Justice Letterhead (ref U DJU/1/7)

Justice (British Section of the International Commission of Jurists)

Background to the Collection

The beginnings of Justice can be found in the formation of a group of lawyers in response to serious legal concerns over the arrest and trial of the ANC leadership in South Africa in 1956, as well as over the arrest and trial of participants in the Hungarian Uprising of the same year. This initial ad hoc group subsequently sought affiliation to the International Commission of Jurists. In the first half of 1957 a constitution was devised and permanent officers were appointed, and the first executive council meeting was held 11 July 1957.

In the 1960s, after a decade of campaigning, Justice began to focus its activities through the establishment of permanent committees in the areas of administrative law, civil justice and criminal justice. The group’s work, aside from campaigning, has included careful research, monitoring of legislation and the provision of reports and recommendations to parliament. The group currently focuses on human rights, the criminal justice system, the European arrest warrant and the legal system and access to justice.

What is in the collection?

Material in this collection (ref U DJU) covers the period 1950-1991. Records include files of correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports, conference papers and subject files by country. Files relate to the council and executive committee, standing committees on administrative law, civil justice, colonial/commonwealth affairs, and criminal justice. Files also relate to joint bodies observation of other countries, the International Commission of Jurists, and ad hoc committees.

What areas of research would the collection support?

This collection would support research into general aspects of administrative law, civil and criminal justice, observation of the legal system and legal reform. It would also support research into cooperation amongst legal professionals, as well as the specifics of cases in which Justice has been involved.

Are there any access issues?

Please note that some files may be closed under data protection legislation. Where this is the case, indication is given in individual descriptions on the online catalogue.

Is there any related material?

Related material can be found in the following collections:

  • Liberty (ref U DCL) formerly the National Council for Civil Liberties
  • John Platts-Mills (ref U DPM)

Please also see our politics and campaigning page for further guidance on our political collections.