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Lord Kerr Essay Competition Award Ceremony 2024 Monday, 15 July 2024.

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM BST78, Cannon Street, England, EC4N 6AF, United Kingdom

We invite you to attend this hybrid event to announce and celebrate the winner and runners-up of the Lord Kerr Essay Competition. There will be a panel discussion on the topic: 'Public Order Act 2023: One Year Later'


We are delighted to have Kirsty Brimelow KC, Jodie Beck from advocacy group Liberty, Professor David Mead, and Adam Wagner join us for this timely discussion.


About the Competition:

Lord Brian Francis Kerr, Baron Kerr of Tonaghmore, PC, was a Northern Irish barrister and a senior judge who was Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland and then a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. At the time of his retirement, he was the longest-serving Supreme Court Justice and the last original member of the Court. Lord Kerr was an energetic courtroom interrogator who became an ardent defender of individual citizens' human rights. He was a progressive figure whose rulings advanced the rights of women and children and resolved controversies from the Troubles. He was most proud of the court's 2018 ruling that eventually led to the decriminalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland. With other justices, he concluded that the Northern Ireland assembly's law on abortion was incompatible with human rights.


Following his passing, the Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA) received a gift donation from his son, Patrick Kerr, to create an opportunity that celebrates the formidable legal career that Lord Kerr had through his influential judicial understanding of human rights and the law. From this gift, the HRLA and its Young Lawyers Committee (YLC) have created an essay competition that focuses on a contemporary human rights issue.


In the third year of the competition we received a considerable number of thoughtful and creative submissions to the question, "Should the rights to freedom of expression and assembly protect disruptive protests?”



About the Event:

The running-order is as follows:


18:00-18:10: arrival and networking

18:10-18:15: opening address

18:15-19:00: panel discussion

19:00-19:15: Q&A with panel members

19:15-19:30: announcement of winners and prize-giving

19:30-20:00: networking and refreshments

We are grateful to CMS for their gracious support for this event.


Accessibility Needs

On-screen captions/live transcript will be available for those joining us online. Please let us know if we can provide other adjustments that remove barriers to your full enjoyment and participation.



Please note that we are required to share attendees’ e-mail addresses with CMS, our event hosts, for the administration of the event. To view HRLA’s privacy policy, please visit 


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