Tribute to Lord Archer of Sandwell at the House of Lords

REDRESS is holding a reception at the House of Lords tomorrow to pay tribute to the late Lord Peter Archer of Sandwell QC and the help he graciously gave REDRESS over many years. The event will be hosted by Lord Frank Judd and is by kind permission of the Lord Speaker, Baroness Frances D’Souza.

It is also supported by the All Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group. Lord Archer was an ardent supporter and patron of REDRESS for nearly two decades before he passed away on 14th June 2012. He campaigned tirelessly for human rights throughout his career as a barrister, Labour MP and Peer. Lord Archer will be especially remembered by REDRESS for his initiative and efforts to advance the Torture (Damages) Bill in the House of Lords.

The reception will feature short addresses from Lord Judd, Baroness D’Souza and Sir Emyr Jones Parry, the chairman of REDRESS’ board of trustees, followed by a brief discussion on the main features of the Torture (Damages) Bill. The Torture (Damages) Bill was first introduced by Lord Archer in the 2006-2007 parliamentary year and in three subsequent parliamentary sessions.

It sought to create an exception to the State Immunity Act 1978, in order to allow civil suits to be brought against torturers and the states that support them. The Bill would allow survivors to bring a claim for compensation in the courts of England and Wales against those individuals and governments responsible, where they are unable to do so in the country in which they were tortured.

The Bill was passed in the Lords in 2008 but stalled in the Commons in 2009 and again in 2010. The Bill received support from the Joint Committee on Human Rights in 2009 after the Committee heard evidence from REDRESS and the government, among other parties, and concluded that a civil remedy should be available in the UK to victims of torture.

Lord Archer’s contribution to the human rights cause was far-reaching and REDRESS is proud to be associated with his work.

For further information:

Contact Eva Sanchis at [email protected] or +44 (0) 2077931777.

Note: REDRESS was founded by a British torture survivor in 1992. Since then, it has consistently fought for the rights of torture survivors and their families in the UK and abroad. REDRESS takes legal challenges on behalf of survivors, works to ensure that torturers are punished and that survivors and their families obtain remedies for their suffering. REDRESS has intervened in a range of leading torture cases.