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Watch Baroness Helena Kennedy QC discuss international law in the age of Brexit and Trump

A video of the 2019 Lisa Jardine Memorial Lecture, delivered by one of Britain’s most distinguished lawyers, Baroness Helena Kennedy, is now available to watch. 

Delivered on 26 February 2019, ‘The Retreat from Rules, Regulations and an International Order’ reflected on the state of international law and institutions in the time of Brexit and Trump.

Baroness Kennedy began by honouring Professor Lisa Jardine CBE, noting that she was truly innovative, a formidable leader and mentor to many, and that she brought together ideas from diverse fields. Baroness Kennedy talked about Professor Jardine’s role in shaping ethics and law around emerging technologies, and her willingness to fight plans to cut critical government bodies.

The lecture moved on to consider how we foster trust in multilateralism and institutions, while giving a voice and rights to those with the least power in the system. Baroness Kennedy emphasised how the popularist representation of the judiciary as “enemies of the people” is deeply damaging democracy and putting rights at risk. At the same time, attacks on European judicial institutions are often grounded in baseless or wrongful appreciation of their decisions.

Dr Julian Huppert, Director of the Intellectual Forum, said: “Helena Kennedy gave an impassioned speech about the importance of human rights and the rule of law, and how all of us benefit from them, in the UK and around the world. However, she was also very concerned about the attacks on these core values, in democracies and dictatorships alike. It was inspirational, compelling – and alarming.”

Professor Ian White, Master of Jesus College, said: “It was a great honour for the College to have Baroness Kennedy speak so powerfully on the state of the rule of law. Her sentiments resonated greatly with Lisa Jardine’s principles and values, and her insights were both striking and thought-provoking.”

The lecture is part of a series in memory of Lisa Jardine (1944-2015), who became Jesus College's first woman Fellow in 1976.  Professor Jardine made a huge contribution to society across a wide area, as a Professor of Renaissance Studies, author, broadcaster, Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Agency, and more. 

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