Courtenay Griffiths QC discusses his career at the Bar on BBC World Service

Thursday 19 August 2010

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Courtenay Griffiths QC has received a lot of media attention over the past week following his cross-examination of Naomi Campbell's former agent and friend. While he is well known as a world-leading defence advocate, here the BBC delve deeper into his background, his experience of growing up as a black immigrant in the UK, and how he found vocation as a barrister.

In a revealing interview for the BBC World Service's Outlook, Courtenay discusses openly the racism that he encountered during the early stages of his life and which he successfully overcame to become a leading barrister.

Matthew Bannister asked whether he had encountered racism during his professional life, Courtenay replied "To be quite frank I must say that one of the things I am proudest of is the Bar of England and Wales because it has been one of the most welcoming professions that I have encountered."

In an inspiring moment, Courtenay revealed what drew him to defence work.

"As I grew older, my reading of the abuse of the "sus laws", the abuse of stop and search powers and so on made me feel that the court room was an arena in which I could apply my talents to redress some of these injustices. That's why I've always felt the need to defend."

To listen to the full interview, click here. To read a more detailed account of the interview, click here.

For more information about Courtenay's practice and background, click here to read his profile.

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