BHRC has appointed three prominent international law experts to its advisory board, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC and Professors Christine Chinkin and Kevin Jon Heller. 

BHRC’s Advisory Board is made up of previous BHRC Office Holders, senior members of the Bar and the judiciary, and individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and/or service to the field of human rights. Members of the Advisory Board are appointed by the BHRC Chair, following consultation with the Executive and a majority vote.

In addition to the three new appointees, the Advisory Board includes former BHRC Chairs Kirsty Brimelow QC, Mark Muller QC and Peter Carter QC. 

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC is one of the UKs most distinguished lawyers.  She has practiced at the Bar for over 40 years in the field of criminal law and has conducted many of the leading cases in those years, including the Balcombe Street Siege, the Brighton bombing trial, the Guildford Four Appeal, the European Union Sub-committee on Justice issues, Michael Bettany Espionage case, the bombing of the Israeli embassy, the Jihadist fertiliser bomb plot, and the transatlantic bomb plot.  She has championed law reform for women, especially relating to sexual and domestic violence and developed the defence of Battered Women’s syndrome in the British courts. She has chaired the British Council and the UK Human Genetics Commission.  She has been a member of the House of Lords for over 20 years,  where she chairs The European Union Sub-committee on Justice issues.  She is the President of Justice,  the British arm of the International Commission of Jurists. She is the chair of the Booker Prize Foundation and a member of Microsoft Technology and Human Rights Advisory Council.  She has stepped down as Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford and become the new Chancellor of Sheffield  Hallam University.  She has just taken over as the new Director of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute.

Professor Christine Chinkin CMG FBA is the Professorial Research Fellow and Founding Director for the Centre for Women, Peace and Security at London School of Economics and Political Science.  She is a Fellow of the British Academy, a barrister and an academic member of Matrix Chambers. She was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to advancing women’s human rights worldwide. Christine is a leading expert on international law and human rights law, especially the international human rights of women.  Christine has been a consultant or advisor to UN bodies on a range of issues including human trafficking gender-based persecution in armed conflict, peace agreements and gender and violence against women. She was a member of the UN fact-finding missions to Gaza in 2007 (Beit Hanoun) and 2009 (the Goldstone Report).  Christine is a leading expert on the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). She co-edited the seminal book ‘The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: A Commentary’ and authored the chapter on violence against women and girls. She was scientific advisor to the Council of Europe Committee that drafted the Convention on Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the ‘Istanbul Convention’), the most far-reaching international treaty aimed at tackling violence against women and domestic violence.

Professor Kevin Jon Heller is currently Associate Professor of Public International Law at the University of Amsterdam and Professor of Law at the Australian National University. He previously held the Chair in Criminal Law at SOAS, University of London, and continues to teach there each year. He is also an Academic Member of Doughty Street Chambers. He holds a PhD in law from Leiden University and a JD with distinction from Stanford Law School. Kevin has been involved in the International Criminal Court’s negotiations over the crime of aggression, worked as Human Rights Watch’s external legal advisor on the trial of Saddam Hussein, and served as the plaintiffs’ sole expert witness (concerning medical experimentation) in Salim v Mitchell, a successful Alien Tort Statute case against the psychologists who designed and administered the CIA’s torture program. He consults regularly with a variety of UN organisations (such as UNAMA), international tribunals (such as the ICC), and human rights groups (such as Human Rights First, Al-Haq, and the ECCHR), and he recently advised the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic concerning siege warfare and humanitarian access. He also directs the Amsterdam International Law Clinic at the University of Amsterdam, which specialises in assisting human-rights organisations. Kevin is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the international-law blog Opinio Juris, of which he has been a member for 14 years. The blog recently became formally associated with the International Commission of Jurists. 

Learn more about the Advisory Committee as well as the Executive Committee here.