LOSS Consortium

The work in the consortium is divided into three teams based at the hosting institutions in Helsinki (HY) and Turku (UTU). The consortium will jointly organize yearly workshops as well as international seminars. Further, the consortium level collaboration provides the main forum for deciding the final case studies, in which each of the sub-projects will evaluate the form of securitization as well as the impact of transnational influences and constitutional limits in the few selected security intensive legislative projects.

The consortium collaboration reflects the genuine interdisciplinary work model of the project.

University of Helsinki

Between Enhanced Security and Compliance

Team-members: Tuomas Ojanen, Jens Kremer, Eliška Pírková and Tobias Bräutigam

The first sub-project, led by Professor Tuomas Ojanen, has the following three objectives:

  1. To assess the impact of European Union law and the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, including the relevance of the European Convention of Human Rights and the case law by the European Human Rights Court within the EU legal order, on surveillance and privacy and data protection in general.
  2. To formulate jointly with team UTA surveillance related fundamental and human rights indicators and assess critically the domestic jointly selected cases of legislative practice in the light of these indicators on domestically legislated security.
  3. To assess existing security practices towards their compliance with legal standards on fundamental rights, information law and constitutional law. A special focus will be on case studies about surveillance systems and their employment for security reasons. On this part, the project will gather information about specific forms of legal ramifications of surveillance technologies that enable mass surveillance and control on a wide scale. This will especially include mass surveillance of public (e.g. a market square) and semi- public (e.g. shopping malls, car parks) spaces, surveillance of internet and communications, and surveillance targeted at specific groups (e.g. minorities, immigrants, homeless).

In addition, this sub-project will look into upcoming problems with existing laws and regulations of security measures. It identifies the gaps in regulation and marks possible distances between the realities of security practice and existing legislation and regulations to recognize areas in need of new or different legal regulation. Research here happens at the conflict line between the needs to secure societies on the one hand, while preserving societal norms and ideals such as freedom, fundamental rights and democracy on the other. This research will therefore indicate problematic areas in urgent need of attention as well as it will suggest new legal regulation enabling the future balancing of security, control and freedom in democratic societies. These findings will further help the consortium to isolate the most securitization relevant case studies from the security related legislative work.

University of Turku I

Securitization in the Finnish Legislative Practice 1989-2014

Team-Members: Anne Alvesalo-Kuusi, Heini Kainulainen, Liisa Lähteenmäki, Maija Helminen

The second subproject, led by Professor Anne Alvesalo-Kuusi, will map the extent and assesses the mechanisms of security infiltration into Finnish legislation. By infiltration is meant processes and means to use, develop and shape new conceptions and aspects of security in novel and expanding associations. Infiltration also refers to a process that overtly proceeds somewhat unobserved, without a specific agent or initiator. Infiltration is detectable only when observed specifically by analyzing ways of justifying concepts and distinguishing of references and metaphors. Research on this objective will be conducted by the research team at the Turku University. Essentially, this research project will answer one vital research question: what has been the impact of increased and broadened security awareness for the Finnish legal system? The main research question is divided into several sub-questions:

  1. How many laws with references to different aspects of security have been passed during 1989-2014?
  2. In which fields of law and spheres of life has this taken place? 3) Who have been the target groups of such legislation?
  3. How have the laws allowing different forms of surveillance/police powers/criminalization been justified?
  4. How are securitizing moves accepted or rejected?
  5. Have they e.g. been justified using legal or political arguments?
  6. Have these changes in law been ‘exceptions within the law’ or ‘exceptions above the law’ i.e. amendments (Kremer 2013: 24, 32).

Hence, researchers in Turku will particularly concentrate on both the creation and manifestations of security-infiltrated laws in the Finnish context.

Furthermore, the aim of the project is to increase awareness and comprehension of the meaning of security and safety in legislation. The subproject is based on the hypothesis that the discussions and justifications pertaining to security have shifted throughout the years. Earlier national policies of security referred almost solely to foreign policies with military connotations. As the world has become more complex security is now routinely connected to several aspects of everyday life including immigration, housing, information, banking, health, employment, leisure, and travel etc. Safety and security now have various dimensions that can point to either freedom from fear or to restrictions of that very freedom. The meaning and essence of security is not unanimous but rather there are several associations and attitudes of the concept. Security can thus be used as a justification and validation in multiple and even contradicting ways. It is important to try to dismantle conceptions that are used equivocally and ambiguously and challenge attitudes that might result in practices that contradict the very premises of basic rights. This is why this research is committed not only to map the extent of legislation connected to securitizing goals and policies but to uncover the possible contradictions, relationships to economic ideologies and political conceptions underpinning the very legislation.

 University of Turku II

Legislated Security and the Impact of Constitutional and Human Rights

Team-Members: Juha Lavapuro, Johannes Heikkonen, Vasiliki Koniakou, Maria Macocinschi, Niklas Vainio

The third subproject, led by Associate Professor Juha Lavapuro, will assess the impact of international legal standards embodied in European Human Rights law on domestically legislated security. The subproject will focus in answering three basic research questions.

  1. What minimum requirements does the privacy rights jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights set forth for the member states when they purport to ensure societal security through use of surveillance of individuals?
  2. What are the typical indicators of the minimum requirements stemming from the jurisprudence o ECtHR?
  3. In the light of the indicators referred in question 2), to what extent the requirements based of European human rights standards and the fundamental rights provided by the Constitution were taken into consideration in a selected group of security oriented domestic legislative project between 1989 and 2014.

The main hypothesis of the project is that although individual rights should presumptively have primacy of different collective state interests, different notions of security provide one of the main reasons – explicitly recognized in the articles of the ECHR – that justify restrictions to individual rights. As a result, the human rights law is vulnerable to some level of securitization. The project will first assess the development of ECtHR’s case law especially with a view of securitization through comprehensive analysis of surveillance related privacy cases. For this purpose, the project will critically review how the Court has balanced the two conflicting requirements of individual rights protection and the statist need to guarantee different collective security interests in its surveillance related decisions and whether or not the development has been towards increased rights protection or increased securitization.

As a second stage, the project will use the findings of the first stage analysis to formulate human rights indicators that will take into account both, the international case law and its possible securitization. Finally the project will assess – through systematic, indicator based analysis of ECtHR case law on surveillance and the corresponding legislative practices in Finland – how the Finnish legislator has been able to balance security and rights in an environment that is both legally and socially open to securitization. The specific cases of domestic legislation taken under closer evaluation will be decided jointly on the consortium level based on the preliminary findings in each of the research teams.

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