LGBT+ History Month: Protecting asylum seekers and migrants with HIV/AIDS

Thursday 18 February 2021

Stephanie Harrison KC

Raza Halim

Zehrah Hasan

Leila Zadeh

Wesley Gryk

Frances Webber

Date: Thursday 18 February 2021
Time: 5pm - 6:30pm
Venue: Online  
Cost: Free
Areas of Law: Immigration Law

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To commemorate LGBT+ History Month, Garden Court Chambers is proud to host a panel discussion considering how protections for asylum seekers and migrants with HIV/AIDS have developed over the last forty years. 

We are delighted to be joined by campaigners and lawyers who have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to challenging stigma and ensuring access to lifesaving treatment.




Stephanie Harrison QC, Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers (Chair)
Stephanie is highly regarded as a leading practitioner in the field of immigration law, with 20 years’ experience in complex immigration and asylum claims. Her unique blend of expertise in statutory appeals, public and civil law is evident in her legacy of test case litigation, which has developed jurisprudence in the area of immigration and asylum relating to human rights, unlawful detention, national security detention, and deportation appeals. Stephanie is a leading practitioner in judicial review challenges to the lawfulness of policy and practice in the treatment and administrative detention of vulnerable adults, families and children in mainstream and fast-track detention. 

Stephanie was appointed as legal counsel to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in 2015 and is ranked for Administrative and Public Law, Civil Liberties and Human Rights and Immigration in both the Legal 500 and Chambers UK Bar Guide. Stephanie was shortlisted for 'Civil Liberties & Human Rights Silk of the Year' at Legal 500 UK Awards 2020 and for 'Human Rights and Public Law Silk of the Year' at the Chambers Bar Awards 2019. 

Raza Halim, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Raza Halim specialises in public law, with an emphasis on refugee law and human rights. He specialises in judicial review and appellate work in the fields of unlawful detention, international protection and national security matters in SIAC. Raza advises NGOs and charities on bringing strategic challenges to unlawful policies and represents detainees for Bail for Immigration Detainees.

Zehrah Hasan, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Zehrah became a Garden Court Chambers tenant in October 2020 and practices in public, human rights, immigration and asylum law – with a particular interest in representing survivors of gender-based violence, trafficking, exploitation and LGBTQIA+ asylum seekers. Zehrah has previously worked at a number of non-profit organisations, including Liberty, Southall Black Sisters and the London Black Women’s Project. Whilst at Liberty, she led on policy work related to LGBTQIA+ rights, particularly trans liberation and advocating for reforms to the Gender Recognition Act. She was also part of the International Network for Civil Liberties Organisation’s trans rights working group and a UK delegate at their conference in Buenos Aires. She is currently the Vice Chair of the Human Rights’ Lawyers Association, External Coordinator for Legal Sector Workers United (and part of their Queer and Trans Working Group) and a founding member of Black Protest Legal Support. 

Wesley Gryk, Founder, Wesley Gryk Solicitors LLP
A dual US-UK national, Wesley has practised law in both jurisdictions. Having completed studies at Harvard College and Harvard Law School and a year exploring his ancestral roots under a Fulbright Fellowship at Warsaw University, his first legal position was as judicial clerk to the Hon Constance Baker Motley, who as an NAACP lawyer had argued many of the leading southern university desegregation cases up to the Supreme Court and went on to become the first black woman appointed a US Federal Judge (for the Southern District of New York, Manhattan). Followed by four years at Shearman & Sterling, then New York’s largest firm, followed by two years working with a partner in Hong Kong establishing the firm’s base there as the PRC was giving its first signs of opening up for business with the West.

Having decided the corporate world was not for him, he began working as a Legal Adviser to the UNHCR in London. This was followed by a 5 year stint at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International, initially as assistant legal adviser and then as deputy head of the organisation’s then 60 strong research department.  He then qualified as a solicitor and became involved in the work of the nascent Terrence Higgins Trust Legal Group of volunteer lawyers, working on issues relating to discrimination by the insurance industry, the drafting group responsible for the first widely accepted ‘living will ‘ in the UK and immigration issues.

Wes shared the Stonewall Equality Award in 1997 with Matthew Davis of Wilsons: for their role in assisting in the campaign for the recognition of same sex couples in the immigration context.  Through the years he has been fortunate to be able to undertake many international human rights missions including attending the trials of Saddam Hussein and Abdullah Ocalan on behalf of Amnesty International, one of the trials of Anwar Ibrahim on behalf of Human Rights Watch and the trial of prominent journalists and editors in Indonesia on behalf of Article 19. Wesley founded Wesley Gryk Solicitors in February 1995 which remains one of the UK’s leading immigration practices. 

Frances Webber, Vice-Chair of Institute of Race Relations & Former Garden Court Barrister
Frances Webber was a barrister at GC until her retirement in 2008, specialising in immigration, asylum, human rights and national security cases. She co-edited the 5th and 6th editions of Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice. After retirement she taught at Warwick and Birkbeck, wrote Borderline Justice: the fight for refugee and migrant rights (Pluto, 2012), and returned as a volunteer to the Institute of Race Relations, where she writes on law, refugee, migration and human rights issues. 

Leila Zadeh, Executive Director, UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG)
Leila holds a Diploma in Public Affairs, an MA with distinction in Development Studies, and a first-class BA in Politics and Modern Languages. Before joining UKLGIG, Leila was Senior Advisor: Policy and Government Affairs for the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (now called Frontline AIDS). She worked on the global HIV response at Frontline AIDS, and before that at Oxfam GB and ActionAid EU. Her role at Frontline AIDS focused on advocating for the rights of LGBTQI+ people, sex workers, adolescent girls, young women and drug users. Leila came to the UK as part of a refugee family when she was 13 months old.

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