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
Commenting the President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, Rowan
“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