On the 9th of March 2017, BPP Amnesty International held a speaker event at the Holborn campus. About 40 students turned out for the talk, presented by Sultana Tafadar of No. 5 Chambers and titled “Human Rights at the Bar”.
Ms Tafadar specialises in human rights law, having done extensive representation for NGOs on various human rights issues. She is also experienced in terrorism and national security cases, having represented some high profile cases involving detainees. In the first part of the talk, she provided an insight into cases that she has done, such as R v Rahman and R v Jaman – emphasising that human rights is always an issue when it comes to national security cases. The main takeaway was that national security is never an adequate justification for the violation of human rights, which is prevalent among such controversial cases.
The real highlight of the event centred around the second part of the talk, in which she had an informal Q&A with BPP students. Ms Tafadar gave some words of advice to those intending to pursue a human rights career at the bar. She told students that no matter what their cultural or educational background may be, a career as a human rights lawyer is indeed possible provided that they are willing to work hard and persevere. Her background in NGO work also enlightened students on possible non-practising routes they may take in order to contribute to the promotion of human rights.
Ms Tafadar’s talk showed that the protection of human rights need not be an impossible task or an endless battle. Ultimately, we all have the ability to contribute, regardless of the career path we may end up in.
Student Director – BPP Amnesty International