Matthew Weait – Unsafe Law: Public Health, Human Rights and the Legal Response to HIV

Event Date: 18 June 2012
Beveridge Hall
University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HU

Law on Trial 2012:  18 June – 22 June 2012


Are effective justice and the fairness of the criminal process always in tension? This year’s Law on Trial will address this question, which has been brought into sharp focus by events such as G20 protests, and the riots of August 2011. Sessions will consider tactics used in the policing of protest, including ‘kettling’, two sessions on the riots in the UK and gang culture, and the use of stop and search and anti-terrorism powers. We shall also examine punitive responses to HIV and AIDS.

Law on Trial provides a platform on which academics, trade unionists, practitioners and activists can present alternative and progressive thinking about law, the criminal justice system and its relationship to society and economy.


Professor Matthew Weait (Birkbeck)
Unsafe Law: Public Health, Human Rights and the Legal Response to HIV

Three decades after the first cases of AIDS were identified, more than thirty million people globally are living with HIV. Despite being first and foremost a public health issue, HIV and AIDS have been constructed as legal problem to which – at least in part – punitive and coercive laws can provide a solution. In this lecture, Matthew Weait will explore the dangers and absurdities of this, and how the use of such laws has had a negative impact both on prevention efforts and on the lives of people with HIV. Reflecting on more than a decade of scholarship, research and policy involvement at a national and international level, he will argue in favour of a harm reduction approach to the use of law, and that unsafe law can, and must, be made safer if the world is respond effectively to the virus.


Introduction by Professor David S. Latchman (Master of Birkbeck) .





Vote of Thanks by Professor Jane Anderson (British HIV Association)

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