UKLFI: Supporting Israel with legal skills

UKLFI urges Research Body to cease funding Professor Miller  

UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) has written to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) highlighting concerns that have been raised about Professor David Miller of Bristol University.

 The ESRC has previously provided substantial funding to Professor Miller, notably a grant of over £400,000 for a project titled “Understanding and explaining terrorism: Expertise in practice” carried out between 2013 and 2016.

UKLFI’s letter to Professor Alison Park, Interim Chief Executive of ESRC, asks them to take the concerns into account in any future decision on any grant application in which Professor Miller has any involvement, whether as applicant, referee, reviewer or in any other capacity.

An Open Letter signed by hundreds of distinguished academics condemned recent statements made by Professor Miller, directed at Jewish students, UK university Jewish Societies and the Union of Jewish Students, as “morally reprehensible”.

Over 100 members of the House of Commons and House of Lords have written to the Vice Chancellor of Bristol University, expressing their opinion that Professor Miller “has been inciting hatred against Jewish students”, that “he believes in an antisemitic conspiracy fantasy” and that the university “must now act before any further damage is done”: see HERE and HERE.

UKLFI pointed out that the ESRC’s key principles of ethical research include:

  • Research should aim to maximise benefit for individuals and society and minimise risk and harm

  • The rights and dignity of individuals and groups should be respected

Jonathan Turner, chief executive of UKLFI commented: “Even if Professor Miller is entitled to freedom of speech to expound his conspiracy theories, which many would dispute, there is no obligation to provide public money to fund them.”