Week 4

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
4:15-5:45 p.m.
Neustadt Class Room (RG-20) Rubenstein Building, ground floor
Harvard Kennedy School

Study Group

The Global Movement to
End Violence Against Women


Topic: Women in Chains

Presenter: Nazir Afsal, OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor, United Kingdom

About the Session:

A discussion of the thousands of women in the United Kingdom that are at risk or are being threatened with forced marriage every year with the acknowledgement that there are millions across the world who are experiencing the same abuse. This is primarily an issue of violence against women but there are male victims too. The UK Government and, in particular, the Crown Prosecution Service see this as an issue of human rights. This requires a multi-agency partnership so that all have the ability to understand and act quickly to prevent further harm. We know also that these events escalate very quickly from a threat of forced marriage to serious harm and murder, in some cases within hours.

Suggested Readings:

 More about the presenter:

Nazir Afzal OBE, is Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West of England and formerly Legal Director in CPS London.

During a 22 year career, Nazir has prosecuted some of the most high profile cases in the country and advised on many others. Many of his cases have set precedents for how the criminal law should operate. The present high profile of several subjects owes a considerable amount to Nazir's tireless 'campaigning' on the issues. He leads nationally on several legal topics including Violence against Women & Girls, child sexual abuse, and honour based violence.. He led the criminal justice response to the disorders in Greater Manchester which brought great reassurance to a frightened public. He successfully prosecuted the gang that groomed young girls in Rochdale, successfully prosecuted BBC presenter Stuart Hall and the killer of two female police officers. He advises UK government ministers and trains lawyers and judges from other countries including the US and Canada. He has responsibility for more than 100,000 other prosecutions each year.

Nazir is a tutor for several leadership programmes in the public and private sector. He has made presentations to dozens of diverse organisations in this country and abroad. He is on the European Union and Council of Europe list of expert speakers. He has given hundreds of interviews in all forms of media. He is also legal adviser to the successful ITV series “Law and Order UK” and legal advisor to the BBC Eastenders drama series. In addition to his CPS commitments, Nazir gives a considerable amount of time to charitable work and is trustee of several and Chair of the Prince of Wales’ Mosaic Trust in the NW..He is Pro Chancellor of Brunel University and unpaid consultant to voluntary sector organisations working with vulnerable people. He sits on a FA disciplinary committee and was recently made a Honorary Fellow of the University of Central Lancashire.

Nazir’s has received many accolades, in 2005, he was awarded an OBE by the Queen for his work with the CPS and involvement with local communities. He has also had the honour of being the only lawyer to ever prosecute a case before the Queen. In 2007, he was awarded the CPS’s Public Servant of the year, named Legal Personality of the Year by the Society of Asian Lawyers, the UK Government’s Justice Award 2007 and awarded the Daily Mirror newspaper “People’s award” voted for by readers. He was awarded the Asian Woman Magazine Excellence Award and the Law Society/Bar Council Mentoring award. Nazir was also selected for the Asian Power 100 along with the Muslim Power 100 list, recognised as one of the 100 most influential leading Muslims and Asians in the UK. He has been listed in the Pakistan Power100 2012 which regards him as one of the 100 most influential people of Pakistani origin in the world today. Awarded the British Pakistani Jubilee Award 2012, A lifetime Achievement Award by the Power 100, and the British Muslim Award in 2013. He was Asian Media Group’s “Man of the Year 2012.”