THE mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence joins a celebrated playwright and a law reformer amongst recipients of honorary degrees from the University of York.

Doreen Lawrence OBE will receive an honorary doctorate for her campaign work since the murder of her son in a racial attack 20 years ago. Her efforts led to a judicial review which concluded that racism in the Metropolitan Police led to the failure of the murder enquiry into Stephen’s death.

Mrs Lawrence will receive her degree at one of the university’s graduation ceremonies which take place on Friday and Saturday.

Other recipients of honorary degrees will be Japan's Ambassador for the Human Rights of People Affected by Leprosy, Yohei Sasakawa, along with historian, author and broadcaster Bettany Hughes and Frances Patterson QC of the Law Commission for England and Wales, who represented the University at the public inquiry into Heslington East.

Trevor Griffiths, a leading British theatre, film and television playwright will also be honoured. The BAFTA award-winning writers work’s include the screenplay for Warren Beatty’s 1981 film Reds. His film Fatherland also went on to be directed by Ken Loach.

University of York said he had freely given his time to the students “offering invaluable advice during the planning of the new Department of Theatre, Film and Television, as well as giving masterclasses”.

A university spokesman said: “They join a roll call of outstanding individuals on whom the university has conferred honorary degrees in the past.”

The university confers honorary degrees on individuals who have made a significant contribution to society. Recipients often have existing links with the university and are chosen from nominations made by its members.