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BARONESS HELENA KENNEDY
Born in Glasgow, is one of Britain's leading lawyers, famous for her work as an advocate for human rights and social justice. Her practice as a barrister has involved a number of prominent cases such as the Guildford Four appeal and the bombing of the Israeli embassy. She has also defended many battered women who have killed their abusive husbands and contributed to books on women's legal position in Britain. The latest book in her own name is Just Law: The changing face of justice - and why it matters to us all (2004).
Baroness Helena Kennedy holds a large number of appointments, including president of the Human Genetics Commission, honorary member of Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, president of the National Children's Bureau and chair of the British Council, which she has led through a period of dynamic change. From 1992 to 1997 she was also chair of Charter 88, the constitutional reform group, which persuaded the Labour government to make devolution and human rights legislation central planks of their manifesto, and from 1994 to 2002 she was chair of the innovative London International Festival of Theatre. She is a frequently used television hostess and journalist, and in 1987 she presented the TV drama Blind Justice, based on her own life and experiences.
The importance of knowledge and education is emphasized throughout Baroness Helena Kennedy's work, and the Helena Kennedy Foundation, of which she is president, is a registered charity supporting 'second chance' students to study on higher education courses at UK universities.