The URC ‘Security, Human Rights and the Media’


Established in 2008, as part of collaborative research networks, SHRM remains operational as university research centre focussing on the various strands emergent from issues of terrorism, human rights and the media. The centre attracts academics from the College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences (in particular from the Department of Politics, History and Brunel Law School, but also working in social Sciences, media and communication). In light of the interdisciplinary and overlap nature of interests, researchers from the College of Health and Life Sciences as well as the College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences may also find SHRM attractive.

With it broad-based approach, SMHR also seeks to incorporate relevant researchers from the three research institutes within Brunel University. The network of researchers aim to establish interdisciplinary links between social sciences, arts, law and other contiguous disciplines and fields in areas such as terrorism, security, human rights, new wars, globalisation of risk, and media/communications both within Brunel University and external to it, nationally and internationally, with links already established with researchers at Oxford University, the London School of Economics, Macquarie University and RMIT University, Australia.


Since its establishment, this URC has been engaged in a range of activities: these include

  • academic debates: through high-profile international conferences, seminar series or individual presentation.
  • Policy engagement–through consultative and policy oriented engagement with key end-users to influence policies and practices
  • External funding applications in order to attract major projects
  • Consultative work
  • Knowledge Transfer and Training activities

Academic Debates & Policy Engagement

Since 2008, SHRM has organised a number of high-profile international conferences, seminar series or individual presentation. Highlights include:



Nazir Afzal OBE, Pro-Chancellor Brunel University speaking at the International Conference: Exploring New Directions in Islamic Legal Tradition(s): Human Rights and Legal Reform in the 21st Century 2013.

Law, Religion & LGBT rights: Revisiting Christian and Islamic legal traditions regarding sexuality

Brunel University was honoured by the presence of Former Bishop of Rochester in the Church of England, MP & president of the Oxford Centre For Training, Research, Advocacy And Dialogue(OXTRAD), Rt. Revd Dr Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, who discussed the topic of 'Human Relationships, Marriage and Society’.

Several members of the Brunel University presented research papers (Dr Narine Ghazaryan, Dr Eleni Polymenopoulou, Prof Javaid Rehman), along with other experts on the topic: Prof Robert Wintemute (King’s College London); Prof Stephen Whittle OBE Manchester Metropolitan University; Prof Eric Heinze (Queen Mary University); Prof Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle (Emory University) US); Dr Vanja Hamzic (City University London); Mr Shanon Shah (King’s College London) Ms Farah Zeb (University of Exeter), and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr Ahmed Shaheed. The Conference participants were welcomed by Brunel Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Geoff J Rodgers.

Terrorism, Human Rights and the Media: Finding the Balance?: 7 July 2008 Brunel University, London (One day international conference)

Engaging with the Rule of Law: Professor Javaid Rehman, with Cherie Booth QC, Rabinder Singh QC and Professor Conor Gearty

Public Lecture Rabinder Singh Q.C (Matrix Chambers): The Extra-Territorial Application of Human Rights Law 29th October, 2008

Professor Conor Gearty, Barrister (Matrix Chambers) and Director of the Human Rights Centre, London School of Economics: The Current Terrorism Scare: Learning from the Irish Experience 12th November 2008

Professor Shaheen Sardar Ali, University of Warwick and member of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Islam, Rights of Women and the Girl Child: Human Rights, Security and Media in the context of the Talabinisation of Pakistan 3March 2009

Minority Rights in South Asia and the UK with a focus on Security and the Media 22 May 2009 (one day international conference)


His Excellency, Judge Awn Al-Khasawneh, former Prime Minister of Jordan and Vice-President of the International Court of Justice, Islamic Law Before Courts: an Analysis of Reach and Application (12 November 2009 )

Funded Projects, Grant Applications and Knowledge Transfer Activities:


Members of SHRM heavily contributed and participated in €643.000.00 European Commission (EU 7th Framework Cooperation Programme)


Culture on the move; Migration, Living traditions and Cultural Heritage Protection

Dr Eleni Polymenopoulou has been awarded a Brunel Seminar Series grant (2014-15), in order to organize three events on the protection of migrants, minorities, diasporas, and their right to their living traditions and other forms of intangible cultural heritage.

2013: BRUNEL ESRC – Pilot Project Grant

Sexual identities and Human Rights in the Islamic world: A Socio-Legal Study of Homosexuality in the Muslim South-Asian countries and the South-Asian Muslim diasporas

2013: BRUNEL Seminar Series grant:

Key aims of the seminar series include the consideration of key issues related to law and religion, focusing on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights and

Identifying incoherence between law and religion, with regard to sexuality, sexual identity and sexual orientation and propose adequate solutions; consideration of the role of religions, and Islam in particular, in the repression of homosexuality.



2011 – 2012



BRUNEL Seminar Series


‘The War on Terror and the Impact on Muslim Communities – Security, Human Rights and the Media’.

Key aims of the seminar series


The consideration of key issues facing the Muslim community in the UK within the themes of ‘security, human rights and the media’.


Further develop and consolidate knowledge and research in these areas within Brunel Law School, by concentrating on overlapping themes and taking an interdisciplinary approach.

Forge interdisciplinary links within Brunel University, and externally.

Better inform the understanding of the effect of each discrete theme ‘security, human rights and the media’ on the other themes, by utilising the issues facing the Muslim community in order to illustrate this relationship.

Contribute to a better understanding of the potential impact of security issues on the rights of minority groups.


Page last updated: Friday 13 February 2015