Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC

Called to Bar:
Appointed to silk:
Practice areas:
BA (Cantab), LLM (Harvard)
French (working knowledge)

Lord Lester QC is recognised by Chambers UK 2015 as a Senior Statesman in Administrative & Public law and Civil Liberties, with commentary that he is an “exceptionally well-regarded advocate who has over the course of his lengthy career helped develop and shape the field of public law. He remains a highly significant figure at the Bar with substantial influence.” He “occupies a position of eminence in the field of human rights, having pursued cases at the forefront of the profession for more than four decades.”

The Legal 500 2014 ranks Lord Lester QC in Administrative & Public law, (“widely admired”), and Civil Liberties & Human Rights (“highly accomplished”).

Lord Lester QC was named in The Times Law 100 2009 listing the most influential lawyers in Britain. Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC, a “leading public and constitutional lawyer, is still changing the law and pushing the boundaries of reform”.

Professional Experience

Professional and public experience:

  • Former Recorder South Eastern Circuit 1987 and Deputy High Court Judge
  • Special Adviser to the Home Secretary The Rt. Hon. Roy Jenkins MP, with responsibility for policy advice on human rights, 1974-76
  • Special Adviser to Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights for Northern Ireland, 1975-77
  • Board of Overseers of University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1977-89
  • UK legal expert on EEC Commission’s Network Committee on Equal Pay and Sex Discrimination, 1983-93
  • Chairman, Institute for Public Policy Research’s Judiciary Working Group on “A British Bill of Rights”, 1990
  • Hansard Society Commission on “Women at the Top” (Report, 1990)
  • Became a Life Peer 1993
  • President, INTERIGHTS (International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights) (1982-2014)
  • Council of JUSTICE 1977-2013
  • Editor-in-Chief, Butterworths’ Human Rights Cases
  • Member Editorial Board Public Law
  • Editorial Board, International Journal of Discrimination and the Law
  • Advisory Board of Institute of European Public Law, Hull University
  • Board of Directors, Salzburg Seminar, 1996-2000
  • Co-Chair of the Executive Board of the European Roma Rights Centre, Budapest 1999-2001
  • Member of Legal Advisory Committee of the European Roma Rights Centre, Budapest 1999-
  • President Liberal Democrat Lawyers Association
  • Co-founder and former Chairman, The Runnymede Trust (1990-1993)
  • Governor, British Institute of Human Rights
  • Former Chairman and member of Board of Governors James Allen’s Girls School 1984-1994
  • Governor, Westminster School, 1998-2001
  • Chair, National Committee for the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1998
  • Member, Advisory Committee, Centre for Public Law, University of Cambridge, 1999-
  • Member, Executive Board, Open Society Institute Justice Initiative, 2000-
  • Independent Adviser to the Justice Secretary on certain aspects of constitutional reform, 2007-2008
  • Director, Odysseus Trust



House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities Sub-Committee E (Law and Institutions); rejoined 2004-2008


Joint Select Committee on Human Rights; rejoined 2005-


Sub-Committee on the 1996 Inter-Governmental Conference


Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Genocide Prevention


UK Bill of Rights Commission

Membership of Professional Bodies, Honours and Awards:

  • Bencher, Lincoln’s Inn, 1985
  • Queen’s Counsel, Bar of Northern Ireland (1984)
  • Member, Irish Bar
  • Honorary visiting Professor of Law and Honorary Fellow, University College, London
  • Honorary Doctorate, Open University
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Ulster (1998)
  • Honorary Doctorate, South Bank University (1998)
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Durham (2001)
  • Liberty Human Rights Lawyer of the Year Award (1997)
  • Honorary Life Fellow of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies (1998)
  • Honorary Member, American Law Institute
  • Honorary Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2002)
  • Member, American Philosophical Society (2003)
  • Adjunct Professor of Law at University College Cork, Ireland (2006)
  • Vice President of English PEN (2006)
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Stirling (2006)
  • The Judges Award For a lifetime of achievement in the service of human rights, Liberty/JUSTICE Human Rights Awards (2007)
  • Honorary Member of the Society of Legal Scholars (2008)
  • Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur (2009)

Public Law and Human Rights

Anthony Lester QC is widely recognised as a leading silk in the fields of administrative and public law, civil liberties and human rights and employment. In December 2007, Lord Lester QC was given a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the Human Rights Awards 2007, sponsored jointly by Liberty and JUSTICE, for his contribution to the promotion of Human Rights in the UK. The awards were announced on 10th December 2007.

Lord Lester has for many years been recognised as a leading silk in administrative and public law, and human rights, and has been described as “one of the most knowledgeable and authoritative figures in the field of human rights”. He campaigned for thirty years to make the European Human Rights Convention directly enforceable in British courts and introduced two Private Members’ Bills on the subject which became models for the Human Rights Act 1998. He was also the architect of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and Race Relations Act 1976. He campaigned successfully for the Civil Partnership Act and the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act, the Equality Act 2010 and the current Defamation Act 2013.

Current and recent work

Interesting cases include:

European Court of Justice:

Macarthys Ltd v Smith [1980] ECR 1275

Worringham v Lloyds Bank Ltd [1981] ECR 767

Jenkins v Kingsgate (Clothing Productions) Ltd [1981] ECR 911

Burton v British Rail [1982] ECR 555

Roberts v Tate & Lyle Industries Ltd [1986] ECR 703

Johnston v Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary [1986] ECR 1651

Newstead v H.M. Treasury [1988] ICR 332

R v Secretary of State for Social Security ex p. EOC [1992]  ECR I- 4297

Thomas v Chief Education Officer and Another [1993] QB 747

Enderby v Frenchay Health Authority and Secretary of State for Health [1993] ECR I –5535

Atkins v Wrekin District Council [1996] ECR I - 3633

FIA v EC Commission (unreported)

Jämställdhetsombudsmannen Örebro Läns Lansting  C-236/98 ECJ, Judgment 30 March 2000

Allonby v Accrington & Rossendale College and Lecturing Services [2004] IRLR 224 ECJ

European Court of Human Rights:

Cyprus v Turkey (2014) 59 EHRR 16

Eweida & Others v UK  48420/10 36516/10 51671/10 59842/10 - HEJUD [2013] ECHR 37 (15 January 2013) 

Ireland v The United Kingdom 2 EHRR 25 (1976)

Times Newspaper Ltd v The United Kingdom 2 EHRR 245 (1979)

Silver & Others v The United Kingdom 3 EHRR 475 (1980)

Lithgow & Others v The United Kingdom 8 EHRR 329 (1986)

Boyle & Rice v The United Kingdom 10 EHRR 425 (1988)

Times Newspapers v United Kingdom (No 2) 14 EHRR 229 (1992)

Fayeds v United Kingdom 18 EHRR 393 (1994)

Tolstoy v United Kingdom 20 EHRR 442 (1995)

Laskey, Brown and Jaggard 24 EHRR 62 (1997)

National and Provincial Building Society & others v United Kingdom 25 EHRR 127 (1997)

Tinnelly & Sons v United Kingdom; McElduff v United Kingdom, 27 EHRR 249 (1998)

Matthews v United Kingdom [2002] ECHR 592

Devlin v United Kingdom [2001] ECHR [2002]; IRLR 155

Former King of Greece and Others v Greece [2001] 33 EHRR 21

Adali v Turkey [2002] ECHR 299

Kyprianou v Cyprus (App. No. 73797/01) Grand Chamber judgment of 15 December 2005

Xenides-Arestis v Turkey, 22 December 2005 (application no. 46347/99) 

Blecic v Croatia (App. No. 59532/00) Judgment of 8 March 2006

D.H. & Others v The Czech Republic, ECHR Grand Chamber, 13 November 2007 (application no. 57325/00)

Times Newspapers Ltd (Nos. 1 and 2) v The United Kingdom (applications 3002/03 and 23676/03)

Demopoulos and ors v Turkey (App. No. 46113/99) 1 March 2010

Max Rufus Mosley v UK ECHR (App. No. 48009/08) ongoing

Farhad Aliyev v Azerbaijan (App. No. 37138/06) 9 November 2010

Soros v France (App. No. 50425/06) 6 October 2011

Rafik Aliyev v Azerbaijan (App. No. 45875/06) 6 December 2011

Privy Council:

Ong Ah Chuan v Public Prosecutor of Singapore [1981] AC 684

Endell Thomas v Attorney-General of Trinidad & Tobago [1982] AC 113

Attorney-General of Trinidad & Tobago v McLeod [1984] 1 WLR 522

Lopinot v Attorney-General of Trinidad & Tobago [1988] 1 AC 45

Richards v R [1992] 3 WLR 928

Rees v Crane [1994] AC 173

R v Secretary of State for Employment, ex p. EOC [1995] 1 AC 1

La Compagnie Sucrière de Bel Ombre Ltée and Others v Government of Mauritius (1995) (unreported)

Ming Pao Newspapers v AG for Hong Kong [1996] 3 WLR 272

Cable and Wireless (Dominica) Ltd v Marpin Telecoms and Broadcasting Company Ltd, 30 October 2000 (unreported)

Ghosh v General Medical Council [2001] 1 WLR 1915

The Gleaner Company Limited and Dudley Stokes v. Eric Anthony Abrahams [2004] 1 AC 628; [2003] UKPC 55

Bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Port Louis and Others v. Suttyhudeo Tengur and Others [2004] UKPC 9

Mohit v Director of Public Prosecutions of Mauritius [2006] UKPC 20

Supreme Court

R (Hodkin and Church of Scientology Religious Education College Inc.) v Registrar General for Births, Deaths and Marriages [2013] UKSC 77 

Al Rawi and others v Security Service [2011] UKSC 34

House of Lords:

London Borough of Ealing v Race Relations Board [1972] AC 342

Charter v Race Relations Board [1973] AC 868

O’Brien v Sim-Chem Ltd [1980] 1 WLR 1011

Science Research Council v Nasse [1980] AC 303

R v Barnet L.B.C. [1983] 3 WLR 16

Eastleigh Borough Council v Walsh [1985] 1 WLR 525

Rainey v Greater Glasgow Health Board [1987] 1 AC 224

AG v The Guardian Newspapers [1987] 1 WLR 1248

Hayward v Cammell Laird [1988] I AC 894

R v Secretary of State for Social Services, ex p. Wellcome Foundation [1988] 1 WLR 635

Pickstone v Freemans plc [1988] I AC 66

Leverton v Clwyd County Council [1989] AC 706

AG v Guardian Newspapers [1989] 3 WLR 776

R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex p. Read [1988] AC 1014

EOC v Birmingham City Council [1989] AC 1155

James v Eastleigh Borough Council [1990] 2 AC 751

London Boroughs Transport Committee v Freight Transport Association Ltd and Others [1991] 1 WLR 828

Brind and Others v Secretary of State for Home Department [1991] 1 AC 696

Pepper v Hart [1993] AC 593

Airedale NHS Trust v Bland [1993] AC 789

Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Limited [1993] AC 534

R v Inland Revenue Commissioners, ex p. Matrix Securities Ltd [1994] 1 WLR 334

R v Secretary of State for Employment, ex p. EOC [1995] 1 AC 1

R v Chief Constable of Sussex ex p. International Traders Ferry Limited [1999] 2 AC 418

Nagarajan v London Regional Transport [2000] 1 AC 501

Reynolds v Times Newspapers [1999] 3 WLR 1010 (HL)

R v DPP ex p Kebeline [1999] 3 WLR 972

Holland v Lampen-Wolfe [2000] 1 WLR 1573

Turkington and others (practising as McCartan Turkington Breen) v Times Newspapers Ltd, [2001] 2 AC 277

R v Immigration officer at Prague Airport and Another (Respondents) ex parte European Roma Rights Centre and Others (Appellants) [2004] UKHL 55; Times December 10, 2004

English Court of Appeal:

Ghani v Jones [1970] 1 QB 693

Edwards v Sogat [1971] Ch. 354

R v Gaming Board for Great Britain [1970] 2 QB 417

Cumings v Birkenhead Corporation [1972] Ch 12

Shields v E. Coomes (Holdings) Ltd [1978] WLR 1408

Clay Cross (Quarry Services) Ltd v Fletcher [1978] WLR 1429

Ministry of Defence v Jeremiah [1980] QB 87

Macarthys Ltd v Smith [1980] ICR 854

Skyrail Oceanic Ltd v Coleman [1981] ICR 854

Worringham v Lloyds Bank Ltd [1982] 1 WLR 841

Duke v Reliance Systems [1988] QB 108

R v Secretary of State for Social Services, ex p. Wellcome Foundation Ltd [1987] 1 WLR 1166

Bromley v H & J Quick Ltd [1988] ICR 623

James v Eastleigh Borough Council [1989] 3 WLR 123

R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex p. Brind [1990] 1 All ER 469

R v General Medical Council, ex p. Colman [1990] 1 All ER 489

AG v Newspaper Publishing plc and Others, The Times, 28 November 1990

Re Central Television Plc and Others [1991] 1 WLR 4

R v Greenwich London Borough Council, ex p. Lovelace [1991] 1 WLR 506

Enderby v Frenchay Health Authority and Secretary of State for Health [1992] IRLR 15

R v Monopolies & Mergers Commission and another, ex p. South Yorkshire Transport and Another [1992] 1 WLR 291

R v Independent Television Commission, ex p. TVNI Limited, The Times, 30 December 1991

Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd [1992] 3 WLR 28

EOC v Birmingham City Council [1992] 91 LGR 14

R v Secretary of State for Employment, ex p. EOC [1993] 1 All ER 1002

R v Northern District Council [1993] 3 WLR 776

R v Monopolies and Mergers Commission, ex p. National House Building Council, The Times, 25 January 1994

North Yorkshire County Council v Ratcliffe [1994] ICR 810

R v Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, ex p. P [1995] 1 WLR 845

Kiam v Neill (No 2) [1996] EMLR 493

R v Corporation of London, ex p. Matson [1997] 1 WLR 765

R v Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority ex p. Diane Blood (1997) 2 FLR 806

R v Secretary of State for Social Security ex p. T [1997] COD 480

A G v George Blake (as amicus curiae), [1998] 2 WLR 85

St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust v S [1998] 3 WLR 936

Reynolds v Times Newspapers Ltd [1998] 3 WLR 862

St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust v S [1999] Fam 26

French v Barclays Bank Plc [1999] 27 IRLR 646

Woolgar v Chief Constable of Sussex Police and another [1999] 3 All ER 604

Porter v Magill; Weeks v Magill [2000] 2 WLR 1420

R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Montana, Times Law Report 5 December 2000

Skrine v Euromoney Publications plc & ors [2002] EMLR 15

Loutchansky v Times Newspapers Ltd & another (No2) [2002] QB 783

London Regional Transport & London Underground v Mayor of London & Transport for London [2001] EWCA Civ 1491; [2003] EMLR 4

R v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs & Transport for London ors ex parte Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace [2001] EWCA Civ 1847 1847; TLR 25/2/2002

Reynolds & Times Newspapers [2001] 2 AC 127

Loutchansky v Times Newspapers Ltd [2002] 2 WLR 640

International Transport Roth Gmbh v Home Secretary, [2002] EWCA Civ 158; [2003] QB 728

Rowland v Environment Agency [2003] EWCA Civ 1 885

R (Corner House Research) v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry  [2005] EWCA Civ 192

English High Court:

Rothwell v APEX [1976] ICR 211

Air Canada v Secretary of State for Trade [1981] 3 All ER 336

R v Hackney London Borough Council, ex p. Gamper [1985] 1 WLR 1229

R v Broadcasting Complaints Commission [1985] 2 WLR 1025

R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex p. Benwell [1985] QB 554

R v London Regional Passengers Committee, The Times, 23 May 1985

Barretts & Baird (Wholesale) Ltd v Institution of Professional Civil Servants [1987] IRLR 3

R v Camden LBC, ex p. Times Newspapers [1987] IRLR 129

R v Secretary of State for Social Services, ex p. Clark [1988] IRLR 22

R v Lewisham LBC, ex p. Shell UK Ltd [1988] 1 All ER 938

R v Civil Service Appeal Board, ex p. Bruce [1988] ICR 649

R v London Borough of Greenwich, ex p. Lovelace [1980] 1 All ER 353

R v W and Others (Wards) (Publication of Information) [1989] 1 FLR 246

R v Horseferry Road Stipendiary Magistrates ex parte Siadatan [1991] 1 QB 260

R v Chief Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrates ex parte Choudhury [1991] 1 QB 429 

R v Secretary of State for Defence, ex p. EOC [1992] COD 276

R v Birmingham City Council, ex p. EOC (No 2) [1992] 156 LG.Rev.1026; [1992] 136 SJ.LB 96

R v Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, ex p. P [1994] 1 All ER 80

Broadmoor Hospital v Hyde, The Times, 18 March 1994 QBD

R v HM Customs and Excise, ex p. Eurotunnel [1995] COD 291

R v Independent Television Commission ex p. Church of Scientology [1996] COD 443

R v Federation of Communication Services Ltd ex p. Kubis [1998] COD 5 R v Video Appeals Committee of British Board of Film Classification ex parte British Board of Film Classification Times Law Reports 7 June 2000

R v Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary, ex parte B, Queen’s Bench Division, 5 April 2000 [2001] 1 AER 562

R v London Underground Ltd and Another, Ex parte Transport for London TLR 2/8/01

People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran v Secretary of State for the Home Dept. (2002) ACD 99

Ealing London Borough Council v Audit Commission [2002]; EWHC 2852 (Admin)

R (Age UK) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills [2009] EWHC 2336 (Admin)

Court of Appeal,  Northern Ireland:

Turkington (practising as McCartan Turkington Breen) v Times Newspapers Ltd [1998] NI 358

Family Planning Association Ireland, Re an Application for Judicial Review [2004] NICA 39

Convery v The Irish News Limited [2008] NICA 14

Court of Appeal, Trinidad and Tobago:

Smith and the Attorney-General v L.J. Williams Ltd [1982]

High Court of Borneo, Sabah, Malaysia:

Tun Datuk Haji Mohammad Adnan Robert, Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Sabah and Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan v Tun Datu Haji Mustapha Bin Datu Harun [1987] Commonwealth Law Reports

Court of Final Appeal, Hong Kong:

FS v Koon CFA Judgment [2008]

Cheng Kar-Shun v Hon Li Fung-Ying et al [2009] HKCFI 875

Court of Appeal, Hong Kong:

Her Majesty’s Attorney General in and for the United Kingdom v South China Morning Post Limited [1987]

Lee Yin Kee v The Chinese University of Hong Kong [2010] HKCA 218

High Court, Hong Kong:

EOC for Hong Kong v Director of Education [2001] HKCFI 654 22 June 2001

Court of Appeal, Singapore:

Ex p. Teo Soh Lung [1988]

High Court, Seychelles:

Cable & Wireless (Seychelles) v Minister of Finance and Communications [1997]

Other relevant experience

Lectures and Colloquia:

“National Security, Press Freedom and Privacy: Striking the Balance”, Keynote Address, Meeting of the Inter-American Press Association, Barbados, April 2014.

“Free Speech Today”, Lecture in memory of Marek Nowicki, Warsaw University, 18 February 2014.

“Tackling Racial Discrimination Effectively”, Lecture in memory of Marek Nowicki, Central European University, Budapest, 13 November 2013.

“Two Cheers for the First Amendment”, Annual Convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Washington DC, 8 August 2013. 

“Free Speech, Reputation and Media Intrusion. British Law Reform and its implications for Hong Kong and beyond”, lecture at Hong Kong University Law School, 2 November 2012.

“Multiculturalism and Free Speech”, Lecture for 17th Commonwealth Law Conference, Hyderabad, 8th February 2011.

Lecture at Suzhou University Law School, China on “Multiculturalism and Free Speech”, May 2010.

Keynote lecture given at University of Copenhagen 21 March 2009: “The European Court of Human Rights after 50 years”.

Discrimination Law Conference 18 January 2008: "What we need from a Single Equality Bill: Issues for Consideration".

Article for DLA Briefing based on keynote speech at the TUC.

"Counter-Terrorist Measures, Human Rights and Multiculturalism in the United Kingdom", background paper for Madrid Conference, 20 September 2006.

"Bringing Fundamental Rights Home: The Impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 on the United Kingdom", paper of Human Rights Conference Mauritius, 22 April 2006.

"Now we are 5 - the Human Rights Act Five Years On", ALBA Lecture, 28 Sept 2005.

"The New Equality and Human Rights Commission", Liberty Conference, 18 Nov 2005.

"Giving Domestic Effect to Convention Rights: The Impact of the HRA 1998 on the British Legal System", Cyprus Human Rights Lecture, Oct 2005.

“New Labour’s Equity Laws:  Some are more equal than others”.  Stonewall Lecture (2004).

“The Constitutional Implications of Ouster Clauses”:  ALBA Lecture (2004).

“The Human Rights Act 1998:  A Moon for Mutable Lampless Men”:  Annual Lecture, Lunar Society, (2003).

Joint-Organiser, Salzburg Seminar on the Personal Responsibility of Judges, Salzburg (1998).

General Rapporteur, Council of Europe 8th International Colloquy on the European Convention on Human Rights, Budapest (1995).

International Judicial Colloquia on Human Rights Law: Bangalore (1988); Harare (1989); Banjul (1990); Abuja (1991); Oxford (1992); Bloemfontein (1993); Guyana (1996). Bangalore (1998).

F.A. Mann Lecture (1983), Lincoln’s Inn, London; Samuel Rubin Lecture (1987), Columbia Law School; Rickman John Godlee Lecture (1992), University College London; Street Lecture (1993), University of Manchester; Paul Sieghart Lecture (1994), British Institute of Human Rights; Lionel Cohen Lecture (1994), Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Tom Olsen Lecture (1994), St. Bride’s Church, London; Lord Fletcher Memorial Lecture (1995), Law Society, London; Inaugural Stephen Lawrence Lecture (2000), Tower Hamlets, London; Thomas More Lecture (2000), Lincoln’s Inn, London; Denning Society Lecture (2000), Lincoln’s Inn, London, Help the Aged annual Lecture, London (2001); Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, series of Lectures (2002).   


“Two Cheers for the First Amendment”, Harvard Law and Policy Review, 20 January 2014. 

"Free Speech, Reputation and Media Intrusion: British Law Reform and its Implications for Hong Kong and Beyond', Hong Kong Law Journal, vol 42, Part 3, 2012. 

“The Right to Offend”, Essays for Nicolas Bratza (2012)

Co-editor with Lord Pannick QC and Javan Herberg QC, “Human Rights: Law and Practice”, 3rd edition, London, Butterworths, 2009 

"Extending the Equality Duty to Religion, Conscience and Belief: proceed with Caution, Opinion" - European Human Rights Law Review, Issue 5 2008, Anthony Lester and Paola Uccellari

"Citizenship and the Constitution" - Political Quarterly Vol 79, Issue 3, 2008

"Citizenship and the Constitution" - Halsbury's Essays Centenary Collection, 2007

"Tolley's Discrimination Law", Chapter 1 - Overview, 2007

Chapter for "Changing Constitution" 6th Edition: "Human Rights and the British Constitution", with Kate Beattie, pp 59-83.

Index on Censorship, "Terrorism and the Chilling of Freedom of Political Speech", 5 March 2007 = Title: Redifining Terror vol 23 No. 2 2007: pp103-107.

Article for House Magazine "Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Bill".

"Do we need a written constitution?" House Magazine debate. 27.6.06 published in House Magazine 19.60.06 as "The new inalienable truths?"

"The New Commission for Equality and Human Rights" for publication in Public Law, Summer 2006 (written with Kate Beattie).

"Risking Torture", written with Kate Beattie, European Human Rights Law Review, Issue 6 2005, pp565-571.

"Free speech, religious freedom and the offence of blasphemy" - chapter for Penguin Book - PEN.

"Equality and Human Rights Commission Worthy of the Name" - Article for Journal of Law and Society and book Human Rights Act: A Success Story?, Anthony Lester and Lydia Clapinska, edited by Luke Clements and Philip A Thomas, Blackwell Publishing.

"Equality: Law Reform Now" - Article for ELA Briefing Vol 12, Number 2, 2 March 2005.

Article for VERDICT Magazine, Anthony Lester and Alison Hayes: Michaelmas 2004 "Gay Marriage: I Pronounce you Husband and Husband".

Article of Bangalore Principles for Festschrift for Soli Sorabjee SC, February 2005.

“Free Speech, Religious Freedom and the Offence of Blasphemy” in Freedom of Expression is No Offence, edited by Lisa Appignanesi, Penguin, December 2005

“Human Rights and the British Constitution”:  Chapter for The Changing Constitution Fifth Edition [2004]

“Parliamentary Scrutiny of Human Rights “:  International Bar News, Sept 2004-12-24

“Beyond the Powers of Parliament”:  Judicial Review, [2004] pp 95-96 Vol 9, issue 2

“Brown v. Board of Education Overseas”:  Paper for American Philosophical Society, given in Philadelphia, 23 April 2004, published in Proceedings

“Chapter of book “Roy Jenkins:  a Retrospective” – Andrew Adonis and Keith Thomas Ed.  – “Working with Roy 74-78:  The Home Office Again”, 2004.

“The Human Rights Act 1998:  Five Years On”:  Annual Law Reform Lecture, 25.11.03 (text saved) and published in EHRLR issue 3, 2004

“With Great Respect and Deference”, Essay, Judicial Review in the New Millennium, 2003, Sweet & Maxwell

Edited with David Pannick QC, “Human Rights: Law and Practice”, 2nd Edition, London, Butterworths, 2004

“The Use of Ministerial Powers Without Parliamentary Authority: The Ram Doctrine”, Public Law, Autumn 2003

“The Magnetism of the Human Rights Act 1998”, lecture for Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, lecture tour, April 2002: Judicial Law Review [2002] pp 179-198

“Parliamentary Scrutiny of Legislation under the Human Rights Act 1998”, lecture for Victoria University, Wellington, European Human Rights Law Review, No 4, 2002 

(With Mariann Meier Wang and Kishali Pinto Jayawardena) Chapter on “The European Convention on Human Rights and Media Law” for The Yearbook of Copyright and Media Law [2001/2002], pp343-354

“Thirty years On: The East African Asians Revisited”, [2002] Spring issue, Public Law, pp52-72

“Developing Constitutional Principles of Public Law”, [2001] Winter issue, Public Law, pp684-694

“Judicial Protection of Human Rights in the Commonwealth”, [2001] Vol 1, No 1, Commonwealth Law & Legal Education Journal

“Equality & Law: Past, Present and Future” [2001] Spring Issue, Public Law, pp77-96

“Interpreting Statues under the Human Rights Act”, [2000] Statute Law Review, Vol 20, No 3, pp218-229

Chapter on “Human Rights and the British Constitution” for The Changing Constitution, [2000] Fourth Edition, pp89-110, UCL editors Prof J Jowell and Prof D Oliver

“Human Rights as Our Constitutional Birthright”, [2000], Runnymede Bulletin

(With David Pannick QC) “The Impact of the Human Rights Act on Private Law: The Knight’s Move”  [2000] Law Quarterly Review

“New European Equality Measures” [2000] Winter issue, Public Law

“Interpreting Statutes under the Human Rights Act’  [1999] Statute Law Review, Volume 20,  No 3, 218 – 229

(With Natalia Schiffrin), ‘The European Convention on Human Rights and Media Law’, [1999] Yearbook of Copyright and Media Law, p353

“Free Speech as a Constitutional Right: Home thoughts from Abroad” in ‘Common Law, Common Values, Common Rights: Essays on our Common Heritage by Distinguished British and American Authors’, West Group [2000]

“Challenges and Enigmas: The Human Rights Act 1998” [1999] Judicial Review 171-176

“From Legislation to Integration?  Race Relations in Britain”, Chapter in ‘The Politics of the Race Relations Act 1976’, by Anwar, Roach and Sohndi, November 1999.

(Edited with David Pannick QC) "Human Rights Law and Practice", (London: Butterworths, 1999)

"The Challenge of Bangalore: Making Human Rights a Practical Reality" [1999] EHRLR 1-20

“The Impact of the Human Rights Act on Public Law” – Proceedings of Conference, University of Cambridge Centre for Public Law – Constitutional Reform in the UK: Practice & Principles, (1998) pp 105-107

“The Art of the Possible: Interpreting Statutes Under the Human Rights Act” (1998) European Human Rights Law Review 665-675

“Human Rights and the Rule of Law: Memories and Reflections” (1997) 23 Commonwealth Law Bulletin 1237-1249

“UK Acceptance of the Strasbourg Jurisdiction: What Really Went On In 1965” (1988) Public Law 237-253

“From Legislation to Integration: Twenty Years of the Race Relations Act” in Tessa  Blackstone, Bhikhu Parekh and Peter Sanders, Race Relations in Britain: A Developing  Agenda (Routledge: London, 1998)

“Universality versus Subsidiarity: A Reply” (1988) European Human Rights Law Review 73-81

“Making Discrimination Law Effective: Old Barriers and New Frontiers” (1997) 2 International Journal of Discrimination Law 167-181

“First Steps towards a Constitutional Bill of Rights” (1997) European Human Rights Law Review 124-31. Also published in (1997) Employer’s Law Briefing

(With Bob Hepple et al) “Improving Equality Law: The Options” (1997), Runnymede Trust/JUSTICE

“The Politics of the Race Relations Act 1976” (1997), Runnymede Trust

(With Natalia Schiffrin) “The European Human Rights Convention and Media Law” (1996) Year Book of Media and Entertainment Law 299-316

Co-editor, Halsbury’s Laws of England (4th ed., reissue 1996). Volume on Constitutional Law and Human Rights

“Government Compliance with International Human Rights Law: a New Year’s Legitimate Expectation” (1996) Public Law 187-189

“The Georgetown Conclusions on the Effective Protection of Human Rights” (1996) Public Law 562-566

“Discrimination Law in 1996” (1996) 65 Equal Opportunities Review 25-26

“The Impact of European Human Rights Law” (1996) Judicial Review 21-28

“The European Convention in the New Architecture of Europe” (1996) Public Law 5-10

(With Natalia Schiffrin) “The European Human Rights Convention and Media Law” (1995) Yearbook of Media and Entertainment Law 241-265

“The Mouse That Roared: The Human Rights Bill 1995” (1995) Public Law 198‑202

“Defaming Politicians and Public Officials” (1995) Public Law 1-6

“A Human Rights Bill” (1995) 145 (6681) New Law Journal 141-142, 145

“Can We Achieve a New Constitutional Settlement?” in Reinventing Collective Action: From the Global to the Local, ed. Crouch and Marquand (Blackwell Publishers, Oxford,1995)

(With Sarah Joseph) Chapter on “Obligations of Non-Discrimination” in The ICCPR: Its Impact on UK Law, ed. Harris & Joseph (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1995)

“Taking Human Rights Seriously” (1994/95) 5 King’s College Law Journal 1-15

“Radical Reform of the Enforcement Procedures of the European Convention” (1994) 8(2) Interights Bulletin, 25

“International Human Rights Law and the British Constitution” (1994) 28, Israel Law Review,   3-22

“Freedom of Expression” (1994) 19 Commonwealth Law Bulletin 1722-1742

“Discrimination: What Can Lawyers Learn From History?” (1994) Public Law 224-237

“Non-discrimination in International Human Rights Law” (1994) 19 Commonwealth Law Bulletin 1653-1669

“Pepper v Hart Revisited” (1994) Statute Law Review 10-22

“English Judges as Law Makers” (1993) Public Law 269-290

Chapter on “Freedom of Expression” in The European System for the protection of Human Rights, ed. Macdonald Matscher & Petzold (Martinus Nijhoff, 1993)

“The European Legal Dimension to English Judicial Review: Principles and Remedies” (1992) 18 Commonwealth Law Bulletin 1397-1401

“Preparing and Prosecuting a Human Rights Brief” (1991)  17 Commonwealth Law Bulletin 1055-1071

(With Dinah Rose) “Equal Value Claims and Sex Bias in Collective Bargaining” (1991) 20 Industrial Law Journal 163-175

“Law in Practice: Human Rights Law in Europe” (1990) 1 Law in Europe 19-21

“Unequal Treatment . . .?” 1989, 61, Childright 7

Essay on “Decline and Renewal of British Constitution” in The Changing Constitution, ed. Jowell & Oliver (OUP) (2nd ed. 1989)

“Freedom of Expression: Relevant International Principles” in Developing Human Rights Jurisprudence (Commonwealth Secretariat) (1988)

(With Jeffrey Jowell) “Proportionality: Neither Novel nor Dangerous” (1988) Current Legal Problems (special issue) 51-69

“The Overseas Trade in the American Bill of Rights” (1988) Columbia Law Review 537-61

“Amici Curiae: Third Party Interventions before the European Court of Human Rights” in Protecting Human Rights: The European Dimension (Carl Heymanns Verlag) (1988)

“Not on Her Majesty's Service” (1987) Public Policy & Administration 1‑10

“Anti-discrimination Legislation in Great Britain” (1987) New Community 21‑31

(With Jeffrey Jowell) “Beyond Wednesbury Unreasonableness: Substantive Principles of Administrative Law” (1987) Public Law 368-82; Also published in (1998) 14 Commonwealth Law Bulletin 858-870

“The Uncertain Trumpet: References to the European Court of Justice from the UK:  Equal Pay and Equal Treatment without Sex Discrimination” in Article 177 EEC, Experiences and Problems (North-Holland) (1987)

“Western Europe and International Human Rights” in Justice for a Generation, papers presented in London meeting of American Bar Association, July 1985

Reports on “Equal Pay and Sex Discrimination Law for EEC Commission Legal Experts” Network Committee, 1984

(With D. Wainwright) Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value (1984)

“Fundamental Rights: the United Kingdom Isolated?” (1984) Public Law 46-72

Report of Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights in Northern Ireland on “The Protection of Human Rights by Law in Northern Ireland”, Cmnd. 7009, November 1977

“Fundamental Rights: the Law and the British Constitution” (1977) Univ of Pennsylvania Law Rev 337-63

Green Paper on “Legislation on Human Rights”, with particular reference to the European Convention, June 1976

White Paper, “Racial Discrimination”, Cmnd. 6234, September 1975

White Paper, “Equality for Women”, Cmnd. 5724, September 1974

Halsbury’s Laws of England (4th ed.), Vol. 4, Section on British Nationality, Alienage, Immigration and Race Relations

(With G. Bindman) Race and Law (Longman, Penguin and Harvard Univ Press) (1972)

Shawcross & Beaumont on Air Law (Co-Editor of 3rd Ed.) (1964)

“Justice in the American South” (Amnesty International 1964)

“River Pollution in International Law” (1964) American Journal of International Law 828-3

“State Succession to Treaties in the British Commonwealth” (1963) International & Comparative Law Quarterly 475-507

“Bizerta and the Unequal Treaty Theory” (1962) International & Comparative Law Quarterly 847-55

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VAT registration number:   243941264 

Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC photo

exceptionally well-regarded advocate who has over the course of his lengthy career helped develop and shape the field of public law 

Chambers UK 2015


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widely admired 

Legal 500 2014