Swansea University has awarded an honorary degree to British barrister, Lord Carlile of Berriew.

Lord Carlile was presented with the award today (17 December 2019) during the degree ceremony for the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law.

Alex Carlile was brought up in Ruabon, in North Wales, and in Lancashire. He was educated at Epsom College and went on to graduate in Law from King’s College London in 1969. A year later, he was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn, where he continues to be a Bencher, and he was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1984, when he was just 36. He was the Honorary Recorder of the City of Hereford until 2009, and has been a Deputy High Court Judge, a Recorder of the Crown Court, and Chair of the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

He has appeared in many notable cases, such as the successful defence of Princess Diana’s butler, Paul Burrell, and the largest fraud connected with the London Metal Exchange, R v Rastogi and others. His legal experience also extends to prosecuting and defending scores of murder cases, as well as to administrative law, public policy, and the law and practice of Parliament. He was, after the 1992 General Election, the only Liberal Democrat MP for Wales and led the Welsh Liberal Democrats until 1997. He became a Cross Bench Peer in 1999.

He was the first member of Parliament to call for rights for transgender people and, with the Howard League for Penal Reform (an organisation he went on to Chair) led the 2006 Inquiry into physical restraint, solitary confinement and forcible strip searching of children in prisons and secure children's homes. He was a vocal opponent of the UK coalition government's Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, and one of five Lords who vehemently opposed the introduction of means testing for police advice (to cover the cost of lawyers consulting suspects in police stations).

From 2001 to 2011 he was the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation. He has also been the Independent Reviewer of the Government’s PREVENT policy, and of National Security Policy in Northern Ireland.

He was awarded a CBE in 2012 in recognition of his services to national security.

He is now a founding director of SC Strategy Ltd, a strategy and public policy consultancy he established with Sir John Scarlett, the former Chief of MI6, and is actively involved with a number of organisations, including the drug, alcohol and mental health charity Addaction and the White Ensign Association.  He was co-founder of the Welsh young people’s mental health charity Rekindle.

On receiving his award, Lord Carlile said: “I feel very honoured to have been awarded this honorary degree by Swansea University. I greatly admire the work of the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law and I am delighted to contribute to its work. My receipt of this degree cements that relationship. I look forward to further work with Swansea University in the future.”