Bill Bowring

Bill Bowring is Professor of Law in the School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London. Barrister at Field Court Chambers, Gray's Inn.

The Five Extraordinary Features of the Sochi Winter Olympics

Circassians March for No Sochi 2014

Introduction On 7 February 2014, the Sochi Winter Olympics will com­mence. It is es­tim­ated that these games will cost at least US$51 bil­lion — the most ex­pensive in his­tory — costing Russia more than the $40 bil­lion that China spent on the 2008 Summer Olympics. The UK spent some US$15 bil­lion on the Summer Olympics in 2012. Sochi was selected…

Socialism and rights: A reply to David Renton’s ‘Do socialists still have an alternative concept of rights?’

Eugène Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People

David Renton’s thoughtful and trenchant art­icle in SL64 [Ed: re­pub­lished 18 Nov 2013 on CLT] has done us all a great ser­vice, opening up ques­tions of cru­cial im­port­ance to the Haldane Society. That is be­cause we are so­cial­ists, com­mitted to solid­arity in res­ist­ance to the de­pred­a­tions of cap­ital, and to fighting for its ab­ol­i­tion. We are not simply…

ELDH Statement on Syria: An alleged crime against humanity should not be punishable by an illegal use of force


The European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH), with mem­bers in 18 European coun­tries, is ab­so­lutely op­posed to the pro­posed use of il­legal force by Western powers against the Syrian re­gime. The US gov­ern­ment is leading a call for mil­itary ac­tion against Syria which will of ne­ces­sity kill ci­vil­ians, with the os­tens­ible pur­pose of showing…

Blustering over the European Convention on Human Rights

Watercolors by John Guthrie

One would think that it’s the Battle of Britain all over again. On 21 November 2012 the Daily Mail car­ried the head­line “Defiant Chris Grayling says Britain can ig­nore Strasbourg fines if we ban pris­oners from having the vote”. Cameron said that the idea of en­fran­chise­ment of any pris­oners made him feel “phys­ic­ally ill”. Nonetheless, on…

What is radical in ‘radical international law’?

Robert O’Brien and Asia Art Archive

This art­icle started life as a re­sponse to the call for pa­pers for the in­ter­na­tional Workshop ‘Towards a Radical International Law’, held at the London School of Economics in April 2011. The call for pa­pers started with a bold de­clar­a­tion: International law is a prom­inent site for the in­vest­iture of hope in the face of global in­sec­ur­ities. Yet, as…