Brice Dickson

    Professor Brice Dickson

    Emeritus Professor

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 3456

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    Research Interests

    Brice Dickson’s own research is now focused on two overarching themes: the development of international human rights law and the application of human rights principles by national supreme courts. He is a specialist in the European Convention on Human Rights, on which he edited a book in 1997 (Human Rights and the European Convention, Sweet & Maxwell). His monograph entitled The European Convention on Human Rights and the Conflict in Northern Ireland (Oxford University Press, 2010; pb 2012) is the leading text on that topic. Along with his then colleague, Professor Stephen Livingstone, he took a keen interest in the way in which the UK’s top court – the House of Lords – dealt with the human rights aspects of appeals relating to the troubles in Northern Ireland: see Livingstone at (1994) 57 Modern Law Review 333 and Dickson at (2006) 69 Modern Law Review 383.

    In recent years Brice Dickson has focused particular attention on the principles adopted by national supreme courts when deciding cases concerning human and/or constitutional rights. In 2007 he edited a collection of essays comparing the creativity of supreme courts across nine different countries (Judicial Activism in Common Law Supreme Courts, Oxford University Press). His own essay evaluated the activism of the House of Lords between 1995 and 2007. A year earlier, in (2006) 26 Legal Studies 329, he examined whether human rights were safe in the hands of the House of Lords.

    In 2009, working with Sir Louis Blom-Cooper QC and Professor Gavin Drewry, Dickson co-edited a commemorative volume analysing the output of the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords since its establishment until its demise (The Judicial House of Lords 1876-2009, Oxford University Press). One reviewer said this book was ‘essential reading to those interested in judicial politics [and] in the evolution judicial institutions more generally’. Brice Dickson’s two chapters examine appeals taken by litigants in Northern Ireland to the House of Lords and the contribution made to the jurisprudence of the House by Lord Bingham of Cornhill, the son of an Ulsterman, who was the Senior Law Lord from 2000 to 2008.

    Brice Dickson’s latest monograph, also published by Oxford University Press, is a detailed study of Human Rights and the United Kingdom Supreme Court (2013). It considers the attitude of current Supreme Court Justices to procedural aspects of the Human Rights Act 1998 and to each of the European Convention rights guaranteed by that Act. It charts the fate of all the decisions reached in the UK’s top courts when they have been reviewed by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The book was preceded by two journal articles in which Dickson examined how appeals in general were processed by the House of Lords [see (2007) 123 Law Quarterly Review 571] and how decisions by the House of Lords have been treated in Strasbourg [see (2012) 128 Law Quarterly Review 354-381].

    In 2013 Brice Dickson was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to allow him to spend more time researching the contribution made by the Supreme Court of Ireland to the development of law in that jurisdiction. The project has recently been supported by the offer of a further contract from Oxford University Press, which is intended to lead to the publication of a monograph on the subject early in 2016.  

    Since re-joining Queen’s in 2005 Brice Dickson has spent time as a visiting research professor at Fordham University New York, the University of New South Wales and the University of Melbourne. He was Director of Research in Human Rights at Queen’s from 2008-11 and Director of the School of Law’s Human Rights Centre during the same period.

    More information about Prof Dickson can be found here.

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