Academic given top political advisor role
AN academic at Edge Hill University has been appointed to advise some of the country’s most senior politicians on international law.
His appointment comes as the Government’s blueprint for post-Brexit Britain and its implications on international law agreements have dominated the media headlines recently.
Law lecturer Dr Patrick Butchard has been selected as a Research Fellow in the International Affairs and Defence Section of the House of Commons Library, an independent research unit that provides impartial information to MPs and their staff.
As a Research Fellow, Dr Butchard will be responsible for producing research briefings and analysis on major pieces of international law legislation for MPs and the general public.
Most recently, he has contributed to a briefing paper on the UK Internal Market Bill, specifically examining the bill’s compatibility with international law, which has been at the centre of the Brexit debate in recent days.
The year-long Parliamentary Academic Fellowship scheme invites academics to propose a project of their choice to help build public understanding of, and enhance, Parliament’s work.
Chosen fellows, such as Dr Butchard, are given the opportunity to conduct primary research in Parliament and given access to its significant library and archive collections.
He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to bring my knowledge and expertise to bear on international law and experience the inner-workings of Parliament. It will also provide an opportunity for my research to have an immediate impact and contribute towards some of the most topical and pressing issues facing society.
“With Brexit continuing to dominate the headlines, international law will remain a major focus for Parliament.
“My role will be to assist and enhance the work of the House of Commons Library and provide direct advice to MPs and policy makers to ensure that they have the most up-to-date knowledge they need on international law.”
Dr Butchard will spend one and a half days per week working for the House of Commons Library, alongside balancing his teaching at Edge Hill. His most recent research has centred on public international law, conflict and security law, international law of the use of force and the law of armed conflict.