Council member

Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws

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Kennedy of the Shaws

Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws



Helena Kennedy QC is one of the United Kingdom’s most distinguished lawyers. She has practised at the Bar for 40 years in the field of criminal law and has conducted many of the leading cases in those years, including the Balcombe Street Siege, the Brighton bombing trial, the Guildford Four Appeal, the Michael Bettany Espionage case, the Jihadist fertiliser bomb plot, and the transatlantic bomb plot. She has championed law reform for women, especially relating to sexual and domestic violence and developed the defence of Battered Women’s syndrome in the British courts.


She authored a number of books on law reform, co-wrote the successful television series Blind Justice and became a well-known broadcaster on law and ethics during the eighties, presenting the BBC’s Heart of the Matter. She has chaired the British Council for 6 years and the UK Human Genetics Commission for 8 years. She has been a member of the House of Lords for 20 years, where she sat on the Joint Committee of Human Rights, and is now chair of the European Union Sub Committee. She is chair of Justice, the British arm of the International Commission of Jurists and co-chair of the International Bar Association’s Institute of Human Rights. She is Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford. She is an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She has also been honoured by the Governments of France and Italy. She is the chair of the Booker Prize Foundation.