In this round table discussion, our panel seeks to examine the current issues and debates facing many lawyers from a variety of diverse backgrounds and cultures. This project will rediscover the lives of some of the first lawyers whose stories we hope will inspire others to achieve greatness in their own careers.
- Our vision for the future
- Call to the Bar
- International Practice Panel
- Dr Ivy Williams, An Enduring Inspiration to Women Lawyers
- Gilds and Things
- The History of The Inner Temple through its Treasures
- Human Rights in Britain and France: From Thomas Becket to the French Revolution
- Law in a Time of Plague - Was the Law a Good Doctor
- Lawyers and Diplomats
- The Selden Society: John Selden and Legal History
- The Selden Society: The Fire Courts
- The Smirkes and The Inner Temple
- Treasures from the Library
- William Crashawe's Library
- Munich – Why?
- Master H Meets...Again
- Have We "Had Enough of Experts"?
- Race and the Legal Profession
- Giving Judges a Voice in Democracies
- Experts: Love or Loath? The Involvement of Experts in Legal Proceedings
- The Executive and the Courts in the Constitution
- Lawyer or Politician: What is the Attorney General?
- Sport - Law and Ethics
- Memory as Evidence
- Politics and the Law
- Previous Lecture Series and Speakers
- Proof in International Criminal Trials
- 'Sales' on Retention of Title Terms
- Show me the money!
- Forensic Identification from the Hand
- Brain Imaging as Evidence
- The Bar of Ireland, Brexit and the Common Law
- The History of the Law Officers
- A Public Health Approach to Equality Law
- Forensic Document Examination - The Science Today
- The Absolute Ban on Assisted Dying and Lessons from Canada
- Calling It Out: Professionals, their Regulators, Equity and Fairness
- The Limits of Fiduciary Rules
- The Predicament and Agency of Refugees
- The Role of the Medical Examiner
- The Wild and Ridiculous Doctrine of Equality
- What Does It Mean to Be Anti-Racist in a Profession Full of Privileged People?
- Assisted Dying
- Asylum and Immigration: Do Sovereign Island Nations have a Duty to Provide Refuge?
- Is it Better to Review or Monitor Terror Laws? The UK and Australian Positions Compared
- Is Our Adversarial System Fit for Purpose?
- Ukraine War: Peace-making Ahead – Traditional Methods of Accountability or New Solutions?
- AI: Risks and Benefits
- Britain's Unwritten Constitution
- The Crime of Ecocide
- Global Responses to the Forcibly Displaced
- Does the Bar Need to Communicate and Market Itself More in the Modern World?
- Is Anything More Needed to Ensure Freedom of Speech?
- Is There a Case for Anonymity in Social Media?
- Is the Presumption of Innocence Alive and Well?
- Peace vs Justice
- Prison Reform
- The Rule of Law in Times of International Conflict
- Should our Constitution Protect Against Party Elected Leaders?
- Should UK Judges and ex-Judges Be Sitting in Hong Kong?
- Special Gandhi Lecture
- What Does a Master of the Bench Do?
- Frequently asked questions
Race and the Legal Profession
Where Are We Today and When Did the Journey Begin?
This session focused on the importance of diversity at the Bar which cannot be overstated. It ensures we have access to the widest pool of talent and gives the public faith that they are well served by the justice system. The 2019 Bar Standards Board’s Diversity at the Bar report stated that black and ethnic minority barristers made up 13.6% of the Bar as a whole.
This conference explored the lived experiences of some of the speakers and those in the profession and contains references to racial slurs and physical offences.
We understand that some of the elements talked about in the conference may be triggering for some people and that it can be very emotional, both as attendees and speakers. You may feel that you need to stop the video and step away for a time.
BBC Action line provides a list of organisations that may be able to help , if you have been the victim of racism. The Bar Council offers a confidential equality and diversity helpline to all pupils and members of the Bar, please find out more here.
- Moderator: Judith Bourne (St. Mary’s University, Twickenham)
- Chair and plenary speaker, Sibghatullah Kadri QC: 'The State of the Bar with Regards to Race Relations in the Early 1970s and the Founding of the Society of Afro-Asian and Caribbean Lawyers Which Later Became the Society of Black Lawyers.'
- Professor Leslie Thomas QC (Barrister, Garden Court Chambers): ‘Experiences of Working at the Modern Bar, Practice and the State of Race Relations at the Bar Today’.
- Bibi Badejo (Barrister, 4 Brick Court) presented a picture of her work in chambers as a black woman working at the Bar tracking her own career.
- Professor Iyiola Solanke (University of Leeds) on her experiences of working as a legal academic.
The second part of the day focused on 'Recovering the Past: First and Early Black and Ethnic Minority Lawyers', and we launched the project 'Recovering Lost Lives from the Archives'. Legal history can help improve racial equality at the Bar. It can challenge damaging racial stereotypes and provide a record of the true progress of black and ethnic minority lawyers, rather than rely on myths and legends.
- Chair: Avis Whyte (University of Westminster)
- Judith Bourne (St. Mary’s University) outlined the project and intended outputs.
- Caroline Derry (OU) and Judith Bourne: ‘Lessons Learned from Researching First Women Lawyers’
- Alex May (ODNB): ‘The Importance of Biography’
- Eduardo Reyes (Editor, Law Society Gazette): ‘The Importance of Publishing History’
- Carrie de Silva (Harper Adams University), Dominic Carrington (University of Northampton), Avis Whyte and Judith Bourne, with the archivists of the 4 Inns of Court launched the project on ‘Recovering Lost Lives from the Archives’. Legal history has a part to play in improving racial equality at the Bar, through challenging damaging myths and racial stereotypes and providing a record of pioneer black and ethnic minority lawyers.
Recovering Lost Lives from the Archives Project
The Inns of Court would welcome any contributions to an online exhibition to be launched in March which will celebrate and rediscover the lives of our BAME members. Please contact the Archivist, Celia Pilkington.