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Shami Chakrabarti delivers Hadyn Ellis Distinguished Lecture

14 November 2014

Shami Chakrabarti CBE

Shami Chakrabarti CBE, the UK's leading human rights campaigner has delivered the University's annual Hadyn Ellis Distinguished Lecture.

Drawing on her own work in high-profile campaigns, from privacy laws to anti-terror legislation, the Director of Liberty explored the threats to our democratic institutions and discussed why our rights are paramount in upholding democracy.

Chakrabarti argued that the West's response to 9/11 has morphed into a period of exception from human rights norms, with Governments deciding that the rule of law and human rights are often too costly.

As a result of her work Chakrabarti has been hailed as both an "undaunted freedom fighter" (The Observer) and "the most dangerous woman in Britain" (The Sun).

Shami Chakrabarti said: "On Liberty might focus on the past decade, but recent days and weeks have shown it is very much rooted in the here and now.  Vows to scrap the Human Rights Act, State snooping on an unprecedented scale and battles over extradition powers; Liberty is needed now more than ever."

Chakrabarti was a member of the panel of the Leveson Inquiry, a judicial inquiry into phone hacking in the UK.

The Hadyn Ellis Distinguished Lecture Series invites eminent thinkers to Cardiff University to speak on topical issues regarding intellectual challenges facing the world's people and nations in the twenty-first century.

It was established to honour the memory of the former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University Professor Hadyn Ellis CBE DSc (1945-2006). Professor Ellis made a significant contribution towards establishing the discipline of cognitive neuropsychiatry and was instrumental in establishing Cardiff as one of the leading research universities in the UK.

Previous Hadyn Ellis Distinguished Lecture Series speakers have included Sir David Attenborough; Lord Puttnam; Baroness Helena Kennedy; Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland; Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Jonathon Porritt.

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