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18 June 2020

New Human Rights & Equality Group setup by Law Society

The Law Society of Northern Ireland has announced the establishment of a new Human Rights & Equality Group to promote justice and equality issues in the solicitor profession and the wider community. 

The new Group will be chaired by Maria McCloskey, an experienced Immigration Solicitor with the Children’s Law Centre and leading campaigner for the protection of refugee rights, will draw upon the expertise within the solicitor profession in Northern Ireland.

One of the priorities for the new Human Rights & Equality Group will be to promote equality and diversity within the solicitor profession and the community.

Commenting the President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, Rowan White said:

“The killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta by law enforcement officers has brought renewed attention to the blight of racism that remains endemic in many societies throughout the world.

We would be mistaken to think that racial prejudice is something that only happens “over there.”  We all of us know only too well that prejudice directed toward “the other” fuels hate crime in our own communities in Northern Ireland.  How should we respond?

While many in our community have chosen to give expression to their concerns by means of public protest, I believe that our profession can and should be seen to apply our skills as lawyers to these enduring challenges.

That is why today I am announcing that the Law Society of Northern Ireland is establishing a Human Rights & Equality Group and I am delighted that Maria McCloskey has agreed to Chair the new Group to look at the issues facing our community and profession.

We want to be a profession that is fully reflective of the community it serves.  While women Solicitors now make up the majority of our active membership, we need to do much more to open up our profession to those from other backgrounds so that we fully reflect the diversity of our community”. 



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