The good die young

In the Guardian today a nice obituary for the human rights and criminal lawyer, Anthony Jennings QC, who died last week at the age of 47.

In 2003 I was doing maternity cover as co-ordinator of the Children’s Rights Alliance for England – the dreadful year-of-the-Blunkett that saw in three hateful pieces of legislation reeking of contempt for young people, amongst them the Antisocial Behaviour Act. We asked Anthony Jennings for a legal opinion on the Bill and he gave it the going-over it deserved – although it soon became painfully clear that trivial issues of human rights were not going to deter a hell-bent Home Secretary.

Jennings was generous with his time and concerned beyond the call of duty, answering my inept follow-up questions with great patience and tact. A lovely man. I shall keep in my head the memory of him saying: “Remember, nothing – absolutely nothing – can entirely extinguish a human right.”

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