Skip to main content

The Centre for Research on Race and Law - Strategic litigation: Anti-racism in the courtroom?

Venue: Birkbeck Clore Management Centre

There are times to stand outside the courtroom door and say 'this procedure is a farce, the legal system is corrupt, justice will never prevail in this land as long as privilege rules in the courtroom.'� There are times to stand in the courtroom and say, 'this is a nation of laws, laws recognising fundamental values of rights, equality and personhood.'� Sometimes, as Angela Davis did, there is a need to make both speeches in one day. (Mari Matsuda)

The Centre for Research on Race and Law presents this workshop examining anti-racist strategic litigation. Law has long been a pivotal means through which racial categories are produced and racialised people are oppressed. However, the law is also often a last resort for racialised people in need of protection from violence, and it can work to challenge some of the most blatant forms of racism. This workshop will explore the limits and possibilities of 'strategic' anti-racist litigation within legal systems which tend to reproduce rather than disrupt white supremacy. This theme is particularly pressing at time in which we are witnessing attempts to enhance executive power, for example in the wake of the Brexit vote in Britain and following the election of Trump in the US.

Gracie-Mae Bradley from Liberty and Against Borders for Children on the adequacy of the existing human rights and equality framework for challenging the discriminatory effects of immigration law, and the effects of a shift in advocacy away from broad-based anti-racism towards a narrower struggle for migrants' rights.

Ioannis Kalouzos from Global Legal Action Network on the International Criminal Court complaint against the Australian government's offshore detention of refugees.

Lewis Kett from Duncan Lewis Solicitors on the successfully challenge to solitary confinement in immigration detention.

Muhammad Rabbani from Cage on the privacy law challenge to broad search powers (specifically mobile and laptop passwords) under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act.

Josie Naughton, CEO of Help Refugees on the legal challenge to the government's implementation and closure of the Dubs Amendment Scheme.

Chai Patel from Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants on the discrimination law challenge to the rollout of the 'right to rent' requirements imposed on tenants and landlords.

Find out more and book you place here.

Find out more about the Centre for Research on Race and Law on Twitter.

Please note that latecomers to the event are not guaranteed entry. Please be advised that photographs may be taken at the event for use on the Birkbeck website and in Birkbeck marketing materials. By attending this event, you consent to Birkbeck photographing and using your image for these purposes.

By registering for this event you consent to your email address being added to relevant Birkbeck, University of London mailing lists. Your email address will not be shared with third-party organisations. If you would like to request your removal from our mailing list please contact

Contact name: