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Renowned Criminal Barrister Awarded Honorary Doctorate

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At a ceremony today in London’s Westminster Cathedral, renowned criminal barrister Caroline Haughey OBE KC has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by St Mary’s University, Twickenham (SMU).

Based at Furnival Chambers, Caroline specialises in modern slavery and human trafficking cases and was made the award in recognition of her work in this area and for her support for the SMU Bakhita Centre for Research on Slavery, Exploitation and Abuse.

She prosecuted the first modern slavery case in Britain and subsequently advised on the drafting of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Caroline has prosecuted a number of firsts under the Act, including the first child sex exploitation, first child labour exploitation, and first ‘victimless’ prosecution. She also prosecuted the largest trafficking and labour exploitation case in Europe, Operation Fort.

Caroline was the author of the first Independent Modern Slavery Act Review 2016 and was a joint legal adviser on the second Independent Modern Slavery Act Review. She has also been the independent member of the Prime Minister’s Modern Slavery Task Force.

Caroline Haughey holding honorary doctorate

St Mary’s Vice-Chancellor Anthony McClaran said, “Caroline is an exemplary candidate for an honorary doctorate at St Mary’s. Bringing an end to, and supporting victims of the appalling crimes of human exploitation is a core part of our mission as a university.

“Caroline’s work to end these crimes and raise awareness of the challenges faced by people with lived experience of modern slavery, alongside her global reputation for professional excellence and integrity make her an excellent role model for our graduates and researchers.”

Caroline has been a supporter of the work at SMU on slavery, human trafficking, exploitation, and abuse since the establishment of the Bakhita Centre. She has been a regular source of information and advice to our research projects, including most recently sitting on the Advisory Group for an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project.

The Bakhita Centre was founded in 2015 to conduct research on modern slavery and human trafficking, to influence practice and policy, and to raise awareness across the university, in local communities and further afield. Earlier in 2023, the centre announced its inaugural patron, SMU alumnus Sir Mo Farah.

The Centre aims to broaden the University’s research on global issues that intersect with modern slavery, including gender-based violence, sexual and other forms of exploitation, abuse and discrimination based on structural inequalities, race, ethnicity, asylum seeking/refugee and migrant status.

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