Once called ‘the most dangerous woman in Britain’, Shami Chakrabarti is the former Director of Liberty. A Barrister by profession, 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 persuasion. She joined Liberty as In-House counsel on the 10th September 2001, becoming heavily involved in its engagement with the ‘War on Terror’ and with the defense and promotion of human rights.
Shami’s excellent book On Liberty documents some of the battles she’s faced over the last 15 years, including anti-terrorism measures, torture and human rights abuses, 42 day detentions, ID cards, ASBOs, phone hacking, new surveillance laws and cuts to Legal Aid. Presented with eloquence, conviction and intelligence, her arguments underline why Times journalist David Aaronovitch called her ‘probably the most effective public affairs lobbyist of the past 20 years.’
Since stepping down from Liberty earlier this year, Shami has been chairing the Chakrabarti Enquiry into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. She’s also continued writing and broadcasting about why our human rights and freedoms are paramount in upholding democracy, and how they are coming under unprecedented pressure from governments and institutions. Born in London, Shami was awarded a CBE in 2007 and was one of the eight bearers of the Olympic Flag at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Shami will be in conversation with biographer and historian Rachel Holmes.
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