Straight Talk with Shami Chakrabarti: Liberty, Secrecy and Surveillance
Where: Dialogue Society, 402 Holloway Road, N7 6PZ, London
Date: 21 June 2012
With: Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty (The National Council for Civil Liberties)
Steve Richards, British TV presenter and chief political columnist for The Independent Newspaper
This new series of programmes will probe urgent contemporary issues in an interview format. It is called Straight Talk for a reason: an expert will face direct, searching questions from a seasoned interviewer. Questions and answers together will help frame the issue and open it up for the audience to debate further.
Through Straight Talk the Dialogue Society aims to provide a platform for experts and opinion-makers to have their say, provided they are willing to be challenged by the interviewer and by the audience.
Biography of Shami Chakrabarti
Shami Chakrabarti has been Director of Liberty (The National Council for Civil Liberties) since September 2003. Shami first joined Liberty as In-House Counsel on 10 September 2001. She became heavily involved in its engagement with the “War on Terror” and with the defense and promotion of human rights values in Parliament, the Courts and wider society.
A Barrister by background, she was called to the Bar in 1994 and worked as a lawyer in the Home Office from 1996 until 2001 for Governments of both persuasions.
Since becoming Liberty’s Director she has written, spoken and broadcast widely on the importance of the post-WW2 human rights framework as an essential component of a democratic society.
She is Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, a Governor of the British Film Institute, and a Visiting Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford in addition to being a Master of the Bench of Middle Temple. She was recently invited to be one of 6 independent assessors advising Lord Justice Leveson in his Public Inquiry into the Culture, Practice and Ethics of the UK Press.
Biography of Steve Richards
Steve Richards is a British TV Presenter and chief political columnist for The Independent newspaper. Before becoming a BBC political correspondent in 1990 he worked in local radio and regional TV in Newcastle. He became Political Editor for the New Statesman in 1996 while continuing to present on TV and radio. In 2000 he became a political columnist at The Independent and Independent on Sunday.
Richards presented GMTV's The Sunday Programme, BBC Two's Despatch Box, BBC Radio 4's Week in Westminster and chairs a light-hearted quiz show on Radio 4, Parliamentary Questions. He is also a regular contributor to BBC News 24's Head 2 Head weekly debate programme. In addition, he also writes occasionally for the Evening Standard, has written and presented several films on Channel 4 and has presented Radio 4's What The Papers Say.
The Dialogue Society Straight Talk series will:
Facilitate an engaging and expansive platform which will offer an opportunity for speakers and members of the audience to enter into a constructive and critical dialogue about important and sometimes controversial issues.
Offer an opportunity to explore and tackle problematic issues through open and transparent dialogue
Provide an opportunity for the public to put forward their concerns to professionals in the discussed field
Open new areas for thought and research
Academics and researchers
Students and others interested in current affairs
The Straight Talk series will operate through a series of sessions. The sessions will include an interview conducted by a prominent journalist that has related interests to the field discussed. The interviewee(s) will be well-known within the discussed field and will be questioned on their perspectives and research.
Session leaders will be professionals engaged in media in a variety of capacities and consequently able to give valuable insights into the discussed topic. Participants will be able to enter into discussion with speakers during the Q and A session following the interview and over refreshments afterwards.
The sessions will be held in the evening, during weekdays and are expected to attract an audience of between 20 and 50 participants.
The sessions will follow a probing interview format with an interviewer and interviewee(s).The programme will commence with a networking opportunity over refreshments followed by a 45 minute Straight Talk interview and 35 minute Q and A.
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