Sheffield Hallam University plans new legal centre

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A new centre for international justice promoting human rights and social justice is to be opened at Sheffield Hallam University in the new year.

The Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice will be based at the university’s £27 million Heart Of The Campus building off Collegiate Crescent.

It is named after Baroness Kennedy, a human rights campaigner and Labour peer, who praised the project while receiving an honorary doctorate.

She will return to Sheffield to open the centre on January 15.

The barrister said: “I am utterly thrilled to be named as patron of what is going to be a world class centre promoting justice around the world.”

Baroness Kennedy is an expert in human rights law, civil liberties and constitutional issues.

One of five children growing up in a challenging environment in Glasgow, Helena has overcome both class and sexism barriers.

Sital Dhillon, head of the university’s department of law and criminology which will house the new centre, said: “Helena was the natural choice to be patron of the new centre.

“She believes the university has a crucial role to play in developing the young lawyers, barristers and solicitors of the future, particularly with the centre’s strong record on human rights and social justice.”

The university’s law department has a particular expertise in human rights, which is offered as a new applied postgraduate course.

Baroness Kennedy has championed law reform for women, especially relating to sexual and domestic violence and developed the defence of Battered Women’s syndrome in the British courts.

She has been part of many prominent criminal cases, including the Brighton bombing attack on the British cabinet, the Guildford Four Appeal and the Michael Bettany espionage case.