Bard College Launches Anthony Lester Fellowships to Support Practical Work in the Field of Human Rights and the Rule of LawANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Human Rights Project at Bard College announced today the launch of the Anthony Lester Fellowships, which support lawyers or law students undertaking practical fieldwork in human rights and the rule of law. These fellowships will enable lawyers and law students early in their careers to undertake a project that helps effect practical change and are designed for those who may not otherwise have this opportunity.
The fellowships honor the memory and legacy of Anthony Lester QC (Lord Lester of Herne Hill), one of Britain’s most distinguished human rights lawyers. As a young lawyer, Lester visited the American South twice during the civil rights movement and wrote a report on race relations. His experiences there inspired his pioneering work as a barrister and legislator. He wrote in his memoir Talking to Myself that, while on a fellowship in the United States, he realized “the practice of law could be used to promote political and social change . . . Reinforced by my involvement with American constitutional law and civil rights in the Deep South, I decided to give it a try. It was life-changing.”
Two fellowships will be awarded for the 2024/25 academic year. Each fellow will receive a stipend of $25,000 for a project lasting at least three months. The fellowships are open to lawyers or law students early in their careers. At the end of the fellowship, the fellows will write a short report on their project and will be invited to give a presentation at Bard College.
The fellowships are administered by the Human Rights Project at Bard College, and supported by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, the Open Society Foundation, and the Lester family. Maya Lester KC, Anthony Lester’s daughter and a British barrister, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer these fellowships in memory of our father who was inspired by his early international experience and an enthusiastic mentor to lawyers early in their careers wanting to do something useful for the world.” Gideon Lester, Anthony Lester’s son and Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Fisher Center at Bard, added: “We are grateful to the Gatsby and Open Society Foundations for their leadership support, which ensures that these fellowships exist in perpetuity, and to Bard College’s Human Rights Project for administering them.”
For more information visit https://www.bard.edu/employment/descriptions/?id=5282828. Applicants may apply at the following link: http://apply.interfolio.com/138682.
About Anthony Lester
Anthony Lester (1936-2020) was an eminent human rights barrister and legislator. He argued leading cases in British, European and Commonwealth courts and developed the burgeoning field of public law. He campaigned for thirty years for the Human Rights Act 1998. As special adviser to Roy Jenkins, he helped devise the Sex Discrimination and Race Relations Acts. His activities in the House of Lords led to legislation on civil partnership, forced marriage, equality and defamation reform. He worked with human rights NGOs at home and overseas and founded the human rights charity Interights. The ideas that motivated him are recorded in his book Five Ideas to Fight For (2016).
About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College is a four-year, residential college of the liberal arts and sciences located 90 miles north of New York City. With the addition of the Montgomery Place estate, Bard’s campus consists of nearly 1,000 parklike acres in the Hudson River Valley. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of music degrees, with majors in more than 40 academic programs; graduate degrees in 13 programs; eight early colleges; and numerous dual-degree programs nationally and internationally. Building on its 163-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College has expanded its mission as a private institution acting in the public interest across the country and around the world to meet broader student needs and increase access to liberal arts education. The undergraduate program at our main campus in upstate New York has a reputation for scholarly excellence, a focus on the arts, and civic engagement. Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders. For more information about Bard College, visit bard.edu.
Bard Press Contact:Jennifer Wai-Lan Strodl
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