The Thomas Hardye School

Human Rights Lawyer visits Thomas Hardye

Clive Stafford Smith

On Friday 23rd September, the school welcomed the human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, who spoke to sixth form students about his work representing people on death row and those detained in Guantanamo Bay. Two of his central themes were does prison work and is the death penalty ever justified? He also spoke about his charity Reprieve and its efforts in representing those who otherwise would be voiceless in society. The talk proved to be a lively, provocative and entertaining experience.

Clive spent nine years as a lawyer in the USA, working on civil rights issues including those sentenced to death. Clive has represented over 300 prisoners facing the death penalty in the USA. He prevented the death penalty in all but six cases (a 98% “victory” rate) and never took any payment from them. In 2001, Clive joined two other lawyers to sue for, previously denied, access to the detainees at the US military base at Guantánamo Bay.

In 2000 he was awarded the OBE for humanitarian services. In addition, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Lawyer Magazine (2003) and The Law Society. Clive was ranked 6th on the 2009 list of Britain’s Most Powerful Lawyers (The Times, July 2009) and ranked 3rd on the 2009 “High Profile” British lawyer list (The Lawyer, September 2009).

The Thomas Hardye School is incredibly fortunate to have had Clive speak to its students on a number of occasions and we are grateful for his giving his time for us.

September 2016