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Austerity on Trial

LSE Department of Law and Just Fair Literary Festival event (with Matrix Chambers)

Does UK government policy on economic austerity breach international human rights law? In an innovative legal proceedings, the charges will be brought, and 'Austerity' defended, by a team of legal experts, backed by distinguished human rights and other specialist witnesses from the UK and around the world. Overseen by a leading barrister acting as judge, the trial will end with a verdict delivered by a jury of children and young people, as well as the audience, and a chance for questions to be posed to the expert witnesses on what the future holds.

Tim Frost is a non-executive director of Cairn Capital Group Limited, a full-service credit asset management firm. Prior to joining Cairn Capital he spent 15 years at JP Morgan, latterly as European head of credit sales, trading and research. Among other things he helped in the building of JP Morgan’s European credit derivatives business and served on JP Morgan’s European credit and rates executive committee. Tim is a governor of LSE.

Martin Howe is a barrister at 8 New Square, focussing on intellectual property, European Community law, data protection and commercial and public law. He is a member of the Coalition Government's Commission which has been set up to look into the case for a Bill of Rights.

Will Hutton is the principal of Hertford College, Oxford University. He is also the chair of the Big Innovation Centre at The Work Foundation – the most influential voice on work, employment and organisation issues in the UK. Will is a governor of LSE. He is a member of the Scott Trust board and a fellow of the Sunningdale Institute. He was the chair of the Commission on Ownership which delivered its findings in 2012. He also led the Public Sector Fair Pay Review, which published its final report in March 2011. Will’s books include The State We’re In (1996) and Them and Us: Changing Britain – Why we need a fair society (2010).

Karon Monaghan is a barrister at Matrix Chambers and principally specialises in equality and human rights law. he was an adviser to the government's Women and Equality Unit on the Discrimination Law Review which preceded the Equality Act 2010.

Ruth Porter is communications director at the Institute of Economic Affairs. She has worked in public policy and communications for nearly a decade. During this time she has represented UK businesses working in areas including software, energy and electronics. She studied politics and philosophy at the University of Warwick before moving to New Zealand, where she worked for the independent think tank, Maxim Institute. Ruth worked on the research team looking at a wide range of issues from social policy to tax reform. She co-authored a series of reports on education that won the Innovative Projects category of the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Awards and edited the book Pursuing social justice in New Zealand, which was launched by New Zealand's Governor-General.

Magdalena Sepulveda is the United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. She is a Chilean lawyer who holds a Ph.D in International Human Rights Law from Utrecht University in the Netherlands; an LL.M in human rights law from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom and a post graduate diploma in comparative law from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. She has worked as a researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights, as a staff attorney at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and as the co-director of the Department of International Law and Human Rights of the United Nations-mandated University for Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica. She also served as a consultant to the Division of International Protection of UNHCR and to the Norwegian Refugee Council in Colombia. More recently she has been research director at the International Council on Human Rights Policy in Geneva and Associate Research Fellow at the Norwegian Center for Human Rights.

Hugh Tomlinson is a barrister and founding member of Matrix Chambers. He has a wide-ranging practice in both private and public law. He is a noted specialist in media and information law including defamation, confidence, privacy and data protection. His practice also includes advisory work and litigation in the freedom of information field.

Polly Toynbee is a British journalist and writer, and has been a columnist for The Guardian since 1998. She was formerly BBC social affairs editor, columnist and associate editor of the Independent, co-editor of the Washington Monthly and a reporter and feature writer for the Observer

This event forms part of LSE's 5th Space for Thought Literary Festival|, taking place from Tuesday 25 February - Saturday 2 March 2013, with the theme 'Branching Out'.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSElitfest


Judge: Hugh Tomlinson QC | talks
Prosecution: Karon Monaghan QC | talks
Defence: Martin Howe QC | talks
Tim Frost | talks
Will Hutton | talks
Ruth Porter | talks
Magdalena Sepulveda | talks


Date and Time:

1 March 2013 at 6:00 pm


3 hours



Sheikh Zayed Theatre
New Academic Building
London School of Economics and Political Science

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Organised by:

London School of Economics & Political Science
See other talks organised by London School of Economics & Political Science...




Available from:

All events in the Literary Festival are free and open to all, but an e-ticket is required. Tickets will be available to book via LSE E-Shop after 10am on Monday 4 February 2013.

For any queries email events@lse.ac.uk.

Additional Information:

From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event, or on our website lse.ac.uk/events

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