Thursday, 19 May 2011

Justice for Stephen Lawrence

After 18 long years, the family and friends of Stephen Lawrence can now hope that a new trial will uncover who was responsible for his murder.

In the face of a terrible personal tragedy, his family fought for justice. Their campaign exposed a disastrous police investigation, and revealed just how much racism had infected the criminal justice system. But, as Sabby Dhalu from One Society Many Cultures explains, real reform is still needed to root out racism:

“Today’s decision would not have been possible, if not for the commitment of the family of Stephen Lawrence, who have had to overcome tragedy, heartbreak and institutional racism, and who are still pursuing justice which should be a basic human right

“The Lawrence family have had to contend with the racism both from Stephen’s murderers and from a police and criminal justice system that failed to appropriately investigate Stephen’s murder and pursue his killers.

“11 years ago the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry was a watershed moment for the anti-racist movement in Britain. It highlighted the depth of institutional racism in Britain’s criminal justice system, including the way the racial murder of a Black person was not treated with the same seriousness as other murders.

“However 11 years on, many of the recommendations in the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry report have not been implemented. The proposals were deemed necessary to reduce the inequalities of the criminal justice system, so should all be implemented.

“One Society Many Cultures calls on the government to take action to ensure the Stephen Lawrence report recommendations are carried out in full. We hope that today’s announcement of a new trial will lead to justice. Our thoughts are with the family of Stephen Lawrence. “