Alastair Logan is 68 and has a law degree from University College , London , throughout his 40 year career he worked as a high street sole practitioner in Guildford specialising in crime, matrimonial and general litigation. He has provided legal services to ethnic minority groups and undertook legal aid work from 1968 to 2000.
He has defended those charged with terrorist crime, pioneered prisoner law, undertaken human rights cases in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). He is a trained mediator and pioneered training for solicitors in family and commercial mediation. He represented all save two of the victims of miscarriage of justice before the judicial inquiry into the cases of the Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven having been involved with these cases since 1974. He has given evidence to the Royal Commission on the Criminal Justice system and to a Judicial Tribunal in Toronto on systemic issues in miscarriages of justice.
He has been a member of many committees including those setting standards, defining ethics, creating policy and complaints systems for family mediators. He was a member of the Solicitors Assistance Scheme from 1980 to 2006. He was a Board Member of the Legal Complaints Service from 2006 to 2010. He was appointed an OBE for services to justice in 2002.
Get to know Alastair:
How long have you been on the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society?
Since 8 March 2011.
When did you decide to get actively involved in human rights? Was there one defining moment?
In 1975 after my client suffered injuries when hot water was poured on him in Brixton Prison. The prison authorities told me that I could not discuss this matter with him and my conversations with him were to be limited to the criminal charges he faced. If I failed to give them an undertaking to do so then they would put a prison officer in the room with me every time I interviewed him. That was my defining moment.
Which human rights practitioners do you find most inspiring?
Those who seek to uphold human rights in their own countries, where the authorities persecute them for doing so and they suffer or they and/or their families are put at risk of physical and mental injury.
What has been the high point of your human rights career so far?
Taking on the Government in relation to the rights of prisoners using judicial review and securing a definition of some of those rights and protection of them.
What has been the low point?
The use by the authorities of endless bureaucratic contrivances to prevent identification and public scrutiny of their behaviour in denying human rights.
Is there a current human rights debate that you are particularly interested in?
The rights of women, children and lawyers.
What is your favourite human right?
UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers (1990).
Do you support the work of a particular human rights NGO?
What is your dream job?
Assisting in the development of human rights.
What was the last book you read?
On Apology by Aaron Lazare