Saturday, June 18, 2011


A good meeting of ACERT (Advisory Council on the Education of Romanies and Travellers) with Christine Gilbert, head of OFSTED, and Sue Gregory, National Director, Inspections Delivery. With me were Margaret Wood and Brian Foster, members of the Executive Committee of ACERT, who had prepared three papers for discussion: Inspection arrangements; Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Children Missing Education, and Gypsy Roma and Travellers and Special Education Needs. We got a very good hearing lasting well over the hour that had been allotted to us.

In the evening I was guest of honour at the launch of Laurie Fransman's British Nationality Law, in Garden Court Chambers, Lincoln's Inn Fields. There was a galaxy of lawyers and lots of old friends including Alison Harvey of ILPA, Maureen Connolly retired from UNHCR, Sue Shutter now working for Fiona MacTaggart MP, Habib Rahman of JCWI. Laurie said some very nice things about my work on the problems of nationality law, but some of the conundrums left over from imperial days, like the Malaysian British Overseas Citizens, remain to be solved. Although 2011 is the 50th anniversary of the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, of which the UK is a sinatory, the Government don't think its necessary to do anything to mark the occasion, either in our own law or in the many instances of statelessness in countries that we have close relationships with, such as the Kuwaiti Bidoons.

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