National security and the rule of law: competing interests or complementary priorities?
The Rt Hon Jack Straw was the Member of Parliament for Blackburn from 1979 to 2015. Mr Straw played a leading role in all the Labour governments between 1997 and 2010. A barrister by training, he entered parliament in 1979 and in Labour’s opposition years was successively shadow spokesman on the environment, education, and home affairs. After the Labour victory in the general election of 1997 he was appointed Home Secretary, a post he was to hold for four years.
In 2001,in Tony Blair’s second government, he was moved to be Foreign Secretary, and he was to serve in this office for five years until 2006. After a brief period as Leader of the House of Commons, in 2007 he was appointed to his final position in government, that of Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, a post he was to hold until the election of 2010.
In his lecture, Mr Straw brought a wealth of experience born of his years in government service and public life. He held office in departments which have had responsibility for both home and foreign affairs, and especially in his years at the Home Office he had to reflect on difficult questions involving both personal freedom and national security. Mr Straw talked about the greatest of themes raised by the history of the Charter, how freedom may be reconciled with the need for security, and where and how we draw the line between the two.
Listen to his lecture