Prosecutor Nazir Afzal to address ‘blind spots’ in NSS lecture

Posted: Thu, 01 Jul 2021

Nazir Afzal

The National Secular Society is delighted to announce that the distinguished prosecutor Nazir Afzal will deliver its annual Bradlaugh Lecture for 2021, in Manchester in September.

Afzal is the former chief prosecutor for the north west of England and was recently appointed as the head of the Catholic Church's safeguarding body in England and Wales.

His high-profile cases have included the prosecution of the relatives responsible for an 'honour killing' in 2005, and prosecutions in the case of the Rochdale sex trafficking gang.

His lecture, entitled 'Blind spots', will explore how turning a blind eye has led to criminality and allowed harmful cultural practices to continue with impunity.

The NSS plans to hold the lecture at Manchester Art Gallery, on Saturday 4 September at 2pm. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A and a drinks reception.

The Bradlaugh Lecture is an annual event which gives a distinguished speaker an opportunity to explore a topic of interest to secularists in depth.

During his lecture Afzal will address a range of topics relevant to his life and work.

These include his efforts to uphold the rights of women and girls by combatting forced marriage, female genital mutilation, honour-based violence and abuse.

He will explore how, and why, a reluctance to acknowledge harmful practices in some communities leads to injustice and a breakdown in social cohesion.

And he will consider how we promote tolerance, pluralism and understanding in an increasingly diverse society.

NSS comment

NSS chief executive Stephen Evans said: "We're delighted that Nazir Afzal has agreed to deliver our Bradlaugh Lecture – it promises to be a fascinating event.

"We look forward to hearing him draw on his long and varied experience to provide an insight into a range of significant issues. His lecture will be of interest to anyone concerned with social cohesion, human rights and the equitable and appropriate application of justice."

Tickets for the lecture are £15 – with NSS members entitled to a £10 discount.

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Bradlaugh Lecture 2021

Secure your place for our 2021 Bradlaugh Lecture with Nazir Afzal, in Manchester on Saturday 4 September.

Tags: Bradlaugh Lecture, Child Abuse