Following statutory guidance issued under Section 29 of the Counter-terrorism and Security Act 2015, a duty is placed upon the University in exercising our undertakings to have 'due regard to the need to prevent people (staff, students and visitors of the University) from being drawn into terrorism'. This includes, but is not limited to, extremism or terrorism linked to religion, political views, or other areas such as animal rights.
In complying with the Prevent Duty, the University aims to demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the risk of radicalisation within the institution. This risk may vary greatly and can change rapidly, but no area within the institution is entirely risk free. The emphasis is on adoption of a proportionate approach to delivery of the Prevent Duty relevant to local risk exposures. Therefore, the purpose of ethical review and supporting procedures such as these is not to deter research, but to enable it to take place on a sound ethical and lawful footing, protecting the safety and wellbeing of those conducting and participating in sensitive research in this arena, as well as the reputation of the University.
The Prevent Duty is covered in the Code of Practice and Principles for Good Ethical Governance (paragraph 2.15) stating that such activities must be reviewed by the relevant local ethics committee, including desk based research that falls in scope.
It is recognised that many ethics committees are experienced and have good local processes in place to address Prevent Duty. The following process is intended to support colleagues involved by detailing key contacts and outlining the actions required and areas of responsibility at all stages, building on local expertise. Decisions will sit with the local research ethics committees as they have previously, but with input from relevant colleagues. It is important to allow plenty of time, raising this to the attention of the local research ethics committee at the earliest opportunity . The process strengthens established ethics review arrangements, clarifying how the University complies with and enacts Prevent Duty in relation to research activity.