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Goldsmiths Law and The Better Human podcast

We are delighted to announce that, in line with the Law School’s commitment to innovate and create a distinctive offer on human rights and social justice, we are acting as the inaugural institutional sponsor for the Better Human Podcast, produced by our Visiting Professor in Law, Adam Wagner, a leading barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, and the founder and Chair of the pioneering and multi-award-winning RightsInfo charity.

The Better Human Podcast will explore the most important human rights issues of the day – Brexit, facial recognition, racism in sport, assisted dying, artificial intelligence – through engaging and accessible interviews with high-profile guests and plain English guides to key concepts and historical events. The tone of the podcast will be open and unpretentious, with all technical terms and concepts explained.

The podcast is inspired by the idea that in today’s polarised and dangerous political times, human rights – and the liberal values they arise from – can give us the lens we need to understand what’s happening and make our societies better.

The first episode explores free speech, and you can listen to it here.

In this episode, Adam Wagner speaks to Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship about the human right to freedom of speech. He asks: sometimes described as the life blood of democracy, why is this important right so controversial? Do we have a right to offend, or not to be offended? Is Julian Assange a journalist? What about Tommy Robinson? Where is the  dividing line between racial hatred and protected opinions? And much more…

Goldsmiths Law students will have various opportunities to interact with the podcast, including participate in a live recording at Goldsmiths and, in due course, potentially, contribute library research that will feed into specific episodes.

The LLB Law programme at Goldsmiths gives students unique opportunities to engage with leading legal professionals and partake in challenging current debates, developing indispensable professional skills in the process.


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Leading criminal justice and human rights experts appointed as Visiting Professors

Goldsmiths Law is excited to appoint two new Visiting Professors: Dr Liora Lazarus, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law at Oxford University, and Alison Levitt QC, of leading barristers chambers 2 Hare Court.

Following on from the announcement of other major Visiting Professorships earlier on this year (here and here), particularly in the area of international law, criminal justice and human rights, these appointments mirror Goldsmiths Law’s distinctive offer in this area, relating to integrating legal theory, research and legal practice, as well as our passion for confronting our LLB students with the perplexing socio-legal challenges that the UK’s legal and political system is facing at this time.

Dr Liora Lazarus is a Fellow of St. Anne’s College and the Head of Research at the renowned Bonavero Institute of Human Rights.

Liora’s scholarship addresses prisoners’ rights, criminal justice and security and human rights, and she is a leading legal educationalist, who has pioneered new courses in the Law Faculty at Oxford and who was the first admissions co-ordinator and race equality co-ordinator there.

Liora is well known for her dynamic public interest work, including the completion of public reports for the UK Ministry of Justice, on balancing public protection with human rights and on the relationship between rights and responsibilities, as well as submitting a report (with Oxford colleagues) to the European Parliament, on the evolution of fundamental rights .  Liora has also acted as an advisor to the UK Stern Review on Rape Complaints (2013), was asked to give evidence to the Parliamentary Modern Slavery Bill Committee (2014), and was part of an International Committee of Experts to the Basque Working Group on Treatment of Political Detainees (2014).

Liora’s Visiting Professorship adds great strength to Goldsmiths’ criminal justice and human rights research activity, and our Law & Policy Clinic, where Liora will be leading on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights work. 

Alison Levitt is a practising QC at leading barristers chambers 2 Hare Court. She was previously the principal legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), advising the DPP in relation to the highest level of prosecution cases  (2009-2014) and writing the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

Some of the highest profile cases that Alison has been the decision maker on, or overseen, include the News of the World Phone Hacking cases (Operations Weeting and Elveden), the investigation over CPS failure to charge Jimmy Savile whilst he was alive as well as national security cases at the top level. Alison also had responsibility for final approval of all assisted suicide charging decisions and supervising every proposed prosecution for social media misuse cases, and she wrote the CPS legal guidance on the prosecution of false rape allegations.

After her role advising the DPP, Alison became Partner and the Head of Business Crime in major international law firm Mischon de Reya LLP, where she started the White Collar Crime and Investigations department.

Alison is bringing to Goldsmiths leading expertise in criminal justice and the legal profession, that feeds into our public engagement work on criminal justice and the LLB Law with Criminal Justice and Human Rights programme, and further strengthens Goldsmiths’ distinctive provision for the enhancement of career skills.