Nicola O'Connor, partner in the fraud and criminal litigation team, has been invited to take part in an Oxford Union debate on 13 November - 'This House Believes That Those Accused of Sexual Violence Have No Right to Anonymity'. Taking place since 1823, the Oxford Union debates were founded on an ideal of the Freedom of Speech, when religion and politics were off-limits within the university. Twelve British Prime Ministers have cut their teeth and honed their skills in the University's Debating Chamber, including Tony Blair and David Cameron.
Nicola, will form part of the opposition with Paul Tweed, solicitor at Johnsons, specialising in reputation management and privacy disputes. Felicity Gerry QC an international human rights barrister and Sarah Green, campaign manager of End Violence against Women are the proposition.
Nicola has significant experience in dealing with high profile, multi-defendant and large scale cases; she famously represented Peter Bacon, who was acquitted of rape in 2009. Recognised in the Legal 500, Thomson Reuters 2013 'Super Lawyer' list and recently Chambers & Partners as 'up and coming', Nicola is regularly contacted for advice upon all aspects of the criminal justice system by the BBC.
"I hope to bring a strong female voice to a discussion which is too often dominated by male figures. I am honoured to be asked to participate in what will undoubtedly be a lively discussion. I have witnessed a number of cases over the years where clients have been acquitted by a jury but their lives and that of their family have been damaged beyond repair by an allegation of a sexual nature having been made public. I believe that there needs to be more debate about this issue" added Nicola.
Visit the Oxford Union website for further information www.oxford-union.org