Women Fighting Back: International and Legal Perspectives - CPD Available

Barristers can now obtain BSB approved CPD hours for the conference.  You will need to have already bought your ticket to the conference at the relevant price for your income. 

Our socialist and feminist commitment to supporting low-income members of the legal profession means that if you are on a low income and are unable to afford the full cost of CPD hours then we will be happy to agree a lower rate.  Please contact secretary@haldane.org to discuss this.

CPD Top Up
Name on your ticket
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Women Fighting Back: International and Legal Perspectives - Workshop Signup

Select Your Workshop Session

Attendees of the International Women's Conference 28-29 November 2015 will need to select their choices for the workshop sessions.  Nine or 10 workshops will run in each of the three sessions.  Attendees must make their selections on the form below by Friday 27 November 2015 at 17:00.  Please also provide us with any languages required for interpretation, and any other information we will need to be aware of on the day.

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Women Fighting Back: International and Legal Perspectives

International Conference in London 28-29 November 2015

Download the poster.

The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights will be hosting the "Women Fighting Back: International and Legal Perspectives" conference at London South Bank University (100-116 London Road, London, SE1 6LN) on 28-29 November 2015.

The aim of the conference is to bring a critical, left wing and intersectional perspective to the women's movement and to provide a forum for exchanging ideas and practical skills between lawyers, academics and activists to advance women’s campaigns and struggles.

The main themes of the conference will be:

  • Violence against women
  • The role of women in peace processes
  • Austerity
  • Women in work
  • Migrant women
  • Climate change

We are delighted to announce the participation of:

  • Angela Davis (USA) - Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies Departments at the University of California. Founding member of Critical Resistance.
  • Rashida Manjoo (South Africa) - the immediate former (2009-2014) UN Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Professor in the Department of Public Law, Cape Town
  • Wafa Kafarna (Palestine) - Norwegian Refugee Council and Palestinian activist
  • Liz Davies (UK) - Housing Rights Lawyer, honorary Vice President of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers and co-author of "Enforcing Housing Rights: the case of Sheikh Jarrah: Report on the fact-finding mission to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories" for Avocats Sans FrontieÌres
  • Jeanne Mirer (USA), President of IADL, founding board member of the International Commission for Labour Rights
  • Frances Webber (UK) - vice-chair of the Institute of Race Relations' council of management and a former barrister who specialised in immigration, refugee and human rights law.


Saturday 28 November 2015

09:00-10:00 Registration/Coffee

10:00-10:15 Welcome Note:

  • Liz Davies (UK)
    Vice President of the Haldane Society and Housing Rights Lawyer.

10:15-11:45 Panel Discussion: Migrant and Refugee Women

  • Louise Christian (Chair)
  • Dr Dorys Quintana Cruz (Cuba)
    Professor of International Law, University of Havana

11:45-12:00 Break

12:00-13:00 Workshop

13:00-13:45 Lunch

13:45-14:15 Keynote Session

  • Prof. Rashida Manjoo (South Africa)
    Former UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women (2009-2015)

14:15-15:45 Panel Discussion: Violence against Women

  • Elizabeth Gordon (UK)

15:45-16:00 Campaign for the ratification of the Istanbul Convention Action on violence against women and domestic violence (ELDH)

16:00-16:15 Break

16:15-16:30 Open Floor

16:30-18:00 Panel Discussion: Women in conflict and peace

  • Barbara Spinelli (Italy)
    Member of the Italian Association of Democratic Lawyers and Expert on Femicide/ Feminicide.

Evening: Cabaret at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, 145 Fleet Street with Scary Little Girls 

Sunday 29 November 2015

09:00-10:00 Registration/Coffee

10:00-11:30 Panel Discussion: The State and Women's Bodies

  • Gareth Peirce (Chair) 

11:30-11:45 Break

11:45-12:45 Workshop

12:45-13:30 Lunch

13:30-14:00 Angela Davis (USA)
Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies Departments at the University of California. Founding member of critical resistance.

14:00-15:00 Workshop

15:00-15:15 Break

15:55-16:45 Panel Discussion: Women in work

  • Yasmine Bennamanii and Zouzou Hadjer Zahida (Algeria)

16:45-17:10 Open Floor

17:10-17:30 Closing Note Jeanne Mirer (USA)
President of IADL, founding board member of the International Commission for Labour Rights.

[1] N.B. This is a draft programme and may be changed.


There are different pricing levels for students, those on a low income, and those on high incomes.  Requests for complete exemption from paying for those on benefits can be made to feminism@haldane.org.

Early bird tickets have all been sold, and tickets are now being sold at their full price.  Ticket sales will cease at 17:00 on 27 November 2015.  After this time if you want to try to reserve a ticket then please contact membership@haldane.org.

When you purchase your ticket you will not receive a paper or electronic ticket: if you have received an acknowledgment email from PayPal then your name is on the guestlist which will be on the door.

Top-up tickets with CPD accreditation for barristers are available here.

The deadline for booking childcare has passed.  However, if this will cause you a problem then please let secretary@haldane.org know.

Please let secretary@haldane.org know if you do not speak English, French or Spanish.

Download the travel advice in English or in French (Spanish available shortly).


If you would like to contribute financially to the conference you can donate online through PayPal (see below).  There is a small commission taken by PayPal.  If you would like to donate without any commission being taken then please contact feminism@haldane.org for details of how to make a bank transfer.

Ticket Type
Name on your ticket
If 1 day ticket, Sat or Sun?

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Industrial Action: Monitoring the Effects

The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers has campaigned for years for direct action by the profession to defend access to justice.  Direct action is currently ongoing amongst criminal law solicitors and barristers. 

It is essential that we learn the impact of the action.  Alongside grassroots campaigns and other professional bodies, the Criminal Bar Association is playing a role in organising the action.  They have set up a monitoring system to establish the impact that action is having so far.  This is set out below.

No Returns

If you returned a case due to a diary clash, we would invite you to try and follow it up, where possible, to see what became of it. Please send the information using the following form:


If you have accepted a return on the 27th July or beyond, equally we would invite you to fill out the form so the action can be monitored properly . The information collected will be used simply to monitor the action and not to single people out who have chosen not to participate by accepting returns.

No legal aid order

If you are in the Crown Court and witness a defendant appearing who is not in receipt of legal aid, through the solicitors action, we would invite you to fill out the following form:


Equally, if you are instructed in a post 1 July matter which does have a legal aid order in place, please use the same form. Again, this information is not being collected to stigmatise those who are accepting new work, but rathe to monitor just how many representation orders are being applied for.

Message of solidarity from Jeremy Corbyn MP

We were pleased to recently receive this message of support from the Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn MP.

"I offer my full support to the ongoing boycott of legal aid cases by solicitors and barristers in protest at cuts to legal aid services.

The legal profession has been driven to this by the intransigence of the government. I am very worried that legal aid could totally disappear under this Government. If this happens we will have a justice system that will only be accessible to those who can afford it.

The total savings made by cutting legal aid don't even add up to very much but are already doing so much damage to our justice system. Every legal professional in this country should stand together and get behind the boycott so that the Government are forced to rethink these illogical cuts."

Jeremy Corbyn MP

International Women's Conference: Early Bird Tickets Now On Sale!

We are delighted to announce that tickets are now on sale for our conference on 28-29 November 2015.

The tickets on sale are at a special early bird rate, until 1 November 2015.

Tickets with CPD accreditation will be available soon, at £80 for the weekend or £60 for a day.

For block bookings for groups of 10 or more please contact us by email at feminism@haldane.org to arrange a discount.  Equally, for those unable to pay at the lowest rate, please contact us by email at feminism@haldane.org to arrange a reduction or remission of ticket price on a case-by-case basis.

Please also email us at feminism@haldane.org if you have any childcare requirements, access issues, or special dietary requirements (except vegetarianism, which will be catered for).

Update: Early bird ticket sales are now closed.

Criminal Bar Association ballot on direct action

We have this afternoon sent the following message to members.

Since the Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, announced his intention to press ahead with dual contracts and a further cut to fees of 8.75% (totalling 17.5% cuts in a year) meetings have been convened around England and Wales calling for a boycott of work at the new rates and a return to "no returns".

Following a meeting of lawyers in Liverpool on 25 June 2015 at which it was resolved to continue to fight the cuts, a wave of further meetings in cities including Birmingham, Bristol, Leicester, and Manchester has seen overwhelming support for refusing work at reduced rates until Gove reverses the cut. Members of the executive committee were present at one meeting in London packed with over 150 practitioners - where around 28 sets of chambers were represented - who overwhelmingly supported motions for direct action.

We believe that this momentum must be seized and that direct action should resume as soon as practicable. Unfortunately, the Criminal Bar Association refuses to heed its members. In May 96% of those who voted in a CBA ballot backed direct action. The CBA now wants to ballot its members again, with a question which presents the action already underway as only involving solicitors.

We urge you to vote "yes" in the CBA's ballot on industrial action. It is not the question we would have posed. It does not seek to oppose dual contracts. From criticising solicitors only a week ago for not acting, the CBA now seeks to frame the action as only the concern of solicitors. The CBA again is falling prey to the Ministry of Justice tactics of divide and rule. We believe in unity of purpose and unity of action. This is not solely the Bar's fight or solely the solicitors' fight; it is a fight against the Government and most importantly to protect legal aid. We must remember that above all.

We have supported direct action since these plans were announced in 2013. We support it now. No returns was devastatingly effective when initiated last year.  It brought the professions together and instilled confidence that we had something in our hands which meant we could negotiate seriously with Government.

You can vote in the CBA ballot HERE

If you are a criminal barrister who is not yet a member of the CBA you can join here.

The ballot closes on 14 July.  The next day, 15 July, is the CBA AGM. All CBA members can attend and we also invite you to go along in numbers for what may be our most crucial meeting yet.

Outside of the CBA, we must continue to organise together throughout the country. Only with local action and national co-ordination can we be properly prepared to win this struggle.