Ian Kennedy (legal scholar)

Sir Ian Kennedy QC
Ian Kennedy hosting After Dark in 1987.JPG
Kennedy hosting the television discussion programme After Dark in 1987
Ian McColl Kennedy

(1941-09-14) 14 September 1941 (age 80)
Tipton, Staffordshire, England[1]
Education King Edward VI College, Stourbridge, Worcestershire[2]
Occupation Emeritus Professor of Health Law, Ethics and Policy
Employer University College London
Known for Academic Lawyer
Spouse(s) 1. Ilsa Echegaray (married 1967) (divorced c.1970) (died 2007)[3]

2. Mary

3. Andrea Gage

Sir Ian McColl Kennedy, QC[4] (born 14 September 1941) is a British academic lawyer who has specialised in the law and ethics of health. He was appointed to chair the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority in 2009.[5]

Education and academic career

1952–1959: He attended King Edward VI College, Stourbridge, Worcestershire where he spent four years in the sixth form.

1960–1963: He attended University College, London, graduated 1st class Hons. LLB.

1963–1965: Fulbright Fellow at University of California, Berkeley (LLM).

1965–1971: Sub-Dean, Tutor and Lecturer in Law at University College, London (LLD).

1966–1967: Ford Foundation fellow of Yale University and Mexico University.

In the summer of 1969 Kennedy visited Cuba to study the administration of justice, supported by a Hayter Fellowship awarded by the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London (by Prof. R.A. Humphreys). In December/January 1970 – 1971 he returned to Cuba to gain information for his paper titled "Cuba's Ley Contra La Vagancia – The Law on Loafing".[6]

Kennedy was Dean of the Law School at King's College London, from 1986 to 1996. Kennedy is Emeritus Professor of Health Law, Ethics and Policy at University College London. He is an honorary Bencher of the Inner Temple.

Kennedy was the BBC's Reith lecturer (on the subject of "Unmasking Medicine") in 1980[7] and hosted many editions of After Dark on Channel 4.[8]

Committees and inquiries

Kennedy has been a member of numerous committees and inquiries.[9]

For nine years, he was a member of the General Medical Council. In 1978, he founded the Centre of Medical Laws and Ethics, of which he later became president. He also served as member of the Medicines Commission, and the Department of Health advisory group on AIDS. He is a member of the board of the UK Research Integrity Office.[9]

In 1997, he took part in a UK Government inquiry that gave cautious approval to xenotransplantation (the use of animal-to-human transplants), and in 1998, was a member of the committee that recommended pet passports.

Kennedy was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics 1991–2002 and Chair during 1998–2002.

Kennedy is a trustee of homeless health charity Pathway.[10]

He chaired the public inquiry into children's heart surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary (1998–2001),[11] which concluded that paediatric cardiac surgery services at Bristol were "simply not up to the task", because of shortages of key surgeons and nurses, and a lack of leadership, accountability, and teamwork. This resulted in his becoming chair of the Healthcare Commission,[12] from its creation (in shadow form) in 2003, until it was merged with other regulatory bodies to form the Care Quality Commission in 2009. In October 2009, Kennedy became chair of the King's Fund’s inquiry into the quality of general practice in England, replacing Niall Dickson.[13] He led an enquiry into the work of breast surgeon Ian Paterson in Birmingham in 2013.

Involvement in medicine and alternative medicine

In 2010, he was elected inaugural Vice-President of the College of Medicine,[14] an organisation set up to bring together patients and clinicians on an equal footing.[15] Several commentators, writing in The Guardian[16][17] and The British Medical Journal[18][19][20][21] claim that this organisation is simply a re-branding of Prince Charles' alternative medicine lobbying group the Foundation for Integrated Health. This has been denied by the College of Medicine[22] whose President is Graeme Catto, for seven years the President of the General Medical Council.


Kennedy was knighted in 2002 for services to medical law and bioethics. He is an Honorary Fellow of:[9]

He was also awarded an Honorary DSc degree by the University of Glasgow in 2003.[23]


  • Kennedy, Ian (11 June 1981). The Unmasking of Medicine. Allen & Unwin. p. 240. ISBN 978-0046100162.
  • Kennedy, Ian (19 September 1991). Treat Me Right: Essays in Medical Law and Ethics. Clarendon Paperbacks. p. 446. ISBN 978-0198255581.
  • Kennedy, Ian; Grubb, Andrew (March 1994). Medical Law: Text and Materials. Butterworths Law. p. 1200. ISBN 978-0406006233.
  • Woolf, Harry; Kennedy, Ian; Freilich, Gloria; Donaldson, Liam; Carrier, John (February 2007). Law, Medicine and Ethics: Essays in Honour of Lord Jakobovits. Cancerkin. p. 224. ISBN 978-0955479908.
  • Kennedy, Ian (9 December 2010). Grubb, Andrew; Laing, Judith; McHale, Jean (eds.). Principles of Medical Law. OUP Oxford. p. 1320. ISBN 978-0199544400.


  1. ^ Hill, Stan. "Eminent Black Country Folk – Ian McColl Kennedy". The Blackcountryman. The Black Country Society. 21 (4).
  2. ^ Who's Who 2010 (162 ed.). A & C Black. 7 December 2009. ISBN 978-1408114148.
  3. ^ "Healthy Organization Workgroup". University of Puerto Rico. Archived from the original on 14 March 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  4. ^ Swaine, Jon (2 December 2009). "MPs' expenses: Profile of Sir Paul Kennedy, new judge of allowance claims". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  5. ^ Tran, Mark (4 November 2009). "Profile: Sir Ian Kennedy". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  6. ^ Kennedy, Ian McColl (1973). "Cuba's Ley Contra La Vagancia – The Law on Loafing". UCLA Law Review. UCLA School of Law. 20: 1177. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  7. ^ "The Reith Lectures: Unmasking Medicine, Ian Kennedy, 1980". BBC. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  8. ^ "After Dark". Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  9. ^ a b c "Advisory Board Members". UK Research Integrity Office. Archived from the original on 14 March 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  10. ^ "Pathway – Our People". Pathway – Healthcare for Homeless People. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Who's who". The Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry. Archived from the original on 11 August 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  12. ^ "About us – The Commissioners". Healthcare Commission. Archived from the original on 30 September 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  13. ^ "Sir Ian Kennedy joins The King's Fund's inquiry into the quality of general practice". King's Fund. 21 October 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  14. ^ "Professor Sir Ian Kennedy". The College of Medicine. 14 October 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  15. ^ "About the College of Medicine". The College of Medicine. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  16. ^ Ian Sample (2 August 2010). "College of Medicine born from ashes of Prince Charles's holistic health charity". The Guardian. London.
  17. ^ Edzard Ernst (10 January 2012). "College of Medicine is a lobby group promoting unproven treatments". The Guardian.
  18. ^ Jane Cassidy (15 June 2011). "Lobby Watch: The College of Medicine". British Medical Journal. 343: d3712. doi:10.1136/bmj.d3712. PMID 21677014.
  19. ^ David Colquhoun (12 July 2011). "The College of Medicine is Prince's Foundation reincarnated". British Medical Journal. 343: d4368. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4368. PMID 21750061. S2CID 26752930.
  20. ^ James May (12 July 2011). "College of Medicine: What is integrative health?". British Medical Journal. 343: d4372. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4372. PMID 21750063. S2CID 206893456.
  21. ^ Edzard Ernst (12 July 2011). "College of Medicine or College of Quackery?". British Medical Journal. 343: d4370. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4370. PMID 21750062. S2CID 8061172.
  22. ^ Lewith, G. T.; Catto, G.; Dixon, M.; Glover, C.; Halligan, A.; Kennedy, I.; Manning, C.; Peters, D. (2011). "College of Medicine replies to its critics". BMJ. 343: 4364. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4364. PMID 21750060. S2CID 21334595. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  23. ^ "Biography of Professor Sir Ian Kennedy". Blakes Parliamentary Yearbook. 2009. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2013.

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