The Hindu Lawyers Association hosted its Diwali reception on the theme of ‘Illuminating Access to Justice for All’ on Monday 6th November 2017 at Eversheds Sutherland in London. Among the speakers were Ian Gascoigne, Partner at Eversheds Sutherland specialising in dispute resolution and litigation; Sailesh Mehta, a leading barrister at Red Lion Chambers specialising in crime and regulatory issues and a founding member of the Bar Human Rights Committee and Ranjit Sond, President of the Society of Asian Lawyers, who is working with BMELawyers4Grenfell to ensure that justice and accountability is secured for those affected by the disaster. Guests were welcomed by Angeli Vadera, Chair of the Hindu Lawyers Association (HLA), and Roshni Patel, Vice Chair of the HLA, introduced the panel.
About the Hindu Lawyers Association
The Hindu Lawyers Association (HLA) was established in October 2011 to promote the interests of Hindu lawyers across the UK. The founding members of the organisation realised that there was a gap in the legal profession which did not cater for lawyers of a Hindu faith and/or provide access to the community. The Hindu Lawyers Association seeks to fill this gap through the promotion of diversity in the legal profession through representation on boards of key legal bodies and as an informal consultant for law firms which want to develop a diverse workforce. In addition, it set up a Pro Bono Unit which promotes access to justice to Hindu communities and provide ways in which these communities can improve the administration of the their groups. For further information visit hindulawyers.org
BMELawyers4Grenfell are an umbrella group comprising leading British BME lawyers and community justice groups – the Society of Black Lawyers, Association of Muslim Lawyers, Society of Asian Lawyers, Blaksox, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) UK and Operation Black Vote (OBV) – who have been working, severally and jointly, for over 30 years in the pursuit of justice in our communities. Its aim is to work with others to seek justice for survivors, families and the community. The object of this organisation is to ensure that justice and accountability is secured for those affected by the disaster.
On 12th September 2017, BMELawyers4Grenfell lodged an emergency application for judicial review, challenging the prime minister’s failure to appoint an ethnically diverse panel of advisors and the inquiry’s limited terms of reference. Deciding the matter on the papers, Mr Justice Jay on 13th September 2017 refused the application and refused permission for a further oral hearing of the matter, saying “these proceedings are in any event premature. The Inquiry has not yet determined the constitution of the panel. JR is not the correct mechanism for pre-empting due process.”
The Grenfell Inquiry is chaired by former High Court judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, who is supported by a legal team comprising barristers Richard Millet QC, Bernard Richmond QC, Kate Grange QC and solicitor Caroline Featherstone, alongside the secretary to the inquiry, Mark Fisher.