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Press Release: Sir Nicolas Bratza becomes ambassador for Toynbee Hall
Published: 25 Mar 2014
On Monday 17th March, Sir Nicolas Bratza, British lawyer and former President of the European Court of Human Rights became an ambassador for Toynbee Hall. Sir Nicolas initially became involved with Toynbee Hall in the late 1970s and 1980s, whilst serving as a volunteer at our Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC) for some 17 years.
About Sir Nicolas
Sir Nicolas Bratza was born in 1945 and educated at Brasenose College, Oxford. He was called to the Bar by Lincoln's Inn in 1969 and appointed as a Junior Counsel to the Crown, Common Law in 1978. He became a Queen's Counsel in 1988. In 1993, Sir Nicolas was elected as the United Kingdom member of the European Commission of Human Rights. In 2011, he was elected as President of the Court and held office until his retirement as a judge in 2012. He is the President of the British Institute of Human Rights and also holds an Honorary Professorship at the School of Law, University of Nottingham and honorary Professorship at the University of Essex and the University of Glasgow.
At 115 years old, the Free Legal Advice centre is the oldest continually running free legal advice centre in the UK. The Free Legal Advice Centre has been providing free leal advice and support to the people of the East End of London since 1898. The volunteer-led service is staffed by lawyers, barristers, solicitors, trainee solicitors and law students who give over 4,000 hours of their time each year. The centre works on almost 4,500 cases a year, on issues ranging from employment and housing to family matters. In the last year, demand for this service has increased by 92%.
Marking his appointment, Sir Nicolas said:
I am delighted to become an ambassador for Toynbee Hall. It is an institution that I have long supported and admired, and whose work today, especially in relation to free advice services, is as valuable now as it was when I first volunteered here some 40 years ago."
Graham Fisher, Chief Executive at Toynbee Hall, commented:
We are delighted to welcome Sir Nicolas back to Toynbee Hall. His support and advocacy, in particular for the work of our Free Legal Advice Centre, is invaluable as we continue to deal with the often acute needs of our local community."