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Joe Purshouse

Lecturer in Criminal Law

Norwich, UNITED KINGDOM

Current work addresses the use of facial recognition technology & the likely legal challenges faced by the introduction of this technology.

Media

Publications

Documents

Photos

Audio

Video

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Biography

Joe Purshouse is Lecturer in Criminal Law in the UEA Law School. He focuses on human rights law. His current work addresses the use of facial recognition technology and the likely legal (human rights) challenges faced by the possible introduction and use of such technology in England, Wales, Scotland and New Zealand. He is also exploring the legalities that are associated with vigilantes (who are working to track down online paedophiles) and how this affects official police investigations.

Joe has published articles in major law journals such as Modern Law review, Criminal Law Review and Cambridge Law Journal. His PhD examined the law of DNA retention by the police.

Areas of Expertise

Socio-Legal StudiesFacial Recognition TechnologyCriminal LawHuman Rights LawCriminology

Accomplishments

UEA Media Stars Award

2019

UEA Media Stars Award

2018

Education

University of Nottingham

Ph.D., Law

2017

University of Nottingham

M.A., Socio-Legal and Criminological Research

2013

University of Nottingham

L.L.M., Criminal Justice

2012

Sheffield Hallam University

B.A., Criminology

2011

Affiliations

  • Academic Lead for LL.B Law with Criminology, 2019 to present
  • Law Executive Lecturer Representative, 2019 to present
  • Law Diversity and Equality Board Member, 2019 to present
  • Chair of Examiners, 2018

Media Appearances

Police should pause use of facial recognition technology

The Times  online

2020-01-16

Technology has been unleashed on the world of football. Its accuracy has been questioned and it is disrupting some fans’ enjoyment of the beautiful game. It is not VAR, but AFR — automated facial recognition technology.

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Scots flag concerns over facial recognition

The Times  online

2019-11-03

Facial recognition technology (FRT) is deeply flawed and must not be unleashed on the Scottish public until issues of privacy, human rights and reliability are resolved, MSPs have been warned.

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Before facial recognition tech can be used, it needs to be limited

The Independent  online

2019-02-20

The technology can recognise people by comparing their facial features in real time with an image already stored on a “watch list”, which could be from a police database or social media account.

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Paedophile hunters: how citizen-led policing is putting people's lives at risk

UK Yahoo! News  

2019-01-22

Online paedophile hunting groups are incredibly popular. Some attract hundreds of thousands of followers to their social media pages. “Hunters” have also proven somewhat effective in assisting the police. Evidence provided by paedophile hunter groups was used to support 150 of the 302 prosecutions for “grooming” a child to engage in sexual activity in 2017.

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Police disclosures that cost a man two jobs set a dangerous precedent

The Times  online

2017-12-07

His lawyers argued that the disclosure to two potential employers of information relating to his acquittal on a single count of rape violated his right to be presumed innocent. Greater Manchester Police disagreed. They view such disclosures as a necessary precaution to protect the public, enabling employers to make informed decisions regarding the suitability of a job applicant to work in a position of trust.

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Articles

‘Paedophile Hunters’, Criminal Procedure, and Fundamental Human Rights | Journal of Law and Society

2020

‘Paedophile hunters’ have attracted global media attention. The limited literature on paedophile hunters, which documents their emergence in contemporary liberal democracies, pays scant attention to how their use of intrusive investigative methods may threaten the procedural rights of suspects and undermine the integrity of the criminal justice system.

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Privacy, Crime Control and Police Use of Automated Facial Recognition Technology | Criminal Law Review

2019

This paper discusses the police use of automated facial recognition technology (FRT) as a tool of crime control and public space surveillance. It considers the legality of the police use of FRT in England and Wales, with particular reference to the fundamental rights of those who have been subject to criminal process.

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Non-conviction Disclosure as Part of an Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate: Assessing the Legal Framework from a Fundamental Human Rights Perspective | Public Law

2018

This article critically appraises the law governing non-conviction information disclosure as part of an enhanced criminal record certificate (ECRC) from a fundamental human rights perspective.

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Case Comment: Khuja v Times Newspapers Limited [2017] UKSC 49 | Journal of Information Rights, Policy and Practice

2018

In what circumstances can an individual suppress through an injunction the dissemination of information identifying him as someone who has been arrested by the police, but not subsequently convicted of a criminal offence?

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Article 8 and the Retention of Non-Conviction DNA and Fingerprint Data in England and Wales | Criminal Law Review

2017

This article considers the current approach to the retention of DNA and fingerprint data taken from non-convicted persons in England and Wales. Concerns are raised about the precautionary rather than proportionate approach of domestic legislators in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 provisions, and the continued unjustifiable interference this causes to the rights of such persons under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

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