Jonathan Cooper receives Honorary Doctorate

Jonathan Cooper received an Honorary LLD from the University of Kent at a degree congregation at Canterbury Cathedral on Tuesday 16 July 2013. The degree was conferred on Jonathan - who read History at Kent and is a strong supporter of Kent Law School’s Critical Lawyers Group – for his contribution to human rights law. Tracing the highlights of Jonathan’s career to date, from his early work with the Haemophilia Society to his current role as Chief Executive of the Human Dignity Trust, Professor Steve Uglow, the public orator, described him as someone who champions the rights of minorities and who is making a difference as a barrister, campaigner, writer and broadcaster.

 

Afterwards Jonathan delivered an address focusing on the Anglican Church’s equivocal response to the criminalisation of homosexuality. Observing that over 80 jurisdictions, including 42 Commonwealth countries, still criminalise same-sex sexual relations between consenting adults, he asked: “Why, when the Anglican Church has been vocal in its support for decriminalisation in England, is it so silent now in other Commonwealth jurisdictions? What is it about the quality of a gay man in England that makes us more worthy of the Church’s benediction than a gay Ugandan or Belizean?” He challenged the Church to call for world-wide decriminalisation now.

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