Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
London WC1E 7HX
BIH Masterclass: Using the Law for Social Justice and other Utopian Ideals – Session 1
Speaker: Helena Kennedy QC
Chair: Jacqueline Rose, Co-Director, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
In this Masterclass, which is spread over three sessions, Helena Kennedy will use recent cases in which she has been involved, that turn on race, gender and sexuality, to address the question of how the law today does and does not serve the people for whom it is meant to speak, and how the struggle to make it do so can be advanced in the new century.
Helena Kennedy became a lawyer to give voice to the voiceless in the courts. She came from a working class family in Glasgow and knew that the law is hugely intimidating for whole sections of society. She also saw how laws created with men in mind failed women and how stereotypes and myths about race, gender and sexuality permeated the courts to the disadvantage of many. The law for Helena is a social tool which can work to the good or the bad and it is for committed lawyers to ensure that it produces just ends.
Introduction by Jacqueline Rose (Birkbeck):