Clive Stafford Smith

Clive Stafford Smith, OBE is a lawyer specialising in the area of civil rights and the death penalty in the USA.  He is the Founder and Director of Reprieve, a UK charity that fights for the lives of people facing the death penalty and other human rights violations: focusing on the cases of the innocent, people who are mentally ill or learning disabled, women, racial and ethnic minorities, all those unjustly on death row and those detained out of reach of the law in the 'war on terror'.  In 1993 Stafford Smith founded the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, a not-for-profit law office devoted to providing legal services to indigent persons facing the death penalty in the South, where he was Director until 2004.  He is the Patron of Lifelines, a British Charity founded in 1988 dedicated to reinforcing the dignity of Death Row prisoners by establishing links between them and citizens who are free.

Clive Stafford Smith has represented numerous capital cases in the USA, including many of international interest.  He has also worked extensively on behalf of prisoners in Guantánamo Bay: assisting with the coordination of the litigation on behalf of all prisoners in Guantánamo Bay; helping to coordinate the team of lawyers to secure free legal representation for all 520 prisoners, including 6 conferences to date on the legal issues and on the understanding of Islamic cultural issues; traveled to various countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa to ensure access to legal assistance for the families of the Guantánamo prisoners; assisted approximately 80 prisoners; permitted security clearance to visit prisoners in Guantánamo in October 2004.

Major publications include Bad Men: Guantánamo and the Secret Prisons (Weidenfeld, published April 2007), which was short listed for the Orwell Prize in 2008. His latest book, Injustice: Life and Death in the Courtrooms of America, was published in 2012. He has also contributed to and/or presented a number of documentaries for the BBC (including The Death Belt, BBC2, 2003) and Channel Four (including Is Torture a Good Idea, Channel 4, 2005).

In 2000 Clive Stafford Smith was awarded an OBE for services to humanity.  More recent honours also include the Gandhi Peace Award (2005), Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Award (2008) and the International Freedom of the Press Award (April 2009), Unione Nazionale Cronisti Italiani (for the defense of Sami el Haj), International Bar Association's Human Rights Award (2010). He was also awarded an honorary Doctorate by Bournemouth University (2011) and an honorary Degree (Doctor of Laws) by University of Bath (2011).