Can the Grenfell Tower fire constitute a State Crime?
Royal Holloway, University of London
Year of enrolment: 2019
Large scale criticism regarding UK housing policies has been rampant following the Grenfell Tower fire that took place on the 14th of June 2017. Thus far, legal academic commentary has been limited, with the few approaches taken to assess the tragedy being focused on the details of regulatory laws relating to high-rise buildings, legal negligence and criminal liability. While assessments from a legal perspective are undoubtedly important, they are generally limited to legislative criteria and common law. In contrast, this PhD considers whether a state crime approach could be a promising framework for review in order to consider the incident in a panoramic way that creates the intellectual space needed for assessing the tragedy in light of the long-standing practices and cultures that may have some relationship with the causes of fire. Using Grenfell as its case study, this project seeks to have a wider impact, in terms of policy, by asking us consider whether it is possible for crime to result from the actions or omissions of the state, as an entity, in relation to housing.