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Lectures

The annual lectures listed below have been presented by many eminent speakers. The Trustees are grateful to all those speakers who were able to make the text of their lecture available for download in pdf format.

Additional information, such as abstracts or introductions are available to view in some cases by clicking on the bullet point arrow on the left of the date.

2015 Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC

Do We Need A New Magna Carta?

Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC

Anthony Lester was born in 1936 and brought up in north London. He was created a Life Peer in 1993. He was called to the Bar in 1964 and became a QC in 1975. He sat as Recorder at the Crown Court and a Deputy High Court Judge before becoming a Liberal Democrat Peer.

Between 1974 and 1976 he was Special Adviser to Roy Jenkins, with special responsibility for developing policy on race relations, sex discrimination and human rights. He campaigned for thirty years to make the European Human Rights Convention directly enforceable in British courts and introduced two Priavte Members' Bills on the subject which became models for the Human Rights Act 1998. He introduced further Private Members' Bills seeking to strengthen Parliamentary scrutiny of the treaty-making powers of Government; to give the public direct rights of access to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (the Ombudsman); to give legal protection and recognition to unmarried couples (both same sex and opposite sex); to modernise anti-discrimination legislation in a single Equality Bill; and to give civil protection to the victims of forced marriages. His latest Bill gives rights to cohabiting couples. Between July 2007 and November 2008 he was an independent Adviser to the Justice Secretary on constitutional reform.

He was a founder member of the Social Democratic Party and is honorary President of the Liberal Democrat Lawyers Association. He serves on the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights.

Professor Linda Colley CBE, FBA, FRSL

Linda Colley is currently Shelby M. C. Davis 1958 Professor of History at Princeton University in the United States. She previously held Chairs in history at Yale University and the London School of Economics, and she was the first woman Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge where she is now an Honorary Fellow.

Linda Colley's books include In Defiance of Oligarchy: The Tory Party 1714-1760 (1982, Namier (1988), Captives: Britain, Empire and the World 1600-1850 (2002) and The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh: A Woman in World History (2007), which was named by The New York Times as one of the ten best books of the year. Her third book, Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837 (1992), won the Wolfson History Prize, and has attracted wide and continuing attention both as a study of the evolution and complexities of British national identities, and as a contribution to understandings of nationalism more broadly. In 1998, Colley was offered a Sterling Professorship, Yale's higest Professorial rank, but declined it in favour of an offer of a Research Chair in England. Her work has been translated into ten languages.

In 1999 she was invited by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to deliver the Prime Minister's Millennium Lecture at 10 Downing Street on 'Britishness of the 21st Century'.

Her most recent book was Acts of Union and Disunion, which was based on a 15-part BBC Radio 4 series broadcast in January 2014 ahead of the Scottish Independence Referendum whichexamines what has held the United Kingdom together - and what might drive it apart.

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2014 Professor David Cole

Terrorism, Security and Democracy

Professor David Cole

The late New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis called David Cole, "one of the country's great legal voices for civil liberties today."

He is the Hon. George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center and a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books.

He is the author or editor of seven books, has received two honorary degrees and numerous awards for his writings and human rights work more generally, including, in 2013, the inaugural Norman Dorsen Presidential Prize from the ACLU for lifetime commitment to civil liberties.

Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC

Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC is Director of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, a barrister at Blackstone Chambers and Professor Emeritus of Public Law at University College London.

2013 Sir Nicolas Bratza QC

Living Instrument or Dead Letter? The Future of the European Convention on Human Rights

Sir Nicolas Bratza QC

Nicolas Bratza was born in London in 1945. His father was Milan Bratza, a concert violinist who was Serbian by birth. On his maternal side, he is descended from three generations of law Lords, who each took the title of Lord Russell of Killowen.

He was educated at Wimbledon College and Brasenose College, Oxford. After a year teaching at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, he was called to the Bar in 1969, and practised as a barrister as a member of commercial and public law Chambers at 1 Hare Court, Temple. He there developed a practice in human rights law and appeared as Counsel in numerous cases before the former European Commission and Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, including the early landmark cases of the East African Asians, The Sunday Times, Handyside, Dudgeon and Ireland v. the United Kingdom. He was appointed as a Junior Counsel to the Crown, Common Law in 1978 and became of Queen's Counsel in 1988.

In 1993 he was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court and became a Bencher of Lincoln's Inn. In the same year he was elected as the United Kingdom member of the European Commission of Human Rights, becoming Vice-President of the First Chamber of the Commission in 1997. During his term of office on the Commission, he took part in many fact-finding missions to Turkey to investigate allegations of killings, torture, enforced disappearances and destruction of villages by members of the security forces in the south-east of the country.

In 1998 he was appointed a High Court judge and elected as the first United Kingdom judge of the new, permanent European Court of Human Rights. in the same year, and again in 2001, he was elected as one of the four Section Presidents of the Court. He was re-elected as a judge of the Court and as a Section President in 2004. In 2007 he was elected as one of the two Vice-Presidents of the Court, a post to which he was re-elected in 2010. In 2011, he was elected as President of the Court and held office until his retirement as a judge in October 2012. As President, he travelled widely to other members States of the Council of Europe and led the Court in the High Level Conference on the future of the Court, which took place in Brighton during the United Kingdom Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers.

He is the President of the British Institute of Human Rights, a member of the Advisory Council of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and member of the Board of the International Service for Human Rights. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the European Human Rights Law Review. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Essex and the University of Glasgow. He is an Honorary Bencher of King's Inns, Dublin and an Honorary Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxxford.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC

Anthony Lester was born in 1936 and brought up in north London. He was created a Life Peer in 1993. He was called to the Bar in 1964 and became a QC in 1975. He sat as Recorder at the Crown Court and a Deputy High Court Judge before becoming a Liberal Democrat Peer.

Between 1974 and 1976 he was Special Adviser to Roy Jenkins, with special responsibility for developing policy on race relations, sex discrimination and human rights. He campaigned for thirty years to make the European Human Rights Convention directly enforceable in British courts and introduced two Private Members' Bills on the subject which became models for the Human Rights Act 1998. He introduced further Private Members' Bills seeking to strengthen Parliamentary scrutiny of the treaty-making powers of Government; to give the public direct rights of access to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (the Ombudsman); to give legal protection and recognition to unmarried couples (both same sex and opposite sex); to modernise anti-discrimination legislation in a single Equality Bill; and to give civil protection to the victims of forced marriages. His latest Bill gives rights to cohabiting couples. Between July 2007 and November 2008 he was an independent Adviser to the Justice Secretary on constitutional reform.

He was a founder member of the Social Democratic Party and is honorary President of the Liberal Democrat Lawyers Association. He serves on the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights.

2012 Clive Stafford Smith OBE

Injustice: How the US Legal System is Designed to Convict the Wrong Person

Clive Stafford Smith is founder and director fo Reprieve.

2009 Daniel Fung SBS SC QC JP

Human Rights in China Sixty Years After the Revolution

Daniel Fung SBS SC QC JP

Daniel Fung is a Senior Counsel of the Hong Kong Bar and Chairman of the distinguished Des Voex Chambers. With law degrees from UCL (where he is an Hon. Fellow), he was the first person of Chinese extraction to serve as Solicitor General of Hong Kong, straddling the territory’s reversion to Chinese Sovereignty.

A specialist in international trade arbitration and constitutional law, he is involved in a broad range of activities in Hong Kong, China and Asia, and for the United Nations. He is a Visiting Professor at Peking University Law School.

Baroness Prashar of Runnymede CBE (Chair)

Baroness Prashar is an independent member of the House of Lords and a member of the House of Lords and House of Commons Joint Committee on Human Rights. She was appointed inaugural chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission, which was established in 2006. Previously she was the first Civil Service Commissioner, Director of the Runnymede Trust and Chairman of the Parole Board for England and Wales.

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2008 Professor William Sutherland

Wildlife Conservation and Cultural Diversity: Conflict or Cooperation?

The 2008 Miriam Rothschild and John Foster Human Rights Trust Lecture took place on 17 November at the Institute of Child Health, University College London. The speaker was Professor William Sutherland and the Chair was Sir John Gurdon FRS.

Professor William Sutherland
William Sutherland holds the Miriam Rothschild chair in Conservation Biology at the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge and is delighted to follow in her footsteps. Before that he was Professor of Ecology at the University of East Anglia.

He has written two books: From Individual Behaviour to Population Ecology; The Conservation Handbook: Research, Management and Policy Techniques and edited another five: Ecological census techniques:a handbook; Bird Ecology and Conservation: a handbook of techniques; Behaviour and Conservation; Conservation Science and Action and Habitat Management.

He is interested in global conservation problems and combining research and policy to make science relevant. He set up Gratis book scheme that has given away over 5,000 conservation and ecology books to over 170 countries including over 3,000 copies of The Conservation Handbook funded by being given free books in lieu of royalties. He has set up ConservationEvidence.com as a means of making conservation science available to practitioners.

He was awarded the Marsh Award for Ecology, the Scientific Medal, Zoological Society London and the Marsh Award for Conservation Biology.

Sir John Gurdon FRS
John Gurdon was educated at Christ Church, Oxford where he read Zoology. His PhD, with Michael Fischberg, was on nuclear transplantation in Xenopus. He obtained the first clone of genetically identical adult animals and demonstrated genetic totipotency of somatic cell nuclei by obtaining sexually mature frogs from the nuclei of intestinal epithelium. He did postdoctoral work at Cal-Tech, on bacteriophage genetics.

He then moved to the MRC Molecular Biology Laboratory in Cambridge, subsequently becoming Head of Cell Biology Division. In 1983, he accepted the John Humphrey Plummer Professorship of Cell Biology at the University of Cambridge, in the Zoology Department. He initiated, with Professor Ron Laskey, the Cancer Research Campaign unit of Molecular Embryology also in the Zoology Department in Cambridge. In 1990, he moved to the new Wellcome CRC Institute of Cancer and Developmental Biology in Cambridge and served as its Chairman from 1990-2001 when the Institute was renamed The Gurdon Institute. John Gurdon was Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge from 1995 to 2002 and a governor of the Wellcome Trust 1995 to 2000

The main directions of Gurdon’s research have been:

(i) nuclear transplantation and the reprogramming of somatic nuclei;

(ii) the use of Xenopus eggs and oocytes for mRNA microinjection, and hence gene overexpression;

(iii) analysis of signaling in normal development, and the use of signaling factors for the redirection of cell differentiation.

2007 Justice Kate O'Regan

The Challenge of Change: Judging under South Africa's new Constitution

Kate O'Regan grew up in Cape Town . She is married and has two children.

O'Regan obtained her LLB cum laude from UCT in 1980 and an LLM degree with first class honours from the University of Sydney in 1981. She holds a PhD from the University of London and honorary doctorates from the University of Natal and UCT.

From 1982 to 1985 she worked for a firm of attorneys in Johannesburg , specialising in labour law and land rights. During this time she was an executive member of the Industrial Aid Society, an advice office for the unemployed, as well as a roster lawyer for Actstop and the Black Sash.

In mid-1988 she was appointed as a senior researcher in the Labour Unit at UCT. In 1992 she was promoted to associate professor at the same university.

During her years at UCT, she was a founder member of the Institute of Development Law and the Law, Race and Gender Research Project. She was also a trustee of the Legal Resources Centre.

In 1994 O'Regan was appointed a Judge of the Constitutional Court.

She has been an honorary visiting professor at the University of South Africa and at the University of Cape Town , and holds honorary degrees from the University of Natal and the University of Cape Town.

O'Regan has written many articles on labour law, land and housing, race and gender equality, and constitutional law.

This information has been taken from the website of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, where further details may be found.

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2006 Professor Martin Rees PRS

21st Century Science: Prospects, Threats and Ethical Dilemmas

Professor Martin Rees is Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics and Master of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. He holds the honorary title of Astronomer Royal.

Further information may be found here.

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2005 Aharon Barak, President of the Supreme Court of Israel

Human Rights in Israel

Aharon Barak, born in in 1936, studied law, economics and international relations at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, receiving an MA in law in 1958, and a doctorate in 1963. He has served as Attorney General of Israel, 1975-1978 and President of the Supreme Court, 1995-2006.

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2004 Zackie Achmat

HIV/AIDS and Human Rights: a New South African Struggle

Zackie Achmat is founder and chairman of Treatment Action Campaign and works on behalf of people in South Africa with HIV and AIDS.

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2003 Professor Harold Hongju Koh

The United States and Human Rights after September 11th

Lecture for 2003

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2002 Dr Mamphela Ramphele

Globalisation, Human Development and Human Rights

Dr Mamphela Ramphele is a South African businesswoman and doctor of medicine. She was an anti-apartheid activist. In 2000 she was appointed a managing director of the World Bank and is a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation.

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2001 Justice Anthony Gubbay

The Plight of Successive Chief Justices of Zimbabwe in seeking to Protect Human Rights and the Rule of Law

Justice Anthony Gubbay is a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe (1990-2001). He was previously a Supreme Court judge (1983-1990), and High Court judge (1977-1983).

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2000 Sonia Picado Sotela

Beyond Pinochet: Liberal Democracy and Human Rights in Latin America

Sonia Picado Sotela is former Ambassador of Costa Rica to the United States. She has served as Vice President of the Executive Council and Executive Director of the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights (San José). She was a judge in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights at the Organization of American States.

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1999 Professor Sissela Bok

Youth Violence, the Media and Free Speech

1998 Professor Sir Martin Gilbert, CBE, D.Litt.

British Policy towards Jewish Refugees 1933 to 1946

Professor Sir Martin Gilbert is the offical biographer of Winston Churchill. As a leading historian of the modern world he has written extensively on the First World War as well as the Second World War and the Holocaust.

Further information may be found on his website.

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1997 His Highness El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan

Humanising Peace in the Middle East

1996 Asma Jahangir

Pakistan, Islam and Fundamental Rights

Biographical information about the 1996 lecturer can be found on this external site.

http://www.jazbah.org/asmaj.php

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1995 President Mary Robinson

The Irish: A Community Bound Together by Imaginative Possessions

Mary Robinson served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002 and as President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997. Before her election as President, Mrs. Robinson served as Senator, holding that office for 20 years. In 1969 she became Reid Professor of Constitutional Law at Trinity College, Dublin. She was called to the bar in 1967, becoming a Senior Counsel in 1980, and a member of the English Bar (Middle Temple) in 1973. Educated at Trinity College, Mrs. Robinson also holds law degrees from the King's Inns in Dublin and from Harvard University.

Mary Robinson is currently Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders, Vice President of the Club of Madrid, honorary President of Oxfam International, Member of the Vaccine Fund Board of Directors and member of the Leadership Council the UN Global Coalition on Women and AIDS. She is a Professor of Practice at Columbia University and member of the Advisory Board of the Earth Institute, and Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria.

She founded Realizing Rights in 2002, an organisation whose mission is to put human rights standards at the heart of global governance and policy-making and to ensure that the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable are addressed on the global stage.

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1994 Dr Clinton Bailey/Teddy Kollek

Bedouin Arab Rights/Human Rights in Israel

To follow

1993 Professor Amartya Sen

Political Rights versus Economic Needs?

Professor Amartya Sen was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1998.

He contributed an autobiographical essay to the website of the Nobel Foundation.

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1990 The Baroness Williams of Crosby, PC

New European Democracies

Baroness Williams of Crosby was a founder of the SDLP.

1989 Jerome Shestack

Glasnost and Human Rights

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1988 Tun Mohamed Salleh Abas

The Role of the Independent Judiciary

1987 Anthony Lewis

Power to Call Account: The Public Right of Free Speech

1986 Sir Sydney Kentridge QC

Civil Rights in Southern Africa: The Prospect for the Future

Sir Sydney Kentridge was born in Johannesburg in 1922. He was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1977, in which year he was the lawyer at the inquest into the death of Steve Biko. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1984 and later served as an appeal judge in Botswana and in Jersey and Guernsey. He was an acting judge in South Africa’s Constitutional Court.

Sir Sydney Kentridge is a member of Brick Court Chambers

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1986 Dame Miriam Rothschild FRS

Sir John Foster QC

The inaugural lecture of the Trust was delivered by one of its founders, Miriam Rothschild.

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