Helena Kennedy


Manage episode 312790834 series 3246460
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Baroness Helena Kennedy QC one of Britain's most distinguished lawyers. She has spent her professional life giving voice to those who have least power within the system, championing civil liberties and promoting human rights.

In an interview from a few years ago, Helena was asked about her best and worst days of works. Successes like the release of Paul Hill, one of The Guildford Four, is a given, but what was moving and powerful was to hear Helena talk of supporting and winning cases such as the battered women who killed their husbands after years of abuse. Or perhaps the wife of the bomb plotter accused of failing to inform on her husband.

Helena has conducted many prominent cases of terrorism, official secrets and homicide. She is the founding force behind the establishment of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at the University of Oxford. In 1997, she was elevated to the House of Lords where she is a Labour peer.

She has published two books on how the justice system is failing women and has written and broadcasted on many issues over the years. Currently, she has taken on the role of Director to the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute. She directs the Institute’s work upholding the rule of law and human rights globally.

"Important in, in my sort of evolution, was that when you're at the bar, and you're doing a case - and I was a sort of warrior on behalf of people who were often the underdog. There is a thing about doing a case is that you would fight hammer and tongs with the person on the other side. But somehow, afterwards, you were still part of the same world, which was to preserve the rule of law. And so it was, it was one of the things that was an important part of maturing, was that you don't, you don't loathe the person who's who's on the other side. You have to find a way of having a proper discourse. There has to be some way in which you can cross that divide, if you want to make make any kind of progress."

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