About this event
The upcoming general election is being billed as the most important for a generation. Come to this ‘Question Time’-style event to hear from all the main parliamentary candidates seeking your vote as the next Totnes constituency MP.
We will get in touch with all ticket holders closer to the event via email with information on how to submit a question.
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Chair: Jonathan Cooper OBE
Jonathan Cooper is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers and he is an internationally recognised human rights specialist with experience before English and International courts and tribunals, as well as conducting training programmes and advising on human rights issues in jurisdictions all over the world.
Jonathan lives in South Devon, where he was brought up. He went to Harbertonford primary school, KEVICC and Dartington Hall School. The values and ethos of Dartington are in his DNA.
Jonathan was instrumental in training public authorities and lawyers in the UK on the implementation of the Human Rights Act 1998 and was responsible for devising and carrying out human rights training for various UK government departments, including the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
Jonathan has written extensively on human rights. He is co-General Editor of Halsbury’s Rights and Freedoms and he is the editor of one of the leading human right law journals, European Human Rights Law Review (Sweet & Maxwell).
Jonathan devised and wrote the human rights and terrorism programme and manual for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). That manual, Countering Terrorism, Protecting Human Rights, was published in 2008. He has carried out counter-terrorism and human rights training programmes across Europe and Central Asia, including Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia and, regionally, for the Balkans as a whole. Jonathan has taught judges in Russia and Palestine.
In 2007 he carried out a comprehensive human rights training programme for judges and prosecutors in the Turkish Military. He has also devised human rights training programmes for Sudanese government officials and also for lawyers in Syria, Cameroon, The Gambia and the Cayman Islands.
Jonathan has been involved in a number of important human rights cases before the English courts, the European Court of Human Rights and other international courts and tribunals. These include the UK’s gays in the armed forces case, ex parte Smith & Grady. He has also represented a number of trans clients before the English and European Courts. Additional cases of note include, Weiss v Austria and NS v Secretary of State for the Home Office. The latter confirmed the application of the EU Charter in UK law.
Jonathan has advised the MoJ, the Home Office and the Department for Service Prosecutions on complex human rights issues. He has also advised the Cayman Island authorities as well as those in Jersey. He advised the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre on human rights points in their successful bid to return Aboriginal remains from the Natural History Museum. Jonathan has also advised the Equality and Human Rights Committee on the impact of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights on the UK.
Most recently, Jonathan has assisted LGBT people in countries which criminalise homosexuality to bring legal challenges. He has been involved in cases in Belize, Kenya, Uganda, Jamaica and Indonesia, amongst others.
In 2007, Jonathan was awarded an OBE for services to human rights.
Gerrie Messer, The Labour Party
Jacqi Hodgson, The Green Party
Julian Brazil, Liberal Democrats
Dr Sarah Wollaston, The Conservative Party