Today we mark Stephen Lawrence Day, named for the black teenager who was killed in a racist attack on this day in 1993. The day is dedicated to his memory and aims to encourage meaningful action to expose and end racism.   

"Stephen Lawrence memorial, 3 January 2012" by Darryl_SE7 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The Faculty is fortunate to have a Freshfields Stephen Lawrence scholar among its undergraduate students.  The scholarship is designed to address the disproportionate under-representation of black and black mixed-race men from less socially mobile backgrounds in large commercial law firms and other ‘City’ careers. The Freshfields Stephen Lawrence scholar at the Law Faculty is Ahmed Jeyte.  He has shared his journey to Oxford and his hopes for the future with us to mark Stephen Lawrence Day.

The Faculty has also invited the Rt Hon David Lammy MP to discuss institutional racism with two of our BCL students, Samuel Bailey and Josiah SenuDavid Lammy is the Labour Member of Parliament for Tottenham, England, where he was born and raised. After being elected for the seventh time in December 2019, he was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Justice. As part of this role, Lammy built on his landmark review of the criminal justice system, which explored the treatment of and outcomes for Black and minority ethnic people in British courts and prisons. He is also known for spearheading the fight against Brexit, pushing for more equal access to university and demanding the decolonization of education curriculums and international aid.

In the video, which is available to watch on the Faculty website, the students ask David for his reflections on what it means to be “truly English”, his views on the recent report released by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities and more.

Oxford Law Black Alumni Network logo

The Faculty is also holding an event in partnership with the Oxford Law Black Alumni Network to mark Stephen Lawrence Day and to further the conversation around racism and the law.

Institutional racism and the criminal justice system takes place on Friday, 23 April with speakers Matthew Ryder QCthe barrister who represented the Lawrence family in their civil case against the Metropolitan Police, and Dr Eddie Bruce-JonesDeputy Dean of the School of Law and Head of the Department of Law at Birkbeck College, University of London, and author of Race in the Shadow of Law: State Violence in Contemporary EuropeIn it, the panellists will give a short talk on the event theme, Institutional racism and the criminal justice system, drawing on their work in this field, followed by a Q&A chaired by Seun Matiluko and Sfiso Bernard Nxumalo.