Global Governance Institute


Why Should Anyone Care About the Human Rights of Prisoners?

21 November 2018, 6:15 pm–7:30 pm

Prisoner (Street Art)

Join us for this lecture with Professor Nick Hardwick to find out why the rights of prisoners are important for the rights of us all.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Global Governance Institute


Archaeology G6 Lecture Theatre
31-34 Gordon Square

In April 2019, the UN Committee Against Torture will consider the UK's record in implementing the Convention Against Torture. The state of the prison system in England and Wales is likely to be a significant focus. The very idea that prisoners have rights – let alone that a UN body should 'poke its nose' into our business – will be controversial with some. This lecture will provide a short historical perspective on some of the political, policy and legal debates that have influenced the application of human rights standards in prisons in England and Wales, examine how current performance matches human rights standards and argue why the rights of prisoners are important for the rights of us all.

This event is organised in collaboration with the School of Law, Royal Holloway University of London and the SOAS Centre for Human Rights Law.

About the Speakers

Nick Hardwick

Nick Hardwick is Professor of Criminal Justice at Royal Holloway University of London. He was formerly Chair of the Parole Board for England and Wales. From 2010 to 2016 he was HM Chief Inspector of Prison, having previously served as the first Chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. The first half of Professor Hardwick’s career was in the voluntary sector, first working with young offenders for the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO), then leading the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint before moving to run the British Refugee Council. He is Chair of New Horizon Youth Centre and Trustee of Prisoners Abroad and the London Housing Foundation.

Carla Ferstman (Discussant)

Carla Ferstman is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, University of Essex. She is a Canadian qualified barrister and solicitor (year of call 1994). She obtained an LL.B. from the University of British Columbia and an LL.M. from New York University and completed her DPhil at the University of Oxford. Prior to joining the University of Essex, she was Director of REDRESS, a London-based human rights organisation that helps torture survivors obtain justice and reparation. She has also previously worked with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in post-genocide Rwanda, with Amnesty International's International Secretariat as a legal researcher on trials in Central Africa and as Executive Legal Advisor to Bosnia and Herzegovina's Commission for Real Property Claims of Displaced Persons and Refugees.