On Tuesday 24 November, Shami Chakrabarti CBE made a special appearance to deliver a talk to the Sixth Form students as part of the Enlightenment Lecture series. The civil liberties campaigner outlined the strengths of our current Human Rights Act, arguing against widespread surveillance and the government’s recommendation for a ‘British Bill of Rights’.
The Enlightenment Lectures are designed to ignite the imagination of Cokethorpe pupils; a perfect fit for Chakrabarti, with her reputation for fiery defences of privacy and liberty. She was enthusiastic at the opportunity to convey these values to a younger audience; “It was an absolute pleasure to talk to these young people today. The students were considered and courteous while still being confident but never arrogant; it was very heartening to share this discussion of human rights with them.”
Ed Rick (Upper Sixth, Harcourt) and Heidi Lawson (Upper Sixth, Gascoigne) attended the talk and wrote this report…
‘Shami Chakrabarti delivered an engaging, and at times emotional talk to the Sixth Form, where she drew on personal experiences of when even her friends had their civil rights undermined by the government. She detailed her work as Director of ‘Liberty’, a pressure group; the selfless role in which she upholds the civil liberties of normal British citizens made us all admire her devotion to the job. It gave us a new perspective on a current and growing debate within the UK, and most of all made us question the integrity of the civil liberties we all take for granted, that are essential to a fair democracy.’
The full lecture can be seen on the Cokethorpe School YouTube channel: