Human Rights: Can we go it alone?


Following the General Election, a national conversation has developed in the UK regarding the suitability of the Human Rights Act and the country's relationship with the European Court of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. For our 20th Anniversary Speaker Session, the IBAHRI delved deeper into this discussion by inviting two high-profile speakers to debate on the issue and ask whether regional mechanisms are an essential part of human rights protection, or can countries 'go it alone'?


Thursday 10 September, 6.30pm

The Large Pension Room
The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn
8 South Square

London, WC1R 5ET


Sir Keir Starmer MP

After studying law at Leeds University (LLB) and Oxford University (BCL), Sir Keir Starmer co-founded Doughty Street Chambers with radical lawyers such as IBAHRI Co-Chair Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Geoffrey Robertson QC and Edward Fitzgerald QC, whose founding principles were the protection of human rights, internationalism, and a commitment to represent those least able to represent themselves. Over his career human rights have dominated his practice, taking him to the highest international human rights courts.

He served as Director of Public Prosecutions and head of the Crown Prosecution Service from 2008 to 2013 and was elected a Member of Parliament for Holborn & St. Pancras on Thursday 7th May 2015.


Martin Howe QC

Martin Howe QC specialises in European Union law and intellectual property law. He was a member of the Coalition Government’s Commission on a Bill of Rights for the United Kingdom, and was in one of the first cases in the UK Supreme Court which directly applied the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.  He is a strong supporter of human rights law reform in the UK and advised on the Conservative manifesto policy of replacing the Human Rights Act with a new Act.


Todd Benjamin

Todd Benjamin is well known to television audiences across the globe. For 26 years he worked as an anchor, correspondent, and financial editor for CNN. During that time he was based in Washington DC, New York, Tokyo, and London.

An award winning journalist, Todd has interviewed everyone from Mikhail Gorbachev to Alan Greenspan. Todd continues to appear on CNN to provide live commentary and analysis and to write a blog for the CNN website where his views on a range of issues are widely followed.