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Shadow Secretary of State for Brexit delivers guest lecture at Leeds Beckett


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Shadow Secretary of State for Brexit, Sir Keir Starmer QC MP, has delivered a public guest lecture at Leeds Beckett.

The event, took place on Thursday 27 April at the University’s Rose Bowl building at city campus and saw over 350 guests attend, with the event also being live-streamed on Facebook.

Both a politician and barrister, Keir was elected as Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras in May 2015. He was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet, taking up the role as Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the EU in October 2016. He has lived in Kentish Town for more than 15 years

Dean of Leeds Law School, Deveral Capps, said: “We were delighted to welcome Keir to Leeds Beckett University to deliver a Law in Practice lecture about Britain after Brexit.  The event was a wonderful success and his answers to questions from the audience about Brexit and the future relationship clear and helpful.   Everyone enjoyed his talk immensely."   


Keir Starmer outlined his plans for a post-Brexit Britain

To further strengthen their ties with institutions in the local area, the Leeds Beckett Schools and Colleges Liaison Team invited a number of Law and Politics students from New College Pontefract and Notre Dame VI College to attend a session prior to the guest lecture.

Students took part in taster sessions related to both Law and Politics, including a workshop based around an expired legal case and a highly topical lecture that focuses on exploring the long and at times difficult relationship that the UK has had with the EU. Students then took a tour of the Leeds Beckett Mock Courtroom and had the opportunity to meet Keir and ask him some questions before attending the guest lecture itself. 


After his talk, Keir took questions from a packed lecture theatre

Prior to becoming an MP, Keir was a human rights lawyer, co-founding Doughty Street Chambers in 1990 and conducting cases in the International Criminal Court and the European Court of Human Rights. He also worked to help eradicate the death penalty in a number of countries (mainly in the Caribbean and Africa) and continues to work closely on a voluntary basis with the Death Penalty Project, most recently (October 2016) seeking to end the death penalty in Taiwan.

From 2002-2007 Keir worked as human rights advisor to the Policing Board in Northern Ireland, monitoring compliance of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) with the Human Rights Act, while in 2008 he was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Head of the Crown Prosecution Service for England and Wales, a role he held until 2013.

After stepping down as DPP, Keir worked with Doreen Lawrence and victims’ groups to draft a victims’ law, which was included in Labour’s 2015 election manifesto. Keir continues to be a patron of the Victims’ Forum (a group dedicated to championing victims’ rights) and introduced a Private Members Bill (the Victims of Crime etc. Bill) in 2015.

He studied law at Leeds University and St Edmund Hall, Oxford, and has published several books including Three Pillars of Liberty: Political Rights and Freedoms in the UK (1996) and European Human Rights Law (1999). 

View a selection of social media posts relating to the guest lecture:


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