Despite the UK’s stated opposition to the death penalty worldwide in terms of law and policy, there are significant ways in which it is arguably complicit with the death penalty in some retentionist countries. This highlights a substantial international challenge: in order to uphold international human rights, UK law and policy on the global death penalty must be reformed. This project draws on law, history and criminology to examine how the UK exported the death penalty to other countries in the colonial era and how it fails to enact full opposition in the present. It also examines historical and contemporary UK-based campaigns for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide. The project aims to identify how law and policy should be reformed to end complicity with the death penalty and the most effective campaigning strategies for global abolition.
Principal Investigator: Dr Lizzie Seal, University of Sussex