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Tolerance in a Just and Fair Society

  • Date and time: Wednesday 20 June 2012

The Centre was pleased to host this conference marking the 10th Anniversary of the Frederick Bonnart-Braunthal Trust.  

It was supported by the Sigrid Rausing Trust and Matrix Chambers.

The conference explored the nature of intolerance; how to combat it, in a variety of contexts; and the limits to tolerance in a just and fair society.

It was chaired by Conor Gearty, Professor of Human Rights Law at LSE and a founding member of Matrix Chambers.

The conference was preceded by a lecture by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The schedule


  • Introductory speech by Lord Parekh, political theorist and expert on multi-culturalism
  • Panel debate chaired by Professor Conor Gearty. Panellists: Karon Monaghan QC, barrister at Matrix Chambers and specialist in equality and human rights law; Jonathan Marcus, BBC diplomatic correspondent; Professor Roger Griffin, political theorist and expert on fascism


  • Combating intolerance: presentations by scholars supported by The Frederick Bonnart-Braunthal Trust on their work in this area, followed by Q&A. Speakers: Fatima KolaVictoria Redclift;  Adi Keinan; Amanda Conroy
  • Speech by Trevor Phillips OBE, Chair, Equality and Human Rights Commission, followed by a Q&A and closing remarks from Professor Conor Gearty.

The Frederick Bonnart-Braunthal Trust

Created a decade ago to fund research at the postgraduate level into the nature of racial, religious and cultural intolerance with a view to finding means to combat it, the Trust currently funds six PhD students at University College London and LSE, supporting them to make a practical contribution to the fight against intolerance, in any form.

The purpose of the conference is to celebrate ten years of the Trust by highlighting the work of its scholars and generating energy for the ongoing fight against intolerance.

The speakers

Conor Gearty was born in Ireland and graduated in law from University College Dublin before moving to Wolfson College, Cambridge in 1980 to study for a Master’s Degree and then for a PhD. He became a fellow of Emmanuel College Cambridge in 1983 and in 1990 he moved to the school of law at King’s College London where he was first a senior lecturer, then a reader and finally (from 1995) a professor. He was Director of LSE’s Centre for the Study of Human Rights (2002-2009) and is Professor of Human Rights Law in the LSE Law Department. Conor is a Fellow of the British Academy and has published widely on terrorism, civil liberties and human rights. He is also a barrister and was a founder member of Matrix chambers from where he continues to practice.

Lord Parekh. Educated at the Universities of Bombay and London, Lord Bhikhu Parekh is a Fellow of the British Academy, past president of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Westminster. Lord Parekh was chair of the Runnymede Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain (1998-2000), whose report, The Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, was published in 2000. He is vice-chairman of the Gandhi Foundation and a trustee of the Anne Frank Educational Trust. His main academic interests include political philosophy, the history of political thought, social theory, ancient and modern Indian political thought, and the philosophy of ethnic relations. Professor Parekh is the author of Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory (2000); Gandhi (2001); Colonialism, Tradition and Reform (1999); Gandhi's Political Philosophy (1989); Contemporary Political Thinkers (1982); Karl Marx's Theory of Ideology (1981); and Hannah Arendt and the Search for a New Political Philosophy (1981).

Jonathan Marcus has combined the roles of Defence and Diplomatic Correspondent for the BBC, based at Bush House in London, since April of this year. Prior to that he was BBC World Service Diplomatic Correspondent, during which time he covered two wars in the Gulf and the international interventions in the Balkans; the Middle East; Eastern Europe; and the United States.

Karon Monaghan QC is a barrister at Matrix Chambers and principally specialises in equality and human rights law. She was an adviser to the government's Women and Equality Unit on the Discrimination Law Review which preceded the Equality Act 2010.

Trevor Phillips OBE. Born in London in 1953, Trevor attended secondary school in Georgetown, Guyana, and then studied chemistry at Imperial College London. Between 1978 and 1980, he was president of The National Union of Students. He then went into broadcasting, becoming Head of Current Affairs at LWT in 1992. Trevor received awards from the Royal Television Society in 1988, 1993 and 1998. He was elected as a member of the Greater London Authority in May 2000, and became chair of the Assembly later that month. Trevor is a director of Pepper Productions, founded in 1995, and was the executive producer on Windrush (which won the Royal Television Society Documentary Series of the Year award in 1998), Britain's Slave Trade, Second Chance and When Black Became Beautiful. He is a vice president of the Royal Television Society. At present, he is a board member of Aldeburgh Productions, and a trustee of the Social Mobility Foundation. Between 1993 and 1998 Trevor was chair of the Runnymede Trust.

Audio Recordings

Introductory speech and panel discussion, featuring Lord Bhikhu Parekh; Jonathan Marcus, Karon Monaghan QC and Professor Roger Griffin. Chaired by Conor Gearty with an introduction by Alex Armstrong, chair of the Trustees of the Frederick Bonnart-Brunthal Trust. Duration 1hr 33mins 

'Combating Intolerance' session, featuring presentations from four of the scholars supported by the FBB Trust: Amanda Conroy; Adi Keinan; Fatima Kola; Victoria Redclift. Chaired by Conor Gearty. Duration 1hr 35mins