statehood – their understanding also demands a broader, international horizon and contextualisation. This internationalisation agenda has been an evolving dimension in the growth of the CCJS (which now boasts greater numbers of international colleagues, despite the precarity of Brexit). Consequently, the considerable number of international contributors to this festschrift is unsurprising not only because Clive enjoys the opportunities of travel that arise, but also because good research travels.
An embracing of a pluralism of intellectual approaches, disciplines and methodologies – what Stuart Hall once referred to as ‘the eclecticism of theory and method’. Whilst Clive is a lawyer by background and training, he was always open to and embracing of the contribution and insights from other disciplines, methods and approaches. He (rightly) bristled at the idea of one dominant – or dominating – discourse, theory or perspective. There lies the road to injustices of diverse kinds and the subordination of knowledge to the exigencies of power. While he ranged in his own use of cross-disciplinary resources – politics, history and social theory were disciplinary places that he visited frequently - Clive was especially keen that a centre for the study of crime, law and justice - like the CCJS - should be peopled by scholars of difference rather than sameness. Hence, CCJS as the first UK-based centre for criminal justice studies, as opposed to criminology, sought distinctly to bring together colleagues keen to study crime and criminal justice practices from various disciplinary and epistemological perspectives. To date, CCJS has been a home to academic researchers with disciplinary backgrounds in history, political science, social policy, sociology, psychology, criminology, statistics and computer science, as well as (a few) legal scholars. Securing and maintaining such a mix within the context of a School of Law has been no mean feat. As a 1982 OECD report wryly noted: ‘communities have problems, universities have departments’. CCJS was designed as an exception to this rule and it breadth and scope for interdisciplinarity still marks it as distinctive.
The importance of normative principles in the face of political and managerial pressures and niceties. Constitutions and due process matter. They do so, precisely because they are inscribed by and express commitment to deeply-held principles. This theme runs throughout much of Clive’s work and informs the importance of articulating and reaffirming the normative girders that underpin an academic mission. The CCJS has been well served by its adherence to its own principles that have allowed colleagues (whoever happens to be at the helm) to navigate the flotsam and jetsam that abound across the choppy waters of higher education. Clive was always the first to remind colleagues of due process and constitutional principles before embarking on any hasty change to the administration or management of the CCJS or School of Law. This was done not simply in a traditional conservative way designed to hold back change but rather to ensure that any change conformed with and adhered to cherished values and norms, lest they otherwise be incrementally eroded. The parallels with piecemeal securitisation through counter-terrorism laws were always striking.
In sum, the CCJS is Clive – sutured into its physical, social and cultural environment, its day-to-day routines and its grand visions, as well as its existential well-being. Moreover, Clive the scholar and Clive the colleague have rarely parted company. He practiced what he preached; or as the Americans would say ‘he walked the talk’. He may have been obdurate, stubborn and difficult, at times, and you always knew that you never got the last word, but decisions, outcomes and effects were always better for his interventions. The CCJS and School of Law (we) owe so much to his diligent, quiet and patient legacy. After all, Rome was not built in a day.
Clive not only played an important role in both of our early careers but he also played a similar role in the careers of many other colleagues and researchers, including the present CCJS Director Professor Louise Ellison. Many of these (once) early career academics and PhD Students will remember receiving Clive’s detailed and incisive comments on their work – usually written in his distinctive hand, in fountain pen, and often reminding them of the golden rule of ‘6 footnotes per page’. The seriousness and dedication with which Clive discharged his duties as PhD supervisor has been his hallmark and from which nearly 50 grateful individuals have benefited over the years. They have formed something of a diaspora of Walkerites; infused with a combination of intellectual curiosity, principle and rigour – all attributes that distinctly mark Clive’s work. It is a testament to his influence, authority and labours that many ex-PhD students returned to celebrate his career at his festschrift and/or have contributed to this collection of essays in his honour. This collection is well timed in that it follows his recent appointed to the Queen’s Counsel and also as Emeritus Professor. But, of course, Clive has not let retirement get in the way of his mission in life - he is as busy as he ever was.
Festschrifts are generally reserved for the most outstanding of scholars, and this one is definitely no exception. The pages that follow constitute a collection of essays written by an exceptional array of scholars and commentators whose work and lives Clive has touched in many and varied ways. The contributors include a stellar cast of those working in the fields of counter-terrorism and miscarriages of justice both in the UK and beyond. They comprise internationally renowned academics and leading practitioners; they also include a considerable number of people who Clive either directly supervised or mentored in some capacity at important stages in their own careers and intellectual development - particularly his ex-PhD students and including the three editors themselves. On behalf of all of those who have been touched in some way by Clive’s oeuvres and legacy, we are grateful, first of all and most significantly to the man himself, but also to the editors – Genevieve, Carole and Colin - for putting together this excellent festschrift collection. We hope that you – like us - enjoy and appreciate the full compendium as a small (but significant) testimony to and reflection upon a scholarly career rich in insight and inspiration as well as a little bit of perspiration.
Copies of the book – Counter-terrorism, Constitutionalism and Miscarriages of Justice A Festschrift for Professor Clive Walker, Editors: Genevieve Lennon, Colin King and Carole McCartney - are available from the publishers: https://www.bloomsburyprofessional.com/uk/counter-terrorism-constitutionalism-and-miscarriages-of-justice-9781509915729/