Diversity & Community Experience
Peter’s work and knowledge of diversity and community engagement work has been extensive both at a national and international level. From the outset Peter became involved in the Society of Black Lawyers in London speaking to Motions on Equality and Diversity in 1984 before the Bar AGM and regularly afterwards in many legal professional forums. He was a leading member of the Lawyers Against Apartheid Group in the 1980’s which led to both branches of the Legal Profession disinvesting from the South African Apartheid regime Peter played a leading role in the Handsworth Defence Campaign in 1985 being quoted in the Guardian for speaking out against the sentencing disposals at Birmingham Magistrates and Crown Court.
Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, especially in Liverpool, Cardiff, Nottingham and Derby Peter played a leading role in fighting for equal treatment for the Black community in the Courts. Peter gained a reputation as an outspoken critic of racism in the Criminal Justice system both inside and outside the Court setting, taking on both the Judiciary and the police. In Liverpool the series of cases led to the local community suing the police in the County and High Courts instead of taking to the streets and indirectly this led to the Lord Gifford Inquiry into Racism in the Merseyside Police.
In Derby, the community engagement with the Society of Black Lawyers highlighted the Defence of young people faced with a colour bar at a local nightclub and then subjected to racist violence by the club bouncers and by the Police. Peter supported numerous community events held by groups as diverse as the Nation of Islam to the Sikh Federation of Great Britain and Mothers against Guns.
In the UK Peter helped to give free legal advice to communities all over the UK from a parents group in West London campaigning to prevent school children being expelled to anti deportation campaigns in various parts of the country. Peter’s main activities have been in campaigning for greater protection for all communities form hate crime through his membership of the former Anti-Racist Alliance which highlighted the horrific racial murders in south east London, culminating in the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1992. Peter attended numerous rallies and demonstrations either as a legal observer, speaker or merely in support to provide solidarity and support for those protesting. Peter gave evidence to the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry and has written a number of position papers on a variety of issues form Stop and Search powers to the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery.
These appearances involved civil actions against the police and in the earlier part of his career direct challenges to the authority of the criminal justice establishment. In the UK Peter continues to be involved in high profile cases especially in the Employment Tribunal. His practice as a barrister specializing in high profile human rights cases, employment discrimination and terrorist cases. Peter’s most recent award in the UK was to be recognised in the 2010 Queens New Years Honours list to receive the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.).
Peter has extensive experience as a diversity trainer and motivational speaker and trainer having worked for the Judicial Studies Board, several Local Authorities, solicitors firms and educational establishments including the University of Bradford to write a major report for the Universities Department of Health in 2008/9.