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Thursday, 26 May 2022, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Barnard's Inn Hall

Should the Commonwealth Caribbean Abolish Appeals to the Privy Council?

Professor Leslie Thomas QC

In the Commonwealth Caribbean, final appeals were traditionally heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, or ‘Her Majesty in Council’. Some islands have now replaced the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice as their highest court. The choice of highest court remains a controversial political issue in the Caribbean. While the Privy Council has deep colonial and imperial roots, it has sometimes been an important safeguard for fundamental rights: what are the pros and cons?


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Professor Leslie Thomas QC was appointed Gresham Professor of Law in 2020. 

He is one of the top rated silks in the country, ranked leading individual by both Chambers and the Legal 500 (2022). He has been a QC since 2014. He was educated at a South London comprehensive and studied law at Kingston University. 

Professor Thomas is a leading expert in claims against the police and other public authorities, and claims against corporate bodies, with expertise across the full spectrum of civil wrongs, civil litigation, human rights, data and privacy claims. He is an expert in all aspects of inquests and public inquiries, having represented many bereaved families, in particular where there has been abuse of state or corporate power. 

As well as winning cases, Thomas has won a string of awards for his work and has been called to the Bar in several other international legal jurisdictions. 

Until 31 January 2020, Professor Thomas served as a joint Heads of Chambers at Garden Court Chambers. He is a Bencher to the Inner Temple, where he is also Deputy Master for inclusivity and diversity. He is on the Bar Standards Board, the bar’s regulatory body. He has also served on the management committee of Liberty and the Central London Law Centre. He is also Visiting Professor of Law at Goldsmiths University of London.

His autobiography Do Right and Fear No One (Simon & Schuster) will come out in April 2022.

Professor Thomas's lecture series are as follows:

2021/22 Race, Colonialism and Power in the Legal System

2020/21 Death, The State and Human Rights


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