Advisory Board

Sir Geoffrey Bindman KC (Hon)

Sir Geoffrey founded the leading London Human Rights law firm Bindmans LLP.

From 1966-1976 he was legal adviser to the Race Relations Board and thereafter until 1983 to the Commission for Racial Equality.

He is a Visiting Professor of Law at University College London and at London South Bank University, an Honorary Fellow in Civil Legal Process at the University of Kent, and a Fellow of the Society of Advanced Legal Studies. In 1982 he was Visiting Professor of Law at the University of California at Los Angeles. In July 2000 he received an honorary doctorate from De Montfort University. He also has an honorary doctorate from Kingston University, and is a former chair of the Board of Trustees at the British Institute of Human Rights.

He has won awards for a lifetime’s achievement in human rights from Liberty (December 1999) and the Law Society’s Gazette (October 2003).

He has represented the International Commission of Jurists, the International Bar Association, Amnesty International, and other bodies in human rights missions in countries, including the former Soviet Union, Germany, South Africa, Chile, Uganda, Namibia, Malaysia, Israel and the Occupied Territories, and Northern Ireland. In 1988 he was a member of a UK mission monitoring the constitutional referendum in Chile and in 1994 was a United Nations Observer at the first democratic elections in South Africa.

He was knighted in January 2007 for services to human rights and in March 2011 appointed honorary Queen’s Counsel.

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Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan

Sir Alan Duncan served as the British government’s Minister of State for International Development and the UK’s Foreign Minister responsible for Europe and the Americas, and until November 2019 was the Member of Parliament for Rutland Melton.

Sir Alan studied at St John’s College, Oxford and Harvard University before developing a successful career in the oil industry. He managed to combine a political career at the heart of government with real world experience of business.

For the past thirty years, he has been at the centre of British political life and held positions such as Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, and Shadow Minister for Justice.

Seen as one of UK politics’ most forthright personalities, Sir Alan Duncan is regarded as one of the most connected and informed experts on the Middle East and, as Boris Johnson’s deputy in the Foreign Office, sat at the very midst of everything in government that took place between the EU referendum and the UK’s eventual exit from the EU.

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Layla Moran MP

Layla Moran is the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and International Development and the Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon.

Layla was the first British Palestinian Member of the United Kingdom Parliament. Layla’s mother is a Christian Palestinian from Jerusalem and her father is a British EU Ambassador.

She has lived in many countries including Belgium, Greece, Ethiopia, Jamaica and Jordan and speaks French fluently along with some Spanish, Arabic and Greek.

Layla read Physics at Imperial College and holds an MA in Comparative Education.

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Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece OBE

Meral Hussein-Ece OBE is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords, introduced in June 2010. She was the first British Parliamentarian of Turkish/Turkish-Cypriot heritage. She is President of Liberal Democrats Friends of Palestine and has been a campaigner for Palestinian rights for many years.

She was the party’s Equalities Spokesperson from 2011 – 2019.

Meral has served on several House of Lords Select Committees, including on ‘Soft Power’, and ‘Sexual Violence in Conflict’.

Meral was previously elected councillor to Hackney Council in 1994-2002, where she was Deputy Leader, then served as councillor in the London Borough of Islington 2002 -2010, where she was Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, and Chair of the Health Partnership Board.

She was appointed as Commissioner to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2009 -2013.

Meral was adviser to party leader Nick Clegg MP on community cohesion and minority ethnic communities.

In 2009 Meral was awarded the OBE in the Queens New Year Honours for services to local government.

She received the honorary Decree of Doctor of Letters, from Coventry University in recognition of her work on minority communities, and her input towards the peace process in Cyprus.

Meral established the UKs first Turkish-speaking women’s centre, dedicated to supporting Turkish and Kurdish women who were victims of domestic violence, which celebrated its 30th anniversary.

She has been active in successfully campaigning to bring Afghan women, journalists, and academics to the UK since 2021.

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Sarah Leah Whiston

Sarah Leah Whitson is a US attorney. She currently serves as Executive Director of DAWN. Previously, she served as executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division from 2004 – 2020, overseeing the work of the division in 19 countries, with staff located in 10 countries.

She has led dozens of advocacy and investigative missions throughout the region, focusing on issues of armed conflict, accountability, legal reform, migrant workers, and human rights. She has published widely on human rights and foreign policy in the Middle East in international and regional media, including The New York TimesForeign PolicyThe Los Angeles Times, and CNN.

She appears regularly on Al-Jazeera, BBC, NPR, and CNN. Previously, Whitson worked in New York for Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Law School. Whitson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is on the boards of the Artistic Freedom Initiative, Freedom Forward, and ALQST for Human Rights. She speaks Armenian and Arabic.

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Professor John Dugard SC

John is a South African barrister, practising international law and international criminal law in the Netherlands. For thirty years he was professor of law at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where  he directed the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, a unit that engaged in human rights research, advocacy and litigation. From 1995 to 1997 he was Director of the Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law, Cambridge, and from 1998 to 2006 he was professor of international law at the University of Leiden.

John was a member of the UN International Law Commission for fifteen years and was Special Rapporteur on Diplomatic Protection to this body. In 2001 he was appointed as Chair of the UN Human Rights Inquiry Commission to Investigate Violations of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and from from 2001 to 2008 he was UN  Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Since 2000 he has served intermittently as Judge ad hoc of the International Court of Justice.

John has held visiting professorships at the universities of  Princeton, Duke, Berkeley, Pennsylvania, New South Wales and Pretoria.  He is a member of the Instititut de droit international and an Honorary Member of the American Society of International Law (2008). Six South African universities have conferred honorary degrees on him.

In 2010 John was awarded the Gruber Foundation Justice Prize for championing international human rights law and in 2012 the President of South Africa conferred on him the Order of the Baobab (Gold), South Africa’s highest civilian service award. His books include  Human Rights and the South African Legal Order (1978), International Law. A South African Perspective (4th ed, 2011) and The Secession of States and Their Recognition in the Wake of Kosovo (2013).

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Susan Akram

Professor Susan M. Akram is the Director of the International Human Rights Clinic at Boston University School of Law. 

She has worked on issues of protracted refugee and stateless communities globally for three decades and has been advocating for refugees and displaced persons through direct representation and in the UN human rights machinery.

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Gul Nawaz Hussain KC

Naz Hussain KC specialises in high-profile, complex, and serious criminal defence work.

Within his first 3 years of practice Naz was recognised as a leading barrister by Chambers UK and The Legal 500; he has consistently been ranked by them ever since. His exceptional ability and excellence in his chosen fields was officially acknowledged upon his appointment as Queen’s (now King’s) Counsel.

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Wadah Khanfar

Wadah Khanfar is the co-founder and President of the Sharq Forum and the former director general of the Al Jazeera Network.

He began his career with the network in 1997, covering some of the world’s key political zones, including South Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq. He was appointed the chief of the Baghdad bureau, and later as the network’s managing director. In 2006, he became Al Jazeera’s director general. During his 8-year tenure at the helm, the network transformed from a single channel into a media network including Al Jazeera Arabic, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Documentary and the Al Jazeera Center for Studies.

During this period, the Arab world witnessed historic transformation including Arab Awakening. Khanfar, who resigned from the network in September 2011, has been named as one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 global thinkers of 2011 as well as one of Fast Company’s ‘Most Creative People in Business’ of the year.

Khanfar has a diverse academic background with post-graduate studies in Philosophy, African Studies, and International Politics.

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Maria Mohammedi

Maria Mohammedi has worked to defend Palestinian rights for the past 25 years.

Born in Algeria of a French mother and an Algerian father, the Palestinian cause and self-determination have been at the heart of her civic and professional commitment. Maria, who has a legal background, lived in Gaza for ten years, where she focused on legal, humanitarian and development action, youth empowerment and culture. There, she established the first eco-friendly hotel in Gaza with her partner, before joining the United Nations where she engaged in humanitarian diplomacy on behalf of Palestine refugees.

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