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Annual lecture puts human rights under spotlight

30 November 2011

22_11_11 mh Baroness Helena Kennedy 23 Web

One of Britain's most distinguished lawyers, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, has delivered the University’s annual Hadyn Ellis Distinguished Lecture.

The eminent writer, broadcaster and commentator gave a thought-provoking and impassioned speech to a gathered audience of more than 400 people, in which she examined the impact of globalisation on the values that underpin developed democracies and the ways in which social justice, human rights, law, politics and private life have been affected.

Entitled ‘Globalisation and the Crisis of the Individual’, and sponsored by Civitas Law and Thompsons Solicitors, Helena drew on her own professional life, which has been spent giving voice to those who have least power within the system, championing civil liberties and promoting human rights.

Theo Huckle QC, Barrister at Civitas Law, said: "In a thrilling and carefully argued speech, Baroness Kennedy QC issued a call to arms to right-thinking citizens - lawyers or not - to stand up and be counted in support of the rights of the vulnerable, impoverished, accused and injured, currently so much under attack, both around the globe and also, tellingly, at home in the UK, and to reassert the values of real democracy in our nation state against the forces of globalised money and crime."

Emma Waddingham, business development director, Civitas Law, added: "The annual Hadyn Ellis lectures and the inspirational people who are invited to speak in his memory, leave a valuable legacy, as well as the ability for Cardiff University to reach out to the wider community and its supporters."

Ian Bounds, Client Manager for Thompsons Solicitors said: "At a time of attacks on the vulnerable unprecedented in recent political times the rallying call from Baroness Kennedy is as timely as it is prescient. The most vulnerable of our injured clients face an erosion in the support that we can give them due to government proposed reforms to civil justice that will make the hardest cases financially unviable. Thompsons is pleased to have had the chance to be involved with this year’s Haydn Ellis Distinguished Lecture from Baroness Kennedy."

The Hadyn Ellis Distinguished Lecture Series was established in 2008 by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Grant, to honour the memory of the former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University Professor Hadyn Ellis CBE DSc (1945-2006). It brings eminent speakers to the University to speak on topical issues regarding intellectual challenges facing the world’s people and nations in the twenty-first century.

It has become one of the most high profile events in the University’s calendar. Baroness Helena Kennedy’s lecture was the fourth in the series, following Mary Robinson, former Irish President, in 2008 and Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director of Forum for the Future, in 2009, and Sir Ranulph Fiennes in 2010.

Related links:

Hadyn Ellis Distinguished Lecture