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CHRISTOPHER EDGE MA LLB (1965-2007); Obituary

Summary: 
A conscientious student of human rights law, generous supporter of human rights organisations and exceptional voluntary editorial assistant to EIN. Died tragically, June 8th 2007.

Chris Edge (1965-2007)

Many EIN members will know of Chris Edge from the early years of the EIN Training courses, to which he contributed unselfishly,on a voluntary basis, particularly in the area of Strasbourg caselaw. He graduated in French with a first from Keble College Oxford and then turned to the study of Law. He developed an especial forte in the field of the ECtHR, while he studied also for the Open University Law Degree, in which he obtained, again, first class honours. He subsequently completed his LPC, despite ill health. For EIN, he also provided invaluable back up for research queries from EIN members and played a major role in the growth of the EIN website over a period of several years, with a meticulous eye for detail and accuracy. He was also a generous supporter of Charter88, Liberty, Amnesty International, and also the 'Make Votes Count' campaign to resuscitate the Jenkins proposals for UK parliamentary elections. While Britain preaches democracy to the middle east, he would say, the British Parliament stubbornly ducks the democratisation of itself.

Organisations in the voluntary sector well know the value of volunteers and the value which volunteers themselves can derive from the engagement, self-esteem and the appreciation which ensues. Chris Edge was a paradigm of the volunteer and hopefully his example will be encouragement to others whose personal circumstances allow the time, the capacity and the dedication. Questions surrounding voluntary work are especially poignant at the current time, as discussions of British citizenship, migrant labour and social cohesion take centre stage in the public arena. But this discussion is also in danger of becoming corrupted with ludicrous, oxymoronic notions of 'compulsory volunteering' for the modern youth, refugees and new UK citizens. Chris Edge was accorded the highest respect by the staff of EIN and will be an enduring model of non-compulsory voluntary working, to self-imposed high standards, in a milieu which recognises that voluntary engagements are not one-way traffic - they are a consensual understanding in which the organisation can reciprocate with many intangible,non-financial rewards and incentives.

John Dean, Editor,EIN

13th June 2007.