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Head of U.K. Force Intelligence Conducts Research at FGCU on Fulbright Grant
2/22/2002

FORT MYERS, FL - The U.S. Fulbright Program is bringing the head of the United Kingdom’s Force Intelligence Bureau, Christopher Parsons, to Florida Gulf Coast University this month to research the legal and ethical requirements of covert law enforcement and how best to integrate human rights principles into intelligence gathering, recording and dissemination.

Parsons’ research will help show how those issues fit into the U.S. Constitution. He will identify good practice and case law that can transfer to the U.K. while standing legal and ethical scrutiny, which can assist in the efficiency and legality of transatlantic operations such as the international effort to detain alleged terrorists after Sept. 11.

Parsons will consult with various U.S. law enforcement agencies charged with intelligence gathering and covert operations, including defense and prosecution attorneys, methods, operational processes and accountability practices.

The U.K.’s Human Rights Act of 1988 left gray areas for law enforcement agencies, including the extent of human rights for informants. Agencies have mixed views as to what is and is not acceptable.

Parsons, 34, has spent 14 years in police service with the majority of his work being in criminal investigation and is a trained hostage negotiator and senior investigating officer for kidnap and extortion. His agency is responsible for covert operations in terms of policy formulation and management of operations, including Covert Human Intelligence Sources, formerly known as informants.

Parsons made the request to Fulbright to study at FGCU after the University agreed to accept him. He also plans to contribute to FGCU while he is here. “I would welcome the opportunity to lecture or assist any person studying or working in the criminal justice arena,” he said.

The Fulbright Program, established in 1946, is the flagship international program sponsored by the U.S. Government to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries. Fulbright alumni include Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, governors, senators, ambassadors, artists, prime ministers, heads of state, professors, scientists, Supreme Court Justices, and CEOs.

FGCU offers a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice with career tracks in corrections, cultural diversity, forensics, juvenile justice or management/administration and credit for life experience is available. In addition, all upper division coursework for the degree is available via distance learning or during convenient classroom hours in the evenings and on weekends.

For more information, contact chairwoman of the Division of Justice Studies and associate professor, Pam Seay, at (941) 590-7830.

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