Vera Baird DBE KC

Writer, Lecturer, Parliamentary Consultant and Co-Director of Astraea: Gender Justice

Vera Baird KC DBE


Vera is pleased to have become Co-Director of Astraea: Gender Justice (Research & Education) with Professor Dr Jill Radford.

Astraea: Gender Justice (Research and Education) is a new feminist organisation which has been established to provide another authoritative voice in public debates that touch on issues to do with gender justice and gender violence. Its co-directors are Vera Baird QC, former Solicitor-General and Professor Jill Radford, formerly of Teesside University.  We are now registered as a ‘not for profit\’ limited company and are seeking charitable status.

Astraea:Gender Justice will carry out high quality research & co-ordinate existing research about policy, law and practice and its impact on women in the justice system in England and Wales.

  • It will work in the context of European Law and with European partners.
  • It will engage with research into international issues of concern to women and in particular on International Human Rights

Astraea: Gender Justice will comment on existing and proposed gender policies & will respond to UK Government & other consultations on practice and law reform Its remit will include policy which will impact on women as defendants, victims or witnesses in criminal justice and as parties in civil justice in the UK

Astraea offers advice, training, education, policy development, gender-proofing of existing practices & advocacy in all of these areas.

Its Co-Directors have a wealth of expertise and have close links with a range of other organisations. Jill is an extremely experienced lecturer and tutor and Vera has a track record of high-level lecturing and public advocacy both in Parliament and in the courts.

Please contact us by e mail at

Our First Research Project

Astraea: Gender Justice is currently undertaking a small research project on the responses of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) to applications made by survivors of rape.  This is in the wake of changes to their rules following controversial rulings that hit the headlines last year.

We are aware that no amount of financial compensation can undo the harms of rape, but recognise that for many women, a positive outcome from the CICA may represent societal recognition that a serious wrong has been committed against them and as such represents a form of justice. Consequently it matters how the authorities respond to applications for compensation from survivors / victims of rape.

We are also aware that, unlike the responses of the police, law and criminal justice system, those of the CICA have been subject of very limited feminist scrutiny or research, so this project is a timely way of taking forward issues around rape and sexual violence.

We are currently receiving and analysing questionnaire responses from Victim Support. Rape Crisis and expert solicitors. We would like to thank everyone who has already participated in our work. If you have one of our questionnaires and have not yet had time to answer it, we would still be glad to receive preferably before the last week in September.

To complete the questionnaire please click here.

Dr Jill Radford is a distinguished, award-winning academic in the field of Violence Against Women and the author of a number compilations, books and textbooks.

Vera\’s full biography can be found here