JUSTICE Human Rights Conference 2021

Date / time
Date(s) - 11/10/2021 - 12/10/2021
All Day



One of the highlights of the human rights lawyer’s CPD calendar, the JUSTICE Annual Human Rights Conference offers a key opportunity to update your legal knowledge and gain valuable insight into the human rights issues of the year.

Over two days, join JUSTICE for a series of addresses, discussions and debates. Following an opening keynote address and review of the year, you will be able to take part in two break-out sessions, before hearing our closing fireside chat and debate.

The break-out sessions will run simultaneously; while you will only be able to attend one ‘live’ on each day, we will record them all, allowing you to watch the others at your leisure. If you can’t make it to the conference you can still purchase a ticket and we will send you the recordings afterwards.

Speakers to be announced. This Conference will be worth eight CPD hours.

Tickets are £100 for JUSTICE Members and £150 for non-members. Book your ticket today to support JUSTICE’s work.

Members Tickets

Become a Member today – as well as receiving discounted tickets to our conferences, you’ll be able to access our exclusive members’ events and other benefits.

Ticket and Membership
General Tickets

To organise a group booking, please email events@justice.org.uk.

Monday 11 October

Morning Session, 09:00 – 11:15
Keynote Address
Harold Hongju Koh, Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale Law School

Review of the Year
Maya Lester QC
, Brick Court Chambers

Breakout sessions, 12:30 – 14:00
1. Crime and Human Rights
Chair: Jessica Parker, Corker Binning
Farrhat Arshad, Doughty Street Chambers
Katya Moran, Just for Kids Law
Sultana Tafadar, No5 Barristers’ Chambers

Criminal justice navigates major interferences with the rights to liberty and privacy for those accused and for witnesses. As such, the fair application of the criminal law is crucial from the outset of an investigation, through to justifying prosecution, conviction, and sentence. This session will round up the year’s key decisions of the UK Supreme Court, such as A and B v the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, which refused compensation to victims of human trafficking where they had unspent convictions.

It will consider emerging approaches of courts, including the challenges faced by ethnic minority communities and those otherwise marginalized or disproportionately policed. The session will consider the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic, and reflect on where the criminal law will go next.

2. Housing and Homelessness
Chair: Judge Siobhan McGrath, President First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber)
Simon Crabb, Arnot Manderson Advocates
Chris Johnson, Community Law Partnership
Marina Sergides, Garden Court Chambers

It has been a hugely significant year for the housing sector. The global pandemic intensified discussions around homelessness, eviction, court closures and access to justice, in a sector already pushed to its limits by a decade of austerity. This session provides an opportunity to take stock of how the housing landscape has been altered by recent developments in equality and human rights law, as well as to consider the challenges yet to come as we move beyond the pandemic.

It will look at key cases over the past year, including, for instance, challenges under the Equality Act 2010 to local authority housing policies and the Supreme Court’s first ever ruling on positive action in housing. The impact of procedural developments, such as the Government pilot on mediation for possession cases, and the proposed changes to substantive law anticipated in the Renters Reform Bill will also be discussed.

3. Immigration and Asylum
Chair: Resident Judge David Zucker, First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum)
Toufique Hossain, Duncan Lewis
Sinead Marmion, Phoenix Law
Kirsty Thomson, Just Rights Scotland

The Coronavirus pandemic has had an unparalleled impact on global mobility in the last 18 months, whilst also causing urgent challenge to inadequate asylum accommodation conditions . Deportation practice has also been in the spotlight, with secret policies to omit questions about trafficking during immigration screening interviews having been deemed unlawful and condemnation of the deportation of witnesses in ongoing inquest proceedings .

Meanwhile, as the UK continues to extricate itself from the EU, courts are considering the rights of those who fall through the gaps, for example carers who themselves do not have leave to remain but look after those who do. Finally, fundamental changes to immigration and asylum law and practice continue to be debated in Parliament as the Nationality and Borders Bill is considered.

16:30 – 17:30
The Afghanistan crisis and the UK’s legal obligations to the Afghan people

Samantha Knights QC, Matrix Chambers


Tuesday 12 October

Breakout sessions 12:30 – 14:00
Judicial Review
Chair: Vikram Sachdeva QC, 39 Essex Chambers
Carla Clarke, Child Poverty Action Group
Zoë Leventhal, Matrix Chambers
Jonathan Moffett QC, 11KBW

This session takes place during a time of potentially significant changes to the way in which judicial review is used to hold the state to account for its decision-making and enforce individuals’ rights. This session will examine the implications of the Judicial Review Bill, with its stated aim of restoring the balance of power between the executive, legislature and the courts, and the Independent Human Rights Act Review.

It will also look at key judicial review cases of the past year including challenges to the Government’s response to the pandemic, the right to a fair hearing and the Government’s climate change commitments.

5. Family and Child Rights
Chair: Nkumbe Ekaney QC, 1GC Family Law
Jessica Lee, 1GC Family Law
Andrew Powell, 4PB Chambers
Alison Reid, Clan Childlaw

The Family Court has again been faced with fundamental questions of capacity, consent and responsibility this year, with parental consent to medical treatment and children’s refusal of it both being addressed. Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal considered how allegations of domestic abuse are dealt with in private children proceedings for the first time in twenty years. Whilst the problems with the current process have never been clearer – including the potential implications for the human rights of children and adult victims at risk of harm – the solutions as to how the most vulnerable will be protected in the future remain uncertain.

Finally, Scotland recently incorporated the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into  domestic law, and will be implementing changes to procedures under its continuing Family Justice Modernisation Strategy, including ensuring that the child’s right to participate in proceedings is given effect. It remains to be seen if this will drive more similarities or differences in family law practice in the UK.

6. Protest as a Human Right
Chair: Baroness Shami Chakrabarti CBE
Mike Schwarz, Hodge Jones & Allen
Katie de Kauwe, Friends of the Earth
Zehrah Hasan, Garden Court Chambers

The right to protest is fundamental in a democratic society. Recent years have seen a number of movements demanding change, from racism in our society and institutions, to the urgent challenge of the climate crisis. This is clear from recent cases such as that of the Stansted 15 at the Court of Appeal to the Metropolitan Police’s response to the Sarah Everard vigil. The response of the criminal justice system in restricting such rights cannot go unscrutinised.

This session will consider recent cases which have tested the ability to protest, particularly within the context of the restrictions posed by the pandemic. It will also look forward, in light of the anticipated significant reforms set out in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Afternoon session, 15:15 – 17:30
Fireside chat
Professor Leslie Thomas QC, Garden Court Chambers, Professor of Law at Gresham College

Plenary Debate – “Covid-19 and Human Rights”
The pandemic has had not only severe health and economic consequences for individuals in the UK, but has also significantly impacted their human rights. In this plenary session speakers will discuss the current implications of the pandemic for human rights in the UK and what its lasting impact may be.
Chair: Andrea Coomber
Baroness Shami Chakrabarti CBE
Angela Crawley MP
Baroness Sarah Ludford
Lord Sandhurst QC

JUSTICE receives critical funds from the Human Rights Conference, therefore we are unable to offer discounts on tickets. Tickets gives you access to the whole conference, we don’t sell individual tickets for breakout sessions.