Struggles of the Eighties

The Society threw itself into support for the miners in 1984 – 1985. Members re-located to Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and elsewhere, providing free representation, and becoming familiar figures in the magistrates’ Courts (which frequently sat through the day and the evening).

Members of the Society have consistently campaigned for human rights in Northern Ireland and against internment without trial. Following a mission of inquiry in 1980 we called for the abolition of the Diplock Court system (Diplock and the Assault on Civil Liberties, Haldane Society 1981). We challenged the miscarriages of justice experienced by the Guildford Four, Birmingham Six, Judith Ward and others. Members of the Society were instrumental in calling for a public inquiry into Bloody Sunday and have represented the families and survivors at the Inquiry.

Haldane lawyers provided free legal assistance to ANC and SWAPO members throughout the long years of the struggle against apartheid, and regularly picketed South Africa House. In 1979 the Haldane drafted an emergency telegram – and also secured the respective signatures of the Societies of Conservative, Liberal and Labour Lawyers – appealing to the regime for clemency for Solomon Mahlangu, the ANC freedom fighter. His execution, despite a massive international campaign, heralded a fresh wave of support for the liberation movements