How long have you been on the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society?
Just over 9 years
When did you decide to get actively involved in human rights? Was there one defining moment?
I acted for a lady who was the first adult to pursue damages for sexual abuse in her childhood back in the 1980s. The case went to the House of Lords and we lost on limitation. That was the first case I took to Strasbourg and I got the bug … .
Which human rights practitioners do you find most inspiring?
There are a lot, but if I had to choose one it would be the late Professor Kevin Boyle from the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex, who sadly died a few years ago.
What has been the high point of your time on the Committee?
Gradually seeing a more comprehensive programme of human rights activities being implemented by the Law Society, over the period whilst I have been on the committee. Securing the extension of the mandate to include domestic human rights whilst I was Chair was a real highlight for me.
What has been the low point?
Becoming chair on the same day as all staff involved in human rights at the Law Society were made redundant!
Is there a current human rights debate that you are particularly interested in?
The significance of social, economic and cultural rights in the current climate of austerity. The argument concerning the continued availability protection under the Human Rights Act is of particular interest to me.
What is your favourite human right?
That really is a difficult one, I can’t choose.
Do you support the work of a particular human rights NGO?
Many, but Minority Rights Group is a favourite.
What is your dream job?
Policy adviser on human rights at the Law Society (joke … ) Really any job where I could concentrate on rights related issues and not just find time for them around my professional life!
What was the last book you read?
Jared Diamond – Decline..