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College Honorary Fellow Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws was appointed in recognition of a lifetime dedicated to justice, human rights, and education.

Baroness Helena Kennedy's appointment honours her lifelong commitment to justice, human rights, and education, marking a significant impact on society. Her efforts reflect the essence of the Order of the Thistle, demonstrating her dedication to Scotland and its principles. As we acknowledge her accomplishments, we recognize the substantial influence of steadfast commitment to social justice on numerous lives. The Order of the Thistle represents the highest form of royal recognition in Scotland, awarded to those who have demonstrated unwavering commitment to the nation and its ideals.

Baroness Kennedy has led a remarkable career, tirelessly advocating for human rights, civil liberties, and constitutional matters. Renowned as a top barrister and influential figure in the legal sphere, her contributions extend across various sectors. Her roles have varied widely, including her participation in the House of Lords, her leadership as Chair of Justice – the UK section of the International Commission of Jurists, and her position as a bencher at Gray's Inn. Furthermore, her presidency at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and her involvement with numerous other prestigious organisations demonstrate her wide-reaching impact and commitment.

Internationally, her efforts have been acknowledged with awards from the French and Italian governments, alongside over thirty honorary doctorates, reflecting her significant global influence. Her legal practice has covered many prominent cases, such as Myra Hindley's prison escape in the 1970s, defence cases in the 1980s for abused women who killed their husbands, the Guildford Four Appeal, the Brighton Bombing plot, the transatlantic liquid bomb plot, and the case of the murdered Saudi dissident journalist and author, Jamal Khashoggi. In 2021, following Afghanistan's takeover by the Taliban, she successfully evacuated 102 female judges and prosecutors at risk, along with their families, totaling 508 political refugees, by organising funds, securing safe houses, chartering planes, and finding them new homes worldwide. Currently, she is assisting the President of Ukraine in addressing war crimes and the recovery of thousands of children abducted by Russian forces.

You can read more about Baroness Kennedy here.