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Lady Chatterley's Lover: Fifty years on

LSE Arts public discussion

Date: Monday 1 November 2010 
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue:  Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speakers: Lord Hutchinson QC, Helena Kennedy QC, Geoffrey Robertson QC
Chair: Professor Christine Chinkin

On 2nd November 1960 the jury at the Old Bailey acquitted Penguin Books of obscenity for publishing an uncensored version of D.H. Lawrence's controversial novel. Geoffrey Robertson QC and a panel explore the impact of the trial on our current laws and assumptions on freedom of expression.  

Jeremy Hutchinson was Called to the Bar, Middle Temple in 1939 and served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War. He became a Queen's Counsel in 1961, a Bencher, Recorder of Bath and of the Crown Court between 1963 and 1988. Hutchinson was a member of the Committee on Immigration Appeals and of the Committee on Identification Procedures. He was vice-chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain and a Professor of Law at the Royal Academy of Arts. For the Tate Gallery, he was first trustee and then chairman. On 16 May 1978 he was created a life peer with the title Baron Hutchinson of Lullington, of Lullington in the County of East Sussex.

Helena Kennedy is a leading barrister and an expert in human rights law, civil liberties and constitutional issues. She is a member of the House of Lords and chair of Justice – the British arm of the International Commission of Jurists. She is a bencher of Gray's Inn and President of the School of Oriental and African studies, University of London. She was the chair of Charter 88 from 1992 to 1997, the Human Genetics Commission from 1998 to 2007 and the British Council from 1998 to 2004. She also chaired the Power Inquiry, which reported on the state of British democracy and produced the Power Report in 2006. She has received honours for her work on human rights from the governments of France and Italy and has been awarded more than thirty honorary doctorates. She is currently acting in cases connected to the recent wave of terrorism – including the conspiracy to bomb Transatlantic Airlines and Operation Crevice.

Geoffrey Robertson QC is founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers, the largest human rights practice in the UK. He has appeared in the courts of many countries as counsel in leading cases in constitutional, criminal and international law and served as the first President of the UN War Crimes Court in Sierra Leone, where he authored a landmark decision on the illegality of recruiting child soldiers. He has saved many death row prisoners from execution in common wealth countries, defended in the last two cases brought for blasphemy in Britain (against Salman Rushdie and Gay News), represented Catholic lawyers and youth workers detained without trial in Singapore and was counsel in Bowman v United Kingdom, which established the right of Catholics to campaign effectively against abortion laws during elections.

He sits as a recorder, and is a master of Middle Temple and a visiting Professor of Human Rights Law at Queen Mary College, London. In 2008, he was appointed as a distinguished jurist member of the UN's Justice Council. His books include Crimes Against Humanity: The Struggle for Global Justice, a memoir, The Justice Game and The Tyrannicide Brief, an award winning study of the trial of Charles I, and most recently The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuse

This event is in association with Doughty Street Chambers and English PEN. 


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