Selma James’s Introduction presents the parallel universe of UK jailhouse lawyers who, like their US counterparts, are leading a justice movement inside prisons.
UK prisoners, denied the vote, are campaigning for this fundamental right. A legal challenge brought by a jailhouse lawyer supported by a dedicated legal team won a European Court ruling in 2004 that a blanket ban on votes for prisoners violates their human rights. Yet the government, in opposing votes for prisoners, acts as if those of us who are prisoners are less human, and deny that prisons and what goes on in them also frame the kind of society we all inhabit.
The UK publication of Jailhouse Lawyers is an opportunity for prisoners’ campaign for the vote and other efforts for fundamental reforms to be more widely known and supported.
Mumia Abu-Jamal has once more offered us new ways of thinking about law, democracy, and power. -- Angela Y. Davis, from the Foreword
They learn the law, the procedures, the jargon, and mount an often formidable legal defence. In the process they carve out a life for themselves. -- Selma James, from the Introduction
LONDON: Thursday 30 June 4-5pm, House of Lords, Committee Room 4
Hosted by Lord Ramsbotham, Former HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
Speakers: -- Selma James, Crossroads Books editor, who wrote the introduction to the UK edition of Jailhouse Lawyers -- John Hirst, ex-prisoner, who won the European Court decision for prisoners’ right to vote -- Flo Krause, barrister, who represented John Hirst in the European Court -- Ian Macdonald QC, who wrote the letter to the US court on racism in Abu-Jamal’s trial signed by over 100 UK lawyers -- Emmanuel De Silva II, jailhouse lawyer -- Benjamin Zephaniah, poet, ex-prisoner -- Niki Adams, Legal Action for Women.
MANCHESTER: Friday 1 July 7pm, Friends Meeting House, (Room 2), Mount St
Manchester M2 5NS, with Selma James and Ian Macdonald, QC.
LIVERPOOL: Saturday 2 July, 2pm, News from Nowhere Bookshop, 96 Bold Street, Liverpool L1 4HY. Readings and informal conversation with Selma James.
All events wheelchair accessible, News from Nowhere event has accessible toilets in arts centre nearby.
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