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WACL Speaker Dinner, Tuesday 17th April 2007

Apr 17, 2007 – 7:00 pm

Shami Chakrabarti (born in London, June 16, 1969) has been the director of Liberty since September 2003.

After graduating from the London School of Economics, Chakrabarti worked as a barrister at the Home Office, before joining Liberty on 10 September 2001. She spent the following two years campaigning against the increasingly severe anti-terrorist measures which followed the 9/11 attacks in the USA, such as ATCSA, and is a prominent opponent of recent counter-terrorism legislation. She is a frequent contributor to BBC Radio 4 and to the newspaper The Independent on the topic of civil liberties.

In December 2005, the BBC Radio 4 Today programme ran a poll of listeners to establish "who runs Britain". After many hours of debate involving subject matter experts, Today placed Shami Chakrabarti on the shortlist of ten people who may run Britain. Listeners were then invited to vote for their choice, choosing President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso.

She was shortlisted in the Channel 4 Political Awards 2006 for the "Most Inspiring Political Figure" award. It was voted for by the public and she came second, beating Tony Blair, David Cameron, George Galloway and Bob Geldof. [1]

In 2005, Worcestershire band the Dastards recorded the tribute single "Shami Chakrabarti". The lyrics to which can be found at [2]. Though honoured to have a song dedicated to her, it is reported that she isn't too keen on the music.[3]

In February 2006 Shami was awarded the title of "anarchist in a barristers wig" by Loaded magazine