Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty delivered the fifth Annual British Sociological Association/British Library Equality Lecture. Drawing on her recently published book On Liberty and her work in high-profile campaigns, from privacy laws to anti-terror legislation, Shami explored how our world has changed since 9/11. Her talk considered whether governments have decided that the rule of law and human rights are often ‘too costly’, and looked at the unprecedented pressures those rights are under today. She outlined why our fundamental rights and freedoms are indispensable, even paramount in upholding democracy and democratic Institutions.
Shami Chakrabarti has been Director of Liberty (The National Council for Civil Liberties) since September 2003. She joined Liberty as In-House Counsel on 10 September 2001, becoming heavily involved in its engagement with the 'War on Terror’ and with the defence and promotion of human rights values in Parliament, the Courts and wider society. A Barrister by background, she was called to the Bar in 1994 and worked as a lawyer in the Home Office from 1996 until 2001 for Governments of both persuasions. She is Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University and a Visiting Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford in addition to being a Master of the Bench of Middle Temple.
The event was chaired by Professor Eileen Green, Chair of the British Sociological Association and Professor Emerita in Sociology at Teesside University.