How long have you been on the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society?

Since 8 March 2011.

When did you decide to get actively involved in human rights? Was there one defining moment?

In 1975 after my client suffered injuries when hot water was poured on him in Brixton Prison. The prison authorities told me that I could not discuss this matter with him and my conversations with him were to be limited to the criminal charges he faced. If I failed to give them an undertaking to do so then they would put a prison officer in the room with me every time I interviewed him. That was my defining moment.

Which human rights practitioners do you find most inspiring?

Those who seek to uphold human rights in their own countries, where the authorities persecute them for doing so and they suffer or they and/or their families are put at risk of physical and mental injury.

What has been the high point of your human rights career so far?

Taking on the Government in relation to the rights of prisoners using judicial review and securing a definition of some of those rights and protection of them.

What has been the low point?

The use by the authorities of endless bureaucratic contrivances to prevent identification and public scrutiny of their behaviour in denying human rights.

Is there a current human rights debate that you are particularly interested in?

The rights of women, children and lawyers.

What is your favourite human right?

UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers (1990).

Do you support the work of a particular human rights NGO?


What is your dream job?

Assisting in the development of human rights.

What was the last book you read?

On Apology by Aaron Lazare