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One of Britain's Most Distinguished Lawyers to Deliver the Fourth Worcester Lecture

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Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, one of Britain’s most renowned lawyers, is to deliver the fourth annual Worcester Lecture next month.

Professor David GreenThe Worcester Lectures are a partnership between Worcester Cathedral and the University of Worcester, strengthening the links between the two institutions and contributing to the rich cultural heritage of Worcester.

Baroness Kennedy’s lecture, titled ‘Ethics – the basis of trust in public life’, will take place in Worcester Cathedral on Thursday, July 4 at 6pm.

The Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, Dean of Worcester Cathedral, said: “Helena Kennedy’s is the latest in a series of distinguished speakers to give the annual Worcester Lecture. Through the Worcester Lectures, the Cathedral and the University are working together to promote discussion of matters of social justice, and Helena Kennedy will undoubtedly make a memorable contribution to that.”

Baroness Kennedy is a distinguished lawyer, who spent her professional life giving a voice to those who have least power within the system, promoting human rights and championing civil liberties. She has used many public platforms, including the House of Lords, to which she was elevated in 1997, to argue with passion, wit and humanity for social justice. As part of her career, she has also written and broadcast on a wide range of issues, from medical negligence to terrorism to the rights of women and children.

In her lecture, she will argue that the embrace of a particular form of turbo-charged capitalism has created major distortions within society, simultaneously undermining the significance and standing of a proper ethos of public service whilst lowering ethical standards within private enterprise. She will also remind of Adam Smith’s arguments about the need for ‘moral sentiments’.

Baroness Kennedy will also argue that many major professions, including nursing, teaching, medicine and policing have been undermined with the introduction of targets, raw competition and an elevation of money over other measures of success.

Together, it will be argued that these changes have eroded trust at every level of society and created a climate in which litigation and law become the route to redress.

Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor of the University of Worcester, said: “Helena Kennedy is one of the most inspiring leaders of her generation. A passionate campaigner for opportunity, dignity and human rights she has used her expertise for the good of many tens of thousands of people. She is one of the most creative, independent-minded members of the House of Lords and this lecture is sure to stimulate new thinking about ways to contribute to the common good and develop society.”