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The Race Relations Act @ 50

Events • Politics • Conference

Convenors: Dr Iyiola Solanke, University of Leeds and Mr Patrick Maddams, The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple

It is now 50 years since the introduction of the first Race Relations Act in 1965. Race relations in Britain have come a very long way since cases like the Scala Ballroom and the Smethwick by-election of 1964. There is much room for celebration – Britain is arguably the EU member state to have made the greatest strides towards racial equality in many professions – from the police to politics. Yet there is also plenty upon which to reflect: the last 50 years have included the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence. Police are 28 times more likely to stop and search black men: yet less than 3% of stops lead to an arrest. Employment agencies no longer accept ‘discriminatory vacancies’ but unemployment levels for Black Britons are much higher than their white peers – in 2011, 39.1% of black women aged 16-24 were unemployed. 2015 has offered a unique moment to reflect upon legal action to prevent and remedy racial discrimination, as well as think forward and consider what may need to be done to continue this work successfully until 2065.

A dinner for conference delegates will take place at Inner Temple on the evening before the conference, Wednesday 8 July, at 7pm. The guest speaker is The Rt Hon Lord Justice Laws.

In association with the conference, a public event will take place on the evening of 9 July on Racial Discrimination and Criminal Justice in the EU.

Speakers include:

Mr Paul Abbey, First Alliance, Finland
Professor Diamond Ashiagbor, School of Oriental and African Studies
Professor Catherine Barnard, University of Cambridge
Dame Jocelyn Barrow, Focus Consultancy
Mr Cengiz Barskanmaz, Humboldt University
Mr Michael Bates, Birmingham Community Law Centre
Dr Ama Biney, Fahamu
Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC, Bindmans LLP
Ms Rita Chadha RAMFEL
Ms Mary Coussey CBE
Mr Joseph Harker, The Guardian
Mr Stephen Keevash, Employment Tribunal, Leeds
Professor Charles Lawrence, University of Hawaii
Professor Mari Matsuda, University of Hawai’i
Professor Aileen McColgan, Kings College London
Lord Justice Moore-Bick, Court of Appeal
Mr Claude Moraes MEP, European Parliament
Dr Coln O'Cinneide, University College London
Baroness Onora O'Neill, CH, CBE, FBA, FRS, Equalities and Human Rights Commission
Professor Kumea Shorter-Gooden, University of Maryland
Dr Shirley Tate, University of Leeds
Ms Louise Whitfield, Deighton Pierce Glynn LLP

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