Liberty, the civil liberties and human rights organisation, has today confirmed that Stephanie Harrison QC has been shortlisted for their Human Rights Lawyer of the Year Award. In a statement, Liberty said that Stephanie's nomination was in recognition of her "prowess and commitment as an advocate for human rights and peaceful protest".
Stephanie, who was appointed as Queen's Counsel in March of this year has dedicated her career to fighting against discrimination and for the fundamental freedoms of minorities and the marginalised. She has continued to act in many high-profile cases concerning the use of executive power to detain vulnerable groups such as children, the mentally ill, and victims of torture, human trafficking and other gender-based violence. In a recent case (Ignaoua v SSHD) leading Amanda Weston, she succeeded in persuading the Court of Appeal to strike down provisions permitting termination of judicial review proceeding by the Executive wishing to rely on secret evidence. She is also currently working with the EHRC in a challenge brought by Detention Action to detention of asylum seekers in the fast-track process. She also appears regularly in national security cases before SIAC and the Higher Courts.
Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, said:
"It's been a turbulent year for freedom - the scale of blanket surveillance was laid bare, attacks on our legal system undermined open justice and dog-whistle politics fuels a cheap and nasty anti-human rights rhetoric. But our shortlist reminds us there are still wonderful people willing to fight for precious values - not for personal gain but because they believe in a free, fair society. This is our way of saying thank you."
On hearing of her nomination, Stephanie said:
"With an Executive intent on dismantling our system of justice and revelling in its disregard for fundamental rights and equality before the law it is critical to stand up and support organisations like Liberty who have long championed respect for fundamental rights and freedoms and the right of access to justice for all as integral to our democracy and any civilised society."
The winners of the nine awards will be announced at an awards ceremony to celebrate human rights heroes on 25 November.
Details of the nominations in all of the categories are available in the Liberty press release.
For more information about Stephanie Harrison's work and background, please visit her online profile.
Garden Court would like to congratulate all of the individuals and groups shortlisted for the awards, many of whom we have worked with over the years.