The Contrarian Prize lecture provides a platform to the winner of the prize to speak about a topic of their choice that highlights the principles of independence, courage and sacrifice.
This is a public lecture and aims to encourage the audience to think about the values we expect our leaders in British public life to espouse and whether the behaviours that they engage in are concomitant with these ideals. The lecture is delivered before the deadline for nominations for the prize to encourage people to put forward suitable individuals for this accolade.
The Contrarian Prize Lecture 2014, in conjunction with Cass Business School, was delivered on Wednesday 19 November by human rights lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, winner of the 2014 Contrarian Prize. electronics giant and was sacked for doing so.
An evening with Clive Stafford Smith,
winner of the 2014 Contrarian Prize
Wednesday 19th November 2014, 6pm- 8.45pm
In 1986, Kris Maharaj, a British businessman living in Miami, was arrested for the brutal murder of his ex-business associates Derrick and Duane Moo Young. His lawyer did not present a strong alibi; Kris was found guilty and sentenced to death in the electric chair.
He immediately began the process of appeal. But it wasn't until a young lawyer working for nothing, Clive Stafford Smith, took on his case that strong evidence began to emerge that the state of Florida had got the wrong man. So far, so good - except that, as Clive argues so compellingly, the American justice system is actually designed to ignore innocence.
On 10th November, Kris's lawyers will finally get to show the Miami courts that witnesses lied at his original trial, that the police framed him - and that he's innocent. After twenty-seven years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, Kris could finally be set free.
Step by step, from the botched trial to the ludicrous logic of the appeal courts, Clive untangled Kris's case, and the system that makes disasters like this inevitable.
This lecture was followed by a drinks reception at which Clive Stafford Smith signed copies of his bestselling book “Injustice”.