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A conversation with Lord Brian Kerr, former Justice of the Supreme Court

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Human Rights and the Rule of Law: Lord Brian Kerr, former Justice of the Supreme Court, in conversation with Professor Brice Dickson

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Brian Kerr, Baron Kerr of Tonaghmore, is a former Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland (2004 to 2009) and retired as a Justice of the UK Supreme Court on 30 September 2020. Since his retirement from his long and distinguished judicial career, Lord Kerr has spoken out in defence of the rule of law and the role of the judiciary in holding the government to account.

In an interview with the Guardian in October 2020, he said: “If we are operating a healthy democracy what the judiciary provides is a vouching or checking mechanism for the validity [of] laws that parliament has enacted or the appropriate international treaties to which we have subscribed … The last thing we want is for government to have access to unbridled power.”

He has also said that he regards his most important case as the 2018 successful legal challenge to Northern Ireland abortion law brought by the NI Human Rights Commission.

In this online event, Professor Emeritus Brice Dickson (QUB), a distinguished legal academic and former Chief Commissioner of the NI Human Rights Commission, will discuss issues relating to human rights and the rule of law with Lord Kerr. There will be a short opportunity for participants to put questions directly to Lord Kerr and Professor Dickson. The event will be chaired by the Chair of CAJ’s Executive, Dr Anna Bryson.

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