Hello and welcome to my website. Thanks for stopping by!
I have almost 20 years’ experience in this sector and have a long and varied track record. My wide-ranging experience includes:
I have worked with the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Scottish Human Rights Commission, the UK Government and non-governmental organisations in a variety of positions in the field and at headquarters.
If you would like to know more about what I do and more specifically how I can help in matters of human rights education, training and consultancy then please read on…
It’s time for a better world. I have
Here’s a taster of the work I’ve been involved in recently:
February 2018 – Present: O’Brien Fellow-in-Residence, Centre for Human Rights & Legal Pluralism, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
October 2017 – January 2018: Associate Tutor, International Human Rights Law – Surrey University
2014 - 2017
Human Rights Advisor – UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office/Prisoners Abroad – Advise Embassies, Consulates and country caseworkers on cases of British nationals detained overseas where human rights issues are raised. Advise on international human rights law and standards and when and why it may be appropriate for the British Government to intervene in a case. Responsible for leading on the submission of Amicus Curiae briefs and other interventions directly to the court. Advise on whether cases fall within the FCO’s clemency policy. Advise Prisoners Abroad on human rights issues relating to British nationals detained overseas. Act as a key liaison point between Prisoners Abroad and the FCO;
2013 - 2014
Legal Advisor, Council of Europe – providing legal support and advice to the Directorate of General Administration including the Director General, Heads of Department and Division. Providing support to the Secretariat of different committees including the Council of Europe Tenders Board and Buyer Co-ordination Group;
2012 - 2013
Legal Officer – Human Rights Based Approach, Scottish Human Rights Commission – lead and managed a joint project mainstreaming human rights in the Scottish public sector. Lead the Commission’s work on austerity and human rights;
I am a firm believer in continuous learning and I try to maintain an awareness of current human rights issues. The following are details of some recent courses I have attended:
In particular, I can help your organisation to:
I have delivered human rights training programmes to a wide range of public sector organisations, representatives of non-governmental organisations, civil society and legal professionals (including the judiciary) in order to promote national capacity building.
Here are some examples of my work to date in this area.
I have provided training on European Human Rights law to prosecutors, district and national bodies (including Supreme Court judges), lawyers and key civil society organisations as part of an EU/Council of Europe financed capacity building programme. I have delivered the training, designed the agenda in conjunction with the Council of Europe and participated in workshops/Q & A sessions with participants as required. I have given training in the Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Armenia.
As a Legal Officer at the Scottish Human Rights Commission, I have given human rights training/advice to the Scottish Government/Parliament, regulatory bodies and the National Health Service
I have given human rights related advice to:
A human rights based approach (HRBA) seeks to ensure that international human rights standards are integrated in any policies, programme planning, design, implementation or decision making.
For more information on a HRBA see the Scottish Human Rights Commission: http://www.scottishhumanrights.com/ourresources/promotinghrba
My work on HRBA includes:
As project manager I have been responsible for managing contractors and a Steering Group, keeping the budget on track, facilitating training, building and maintenance of a web portal and general project oversight and management
For more information on this project see: http://www.scottishhumanrights.com/ourresources/hreqiamaincontent
Are you a student looking to forge a career in human rights? Are you scared about the next step?
If so, I would be happy to help, guide and mentor you as you embark on your career. I know the challenges you face in breaking into this most competitive of worlds. I have plenty of great experience, advice and inside knowledge to share, having worked in different sectors of the human rights world.
In particular I can offer the following:
I have mentored a number of students by phone, email, Skype and in person and I feel passionate about helping the next generation as they start their own human rights journey.
MENTORING SCHEME – UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST OF ENGLAND, BRISTOL
Since September 2013 I have been working with the University of the West of England, Bristol in mentoring law students who want to work in the human rights sector. Students are referred to me via the Law Faculty and I advise over Skype, phone and email.
TALKS AND PRESENTATIONS:
I have given a number of presentations at universities to both undergraduate and masters students on how to pursue a career in human rights focusing on a variety of human rights careers, practical insights, tips and ‘insider’ knowledge.
Recent presentations include:
If you would like me to come and talk to your university students on this topic then please do get in touch.
I have been engaged by the Council of Europe to help design, develop and deliver the following training programmes :
Organised within the framework of the Joint Programme between the European Union and Council of Europe on “Fostering a Culture of Human Rights” aiming to promote education, training, monitoring and awareness of European human rights standards
Organised within the framework of the joint programme between the EU and COE on “Enhancing the capacity of legal professionals and law enforcement officials to apply the ECHR in domestic legal proceedings and practices” (Training of the judiciary)
Organised within the framework of the Joint Programme between the EU and Council of Europe on “Combating ill treatment and impunity”
Organised within the framework of the Joint Programme between the EU and the Council of Europe on “Combating ill treatment and impunity”
Since 2012 I have been a Judge at the Council of Europe/European Law Students Association Moot Court competition. The competition aims to give law students practical experience of the European Convention on Human Rights and its implementation.
For more information see: http://www.humanrightsmootcourt.org/
I was a Judge for the 2013 ELSA Online Hate Speech Essay Competition which is organised in cooperation with the Council of Europe. For more information see: http://elsa.org/page/online-hate-speech-essay-competition/
I am a member of the European Human Rights Foundation, an alumni organisation of lawyers from the European Court of Human Rights which develops and delivers tailor made training for Council of Europe member states’ judicial and legal communities, undertakes awareness raising activities in member states and other human rights-related research activities.
For more information see: http://ehra.fr/Introduction.html
I gave a paper to a European Council funded project researching conditions for effective international adjudication on the Implementation of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights
For more information: http://www.effective-intl-adjudication.org
I was, until 2010, a guest lecturer at the University of Middlesex in London where I gave an annual workshop to graduate students in Forensic Psychology on the procedural and practical aspects of UK Immigration & Asylum law. Topics addressed have also included UK Counter-terrorism legislation.
I am involved with a number of pro-bono activities in my spare time:
In 2012/2013 I was a fundraising volunteer with the Refugee Survival Trust, a small Edinburgh-based charity that provides grants to asylum seekers and refugees living in Scotland. I have drafted fundraising applications on behalf of RST to trusts and foundations.
For more information see: www.rst.org.uk
I am a Trustee and former co-Chair of René Cassin, a London-based non-governmental organisation, which campaigns and educates on universal human rights issues including discrimination, detention of asylum seekers, genocide and slavery and human trafficking.
In my work with René Cassin I have:
For more information see: www.renecassin.org
I really enjoy writing both academically and for a wider audience through blogs and magazines. Here are some examples of the articles I’ve written over the years: