Anthony Lester, Baron Lester of Herne Hill
Born into a Jewish family, he was educated at the City of London School, and then studied history and law at Trinity College, Cambridge, and Harvard Law School. In the 1960s and 1970s Lester was directly involved with the drafting of race relations legislation in Britain. During these periods, he acted as the chair of the legal subcommittee of the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination (C.A.R.D.) and was a member of several organizations working for racial equality such as the Society of Labour Lawyers, Fabian Society, Council of the Institute of Race Relations, British Overseas Socialist Fellowship and the National Committee for Commonwealth Immigrants. In 1968, he co-founded the Runnymede Trust left-wing think-tank with Jim Rose. He was a special advisor to Roy Jenkins at the Home Office in the 1970s, and moved with Jenkins from the Labour Party to found the SDP in 1981. He was Chairman of the Runnymede Trust from 1991 to 1993.
He was created Baron Lester of Herne Hill, of Herne Hill in the London Borough of Southwark on 13 October 1993. As a barrister he works from Blackstone Chambers. He was appointed Adjunct Professor of the Faculty of Law at University College Cork (Ireland) in 2005.
On 29 June 2007, Lord Lester was appointed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown as a special advisor on constitutional reform to the Secretary of State for Justice. He is a member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights.
Lester is a patron of the Family Planning Association, previously called the National Birth Control Committee. He represented the FPA in a contentious case in Northern Ireland where it was widely claimed that the FPA were trying to use strategic litigation to introduce liberalised abortion laws into the country.
- Heineman, Benjamin W. The Politics of the Powerless: A Study of the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination. London, UK: Oxford University Press, 1972.
- Odysseus Trust - supporting the work of Anthony Lester in the House of Lords.