Black Lives Matter Event Series – Part 3: How to understand and confront racism in the justice system

Wednesday 3 March 2021

The Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence Team brings you a series of online events on 'Black Lives Matter – challenging racist stereotypes in the justice system'.

Winners of the Legal 500 Crime Set of the Year, Garden Court Chambers is one of the leading criminal defence barristers' chambers in the UK. 

Date: Wednesday 3 March 2021
Time: 5pm - 6:30pm GMT / 12 - 1:30pm EST / 9 - 10:30am PST
Venue: Online  
Cost: Free
Areas of Law: Criminal Defence , Civil Liberties and Human Rights

Share This Page

Email This Page

Dexter Dias QC, joined by Keir Monteith QC and Danielle Manson, of Garden Court Chambers presented an in-depth analysis of racism in the justice system. Dexter Dias QC broadcast a TEDx Talk in 2020 entitled 'Racism thrives on silence - speak up!', which received well over 1 million views, this webinar discussed further the issues he raises in this TEDx talk, namely it exposed toxic myths about race, in order to allow hope, change and justice to flourish.

This webinar was chaired by Judy Khan QC of Garden Court Chambers.




Judy Khan QC, Garden Court Chambers (Chair)
Judy has experience of criminal defence work across a wide spectrum of criminal cases. She has been instructed as leading counsel in cases involving allegations of murder, attempted murder, kidnap, fraud, money laundering and large-scale importation/supply of drugs. She is predominantly briefed in murder cases, often involving gang-related killings committed by young defendants. She also specialises in cases involving serious sexual allegations. Judy won Crime Silk of the Year at the Chambers Bar Awards 2019. 

Dexter Dias, Garden Court Chambers 
Dexter Dias QC is an award-winning international human rights lawyer who has conducted some of the most high-profile cases on death in state custody, freedom of expression, crimes against humanity, terrorism, murder and genocide. He is the bestselling author of The Ten Types of Human, has a podcast entitled The 100 Types of Human and is Visiting Researcher at Cambridge, where he was a prize-winning scholar, recently Visiting Fellow at Harvard, Special Adviser on human rights to UNICEF UK and Chair of the Global Campaign to End FGM and previously finalist in the prestigious Liberty & JUSTICE human rights lawyer of the year award in which he was shortlisted for his “deep devotion to ensure the voices of the weakest in society are heard”.

He was chief author of the report to Parliament that helped change the law to better safeguard thousands of women and girl at risk of FGM, and works pro bono with survivors of child slavery, human trafficking and gender-based violence around the world. He is advising the UN on a global social justice initiative to advance Sustainable Developmental Goal 5 on Gender Equality. He lectures internationally on human rights issues and is in particular demand to share his expertise on modes of patriarchal power such as Domestic Abuse, so-called “honour-based” violence and FGM, along with his ongoing passion to challenge “race”, racism and racialised justice - and reduce their devastating human cost.

Keir Monteith QC, Garden Court Chambers
Keir Monteith QC is a highly sought-after leading silk who represents clients facing heavyweight criminal allegations. He has been instructed in numerous murders, industrial scale Class A drug importations and conspiracies, escape from custody cases and appeals against conviction and sentence. He is the external advisor on the Arts & Humanities Research Council grant, 'Prosecuting Rap: Criminal Justice and UK Black Youth Expressive Culture' (2020-21), sits as part time judge and initiated the BLM series of webinars at Garden Court Chambers.

Danielle Manson, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Danielle Manson joined chambers in March 2020 and is experienced in defending individuals charged with serious violence, the supply and production of drugs and firearms offences. She has particular expertise representing children and young people and is also a member of JUSTICE’s racial disparity in the youth justice system working party. Whilst studying law at university, Danielle also managed the Innocence Project; working on a range of criminal appeals and applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (‘CCRC’). In recognition of her commitment to the project, she was nominated for the Chancellor’s Medal upon graduation and continues to sit on the CCRC’s Stakeholder Forum as an established practitioner.

More recently Danielle has represented those charged with criminal offences arising out of protests, including, but not limited to, the Extinction Rebellion ‘uprisings’ and the ‘Stop the Arms Fair’ campaign. Danielle is also a committee member of the newly formed grassroots organisation Black Protest Legal Support (BPLS) which was formed in the wake of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and has been responsible for training and coordinating over 100 barristers and solicitors as Legal Observers.

The Event Series

Summer 2020 saw a call to action. The Black Lives Matter movement has demanded immediate and radical changes that are needed to address the violent and institutionalised racism embedded in the justice system and policing worldwide. 

During September and October 2020, the Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence Team held a series of webinars entitled ‘Drill Music, Gangs and Prosecutions – Challenging Racist Stereotypes in the Criminal Justice System'. The panels featured community activists and non-legal academics, contributing real insight and lived experience, inspiring us to bring about real change. The recordings have been watched by over 1500 people.

The fight for racial justice is rooted in collaborative action; we want to build on this, push the boundaries, and educate ourselves in how we can initiate tangible and equitable change in the criminal justice system.

The current Garden Court Chambers Black Lives Matter event series features Garden Court counsel and explores issues that range from the American experience of how the State uses Rap lyrics and videos to prosecute serious crime, UK policing of so-called "gang activity" resulting in deportation, in-depth analysis of racism in the justice system and the Black Lives Matter protests.

Part 1 - How the US and UK state criminalise Rap and how to combat it
5pm-6:30pm, Wednesday 20 January 2021 & 5pm-6.30pm, Wednesday 12 May 2021
An international event where we were joined by US academics, experts, attorneys, and UK Counsel. Our panel considered, shared, and discussed tactics on how to combat the state’s use of rap lyrics in prosecuting serious crime, asking questions about both intention and subsequent consequences. Should the UK adopt the pre-trial proactive campaigning style sometimes used by defence attorneys in the US? How do we encourage more people who actually know about the reality of Rap to step up and become experts? What happens in capital cases and how do you deal with the pressure? 

Part 2 - Gang Mythologies and Deportation
5pm-6.30pm, Wednesday 3 February 2021
Our panel of speakers explored how the Home Office uses evidence in failed prosecutions, and so called “intelligence” gathered through policing and monitoring of alleged gang activity, as a basis for deportation in what they call Operation Nexus. Our panel includes Greg Ó Ceallaigh of Garden Court Chambers, Dr Alpa Parmar, Associate Director of Border Criminologies at the University of Oxford, Maria Brul, Senior Advocacy Coordinator at Detention Action and Joan Martin, Family's for Justice Campaigner. The webinar was chaired by our Joint Head of Chambers Stephanie Harrison QC.

Part 4 - Defending Black Lives Matter protests 
5pm-6.30pm, Tuesday 18 May 2021
Following the Garden Court Chambers webinar series on protest law in June/July 2020, we will be focusing on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests of summer 2020. Black Protest Legal Support, a group of Legal Observers set up to support BLM activists and protesters, reported a worrying return to dangerous and racially motivated policing tactics at these protests. These include accounts of horses charging at protesters, kettling of crowds (during a pandemic), and violence against protesters and legal observers. We will explore how to fight racist policing and protect the right to protest. Presented and organised by Fatima Jichi and Zehrah Hasan of Garden Court Chambers, both founding members of Black Protest Legal Support

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

+ View more awards