Visit celebrates Black History Month
04 November 2022
To commemorate Black History Month, the Legal Advice Centre invited Professor Leslie Thomas KC, a Human Rights and Civil Liberties Barrister and Janet Hills MBE, a retired Met Detective Sergeant and the first female chair of the Metropolitan Black Police Association, to share insights into their career journeys and work within the criminal justice system.
Professor Leslie Thomas KC who practises from Garden Court Chambers as a civil liberties, human rights, police and inquest law specialist spoke eloquently about the hurdles he had to overcome to navigate a career at the Bar. In recent history, Leslie has represented families in many high-profile inquests, such as Grenfell Tower, Mark Duggan, Sean Rigg, Smiley Culture, Anthony Grainger, Hillsborough families, Christopher Alder, and Ibrahima Sey. He also wrote the foreword to a recent report entitled 'Racial Bias and the Bench: A Response to the Judicial Diversity and Inclusion Strategy' and has penned his autobiography "Do Right and Fear No One' - an intimate and personal record of some of the most significant, controversial and disturbing legal cases of the last fifty years examining the law enforcement and judicial process.
Janet Hills MBE was the Chairperson of the Metropolitan Black Police Association (MetBPA) and served as a Police Officer for 28 years. She had held several posts on the MetBPA Executive, including First Contact Support Coordinator and General Secretary, before becoming the first female Chairperson of the Association in 2013. Over the last twenty-five years, the MetBPA has made considerable contributions to various Inquiries, which include the Macpherson, Morris and Race & Faith Inquiry. She spoke about the challenges around policing and the work that needs to continue within the MET and black communities.
Saadiya Ahmad, Director of Careers and Enterprise and Director of the Legal Advice Centre at RDSBL said:
It was great to hear from these highly respected speakers with students learning crucial lessons on critical topics and gaining insight into the concerted efforts being made to end discrimination and racism in policing and at the Bar."
LAC students and RDSBL academics were also invited to an event organised at the Mayor of London's new offices at The Crystal in the Royal Docks to mark Black History Month.
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