The Rt Hon the Lord Steyn (Chair)
South African born and raised, Johan van Zyl Steyn, Baron Steyn PC served as a member of the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords and of the Privy Council until his retirement in 2005. He left practice as a silk at the Cape Bar for London in 1973, joining the English Bar and taking silk in 1979. He was appointed a High Court judge in 1985. He served as presiding judge of the Northern Circuit from 1989 to 1991 and was appointed Lord Justice of Appeal in 1992. In 1995 he was elevated to a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and created a life peer as Baron Steyn of Swafield in the County of Norfolk. Since his retirement he has been involved actively in international human-rights issues and as an international arbitrator.
The Rt Hon the Baroness Chakrabarti CBE
Shami Chakrabarti, since August 2016 a member of the British House of Lords and since October 2016 Shadow Attorney General in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Shadow Cabinet, was the Director of Liberty (The National Council for Civil Liberties) from 2003 until 2016. She first joined Liberty as in-house counsel in September 2001, and became heavily involved in its engagement with the “War on Terror” and with the defence and promotion of human-rights values in the British Parliament, courts and wider society. being described in The Times as “probably the most effective public affairs lobbyist of the past 20 years”. In 2011 she was appointed a panel member of the Leveson inquiry (a judicial inquiry into phone-hacking) and in 2016 chair of an inquiry into antisemitism in the Labour Party. A barrister by background, she was called to the Bar in 1994 and worked as a lawyer in the Home Office from 1996 until 2001 for governments of both persuasions. Among other positions, she is Chancellor of the University of Essex, a Visiting Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, an Honorary Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford and a Bencher of the Middle Temple.
Judge Nathaniel R. Jones
Judge Jones has served as a lawyer, jurist, academic and public servant. He served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit for 23 years up to his retirement in 2002 and is now employed as of counsel in the Cincinnati office of Blank Rome LLP. Judge Jones’s record of community and academic service includes teaching at the Harvard Law School and serving as general counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, inter alia coordinating legal efforts to end school segregation in the northern US. His efforts in civil and human rights have taken him to countries around the world and in 1994 he served on the team of observers for the first democratic elections in South Africa.
Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.
Vernon E Jordan Jr, a Senior Managing Director of Lazard Frères & Co LLC in New York, previously practised general, corporate, legislative and international law in Washington, DC. Prior to that he held a variety of positions with the National Urban League, the United Negro College Fund, the Voter Education Project of the Southern Regional Council and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; he was also an attorney in private practice in Arkansas and Georgia. His presidential appointments include the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on South Africa, the Advisory Council on Social Security and the Presidential Clemency Board, and in 1992 he chaired the Clinton Presidential Transition Team. He holds a slew of corporate and other directorships. A graduate of DePauw University and the Howard University Law School, he holds honorary degrees from more than 60 colleges and universities and is a member of the Bars of Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Georgia and the US Supreme Court and of the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the Council on Foreign Relations and The Bilderberg Meetings.
Professor Sir Jeffrey Jowell KCMG QC
Jeffrey Jowell is Director of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law in London and a practising barrister at Blackstone Chambers. He is Professor Emeritus of Public Law at University College London, where he was previously the Dean and a Vice-Provost of UCL. Educated at the Universities of Cape Town, Oxford and Harvard, he is a leading authority on public law and has advised on a number of national constitutions. He was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2011 “for services to human rights, democracy and the rule of law”. He has served on a number of public bodies, including, from 2000 to 2011, as the United Kingdom’s member on the Council of Europe’s Commission for Democracy through Law (the Venice Commission).
Sir Sydney Kentridge KCMG QC
Sydney Kentridge initially practised at the Johannesburg Bar: he was part of Nelson Mandela’s defence team in 1961 and represented the family in the Steve Biko inquest in 1977, later moving to practise in London. A longtime member of Brick Court Chambers, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1984 and a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn in 1985, retiring from full-time practice in 2013. He was knighted in 1999 for his international human-rights work. He has sat as a judge of appeal in Botswana, as a Judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey and as an Acting Justice of South Africa’s Constitutional Court.
Dr Mamphela Ramphele
Mamphela Ramphele has been a student activist, a medical doctor, a community development activist, a researcher, a university executive and a global public servant and is now an active citizen in both the public and private sectors. Dr Ramphele has served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, as one of four Managing Directors of the World Bank and as chairperson of several companies. She was a founding board member of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa and the founder of the Citizens Movement and is currently a trustee of both the Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko Foundations. She is the author of several books and publications on socio-economic issues in South Africa and has received numerous national and international awards acknowledging her leading role in spearheading projects for disadvantaged people in South Africa and elsewhere.
The Hon Soli Sorabjee SC
Soli Sorabjee is a former Attorney-General of India who has held prominent positions in a multitude of national and international legal and human-rights related organisations, currently serving inter alia as President of the Delhi-based United Lawyers’ Association, and Honorary Life President of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association. He was appointed a Special Rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Commission in 1997, a member of the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities in 1998, and Personal Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reporting on the human-rights situation in East Timor in 1999. He has also served as a member of the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and as a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. He has acted in several cases of constitutional importance in the High Courts and the Supreme Court of India, particularly cases relating to freedom of expression, freedom of the press, independence and accountability of the judiciary and judicial activism. The national honour of the Padma Vibhushan was conferred on him in 2002.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu
Desmond Tutu is a South African cleric and activist who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid. Archbishop Tutu served as the first black South African Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town and primate of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa from 1986 to 1996. He is perhaps best known in his own country for chairing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission subsequent to the fall of apartheid, and has also served as the honorary chairman of the Global AIDS Alliance. Among his many awards and honours are a slew of honorary degrees, the Nobel Peace Prize (1984), the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism and the Magubela Prize for Liberty (both 1986), the Pacem in Terris Award (1987), the Sydney Peace Prize (1987), the Gandhi Peace Prize (2007), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009) and in 2013 the Templeton Prize “for his life-long work in advancing spiritual principles such as love and forgiveness which has helped to liberate people around the world”.