Baroness Helena Kennedy QC
Helena Kennedy QC, Baroness of the Shaws, is our patron. She has acted in many of the prominent cases of recent times including the Brighton Bombing Trial, Guildford Four Appeal, the bombing of the Israeli Embassy, the abduction of Baby Abbie Humphries and a number of key domestic violence cases.
She is Chair of the Human Genetics Commission and a member of the World Bank Institute's External Advisory Council. She is a Bencher of Gray's Inn and a Member of the House of Lords, speaking on issues of human rights and civil liberties. She is also Vice-President of the Haldane Society, Vice-President of the Association of Women Barristers and a Patron of Liberty. She chaired the Commission of Inquiry into Violence in Penal Institutions for Young People for the Howard League. The Commission's report Banged Up, Beaten Up, Cutting Up was published in 1995. She chaired the Commission of Inquiry into the health, environmental and safety aspects of the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston for Reading Borough Council, the findings published in the report Secrecy Versus Safety1994. In 2004/5, she was Chair of the Inquiry into Sudden Infant Death for the Royal Colleges of Pathologists and of Paediatrics, producing a protocol for the investigation of such deaths. She is a member of the Foreign Policy Centre's Advisory Council and was the UK member of the International Bar Association's Task Force on Terrorism.
A frequent broadcaster and journalist on law and women's rights, her many media contributions and appearances include creating the BBC television series Blind Justice in 1987, presenting the BBC's Heart of the Matter throughout 1987, Raw Deal on Medical Negligence in 1989, The Trial of Lady Chatterley's Loverin 1990, and Time Gentlemen, Please for BBC Scotland - which won The Television Programme Award category of the 1994 Industrial Journalism Awards.
In 1992 she received the Women's Network Award for her work on women and justice and in 1995 added to it the UK Woman of Europe Award. For her work on equal rights she was recognised by the National Federation of Women's Institutes in 1996 who presented her with their Campaigning and Influencing Award - Making a World of Difference. In 1997 The Times gave her their Lifetime Achievement in the Law Award for her work for women and the law, and The Spectator made her Parliamentarian of the Year 2000. Helena was awarded a life peerage in 1997.
Her publications include the widely acclaimed Eve Was Framed: Women and British Justice (Vintage, 1993) and Just Law: The Changing Face of Justice and Why It Matters to Us All (Chatto & Windus, 2004).