Martha Spurrier

Martha Spurrier
Liberty
Director

Martha is a human rights barrister. Before joining Liberty, she specialised in defending access to justice, challenging state failures and fighting for the rights of women, children and disabled people.

She has worked with bereaved families seeking answers after loved ones died in state care, victims of rape, domestic violence and trafficking who have been failed by the police, and protestors and journalists whose freedoms have been under attack.

Martha was previously a lawyer at Mind and the Public Law Project and she has written books about human rights, policing and disability rights. She is a trustee of Medical Justice.

Martha joined Liberty because she wanted to be part of a team of passionate, principled people using their diverse skills to hold the powerful to account and stand up for people’s rights. Litigation is only part of the answer – and she loves being part of an ambitious campaigning organisation that has many different tools for achieving change.

Articles by Martha Spurrier

You don't beat terrorism by sacrificing everything that makes us great

Last night, we saw a brutal, cowardly attack on the vibrant, resilient and diverse city in which we at Liberty are so lucky to live and work.

Our thoughts are with those affected – the victims, their families and loved ones. Our hearts go out to them.

For the third time in as many months, our police and emergency services showed huge bravery and selflessness in the face of the most barbaric, senseless violence.

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In solidarity with the people of Manchester

Our hearts go out to the victims and survivors of the terrible attack in Manchester last night and our thoughts are with their loved ones. This was a brutal, horrifying act targeting innocent families and children on what should have been an exciting night out.

But watching Mancunians come together is humbling and inspiring – amid the ongoing confusion, social media has been flooded with offers of spare rooms, free rides, phone chargers and cups of tea.

The emergency services worked tirelessly through the night.

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The year we tore up the rule book

Last weekend, Liberty members joined us in Sheffield to debate gender-based violence, State surveillance and much more at our AGM. Here’s what Liberty’s Director, Martha Spurrier, had to say at the end of an inspiring day.

It’s been quite a year.

Politics has put pollsters out of business as we’ve careened from one surprise result to another – whether it was the EU Referendum, the election of Donald Trump or the announcement of a snap election.

This is the year that we tore up the rule book.

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Five questions you should be asking canvassers

Local elections are done and dusted – but general election campaigning is just getting started.

Across the nation, we’ll be bombarded with slogans, leaflets and canvassers at every turn for the next four weeks – so it helps to know your stuff.

The concerns we raise on the doorstep are fed back to party headquarters – and can have a real influence over manifestos and campaigning priorities.

If you want to protect human rights for the next five years – whoever’s running our country – here are five things to ask every canvasser who comes to your door.

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#StopSharing patient information

Today we join Doctors of the World in calling for the Government to #StopSharing patients’ data with the Home Office.

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Every manifesto must commit to human rights

So there it is – a General Election on Thursday 8 June.

As manifestos are frantically drawn up, Liberty calls on all political parties to take this chance to take a stand for the principles and laws that protect the rights of ordinary people across the UK, day in, day out.

We urge them to commit to protecting our Human Rights Act and maintaining our membership of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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Where there is division, we build bridges

It is the end of a shocking and sad week. Wednesday’s senseless attack has left us all bereft, and our hearts go out to the victims and their loved ones.

The assault on our Parliament comes so soon after the murder of Jo Cox MP. These attacks are not about politics or faith. They are about fear and violence.

But – as the selfless actions of so many people showed on Wednesday – where we see one man’s cruelty, we remember our kindness.

When we are fearful, we find our courage. When we face injustice, we reach for fairness. Where there is division, we build bridges. 

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Trump, May and the fightback for human rights

Donald Trump’s presidency poses an existential threat to the global human rights movement. Our resistance must start now.

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Never trust a Government that fails to defend the rule of law

Last week, judges were asked to perform their centuries-old role of applying the law to the facts of a case before them. Quite apart from the merits or otherwise of the decision made, what had for hundreds of years been a cherished pillar of our democracy, the envy of many less fortunate around the world, suddenly became the focus of outrage, indignation and vicious personal attack.

Modern Britain was built on two principles: that every citizen, including those in power, is governed by the law, and that those laws are applied by independent judges – not by partisan politicians.

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National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2016: We stand together to reject the politics of hate

“So this is how liberty dies – with thunderous applause.”

So read a tweet from one of our members – channelling Padmé Amidala of Star Wars fame – in the midst of a dark period in British politics, which has contributed to a shocking and enduring spike in hate crime in our communities.

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