Political Wrongs & Human Rights: The Windrush Scandal & The Law

There was a sense of cautious encouragement on hearing the unreserved apology from the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, to the Windrush Generation on 19.03.2020.

A group of people who were wrongly detained, denied legal rights, threatened, and in many cases, wrongly deported by the UK Home Office. As the investigation into the Windrush Scandal continues, listen as our expert panel explore the British Scandal during a live panel discussion held at The Arts Club in autumn 2019.

Moderated by journalist and author; Afua Hirsch, the panel comprises award winning human rights lawyer; Richard Meeran, parliamentarian; Janet Daby MP, Guardian journalist; Amelia Gentleman and campaigner; Elwaldo Romeo.

Their discussion is followed by a performance of the ‘The Bitter Windrush Blues’, by David Neita, often regarded as the ‘People’s Lawyer’ and ‘People’s Poet’ for his representation of marginalised groups and individuals.

On The Windrush Review with thanks to David Neita

‘The Windrush Lessons Learned Review’, authored by Wendy Williams, is hot off the press and leaves no doubt that those dubbed ‘The Windrush Generation’, who had full legitimacy to be in the UK, were treated appallingly by their country. They faced gross injustices and indignities that were both ‘foreseeable and avoidable’.

The government has established a compensation scheme, led by Martin Forde QC, which has no upper limit for compensation pay out and yet, only slightly more than £60K has been awarded so far – a minuscule amount in relation to scale of the damage caused.

There appears to be a big gulf between the victims and the legal administrators, as well as an understandable underlying mistrust between the wronged and the wrongdoer.

When asked if all the review’s recommendations would be implemented, the Home Secretary responded ‘… I will come back to the House and give all the recommendations full consideration.’ This sentence is not as encouraging as the apology itself. ‘Consideration’ is not the same as ‘implementation’ and herein lies the challenge. How do we as a society ensure justice gets done and the implementations are complete and thorough?

In association with Leigh Day


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