EVENTS and NEWS ARCHIVE: Click here for our letters and reports archive

Recent activities:
SIHRG vice-chair Ruby Sandhu joined the EuroMed Human Rights Network Group on economic, cultural and social rights in Tunis 27-29th September 2019.
Director Lionel Blackman and committee member Anne-Marie Irwin staged two days of training in trial observation and strategic litigation for human rights defenders in Istanbul in November 2019.
SIHRG collaborated with the International Commission of Jurists in December 2019 to provide fair trial training in Africa.
SIHRG organised a 3 day juvenile justice study visit on behalf of UNICEF for 12 practitioners from Belarus - 28th - 30th May 2019. CLICK HERE for the programme.
SIHRG staged a seminar on 27th February 2019 in Surrey for 12 Russian lawyers concerning protection measures for victims of domestic violence. Presentations from police and the voluntary sector. Report on study visit HERE.Following the attendance of SIHRG members Anne-Marie Irwin and Sandip Basu to a criminal court in Cairo in 2018, SIHRG has completed its trial observation report on the case against Egyptian activist Amal Fathy. Click HERE for our trial observation pages and a link to the report.

The full report on Citizens Watch's seminar held last December in St Petersburg on domestic violence law and practice can be accessed HERE. SIHRG supported the event by providing two UK solicitor trainers.

SIHRG hosted two Burmese lawyers on a two week study visit in June 2018 - See report HERE.
SIHRG also assisted host an advocate from Siberia for three days of her leadership programme in the UK.
SIHRG attended the triennial General Assembly of the EuroMed Human Rights Network in Brussels June 2018. Report HERE.

SIHRG successfully completed a 9 month long juvenile justice project ending March 2018 in the Republic of Belarus involving 11 seminars and the publication of a Guide to national and international juvenile justice law. Click HERE for report.

  • Following the attendance of SIHRG members Anne-Marie Irwin and Sandip Basu to a criminal court in Cairo in 2018, SIHRG has completed its trial observation report on the case against Egyptian activist Amal Fathy. Click HERE for our trial observation pages and a link to the report.

  • In November 2018 SIHRG provided a two day trial observer training for Article 19 and Turkish activists. Click HERE for the training report.

  • If you become aware of any trial that may be suitable for an international observation do please get in touch with SIHRG as we can support such missions.

  • SIHRG member Suzanne Valentine represented our Group at an international conference held in Istanbul in December on disability. More information HERE

  • The full report on Citizens Watch's seminar held last December in St Petersburg on domestic violence law and practice can be accessed HERE. SIHRG supported the event by providing two UK solicitor trainers.

  • It is that time of year for the annual nominations and elections to the management committee of the Group. Click HERE for the nomination page. The nomination period will end 30th January 2019.

  • SIHRG hosted two Burmese lawyers on a two week study visit in June 2018 - See reportHERE.

  • SIHRG also assisted host an advocate from Siberia for three days of her leadership programme in the UK.

  • SIHRG attended the triennial General Assembly of the EuroMed Human Rights Network in Brussels June 2018. Report HERE.

Speaker meeting and AGM was held on 15th May 2019 at 6.00pm at the University of Law, Store Street, London.

Religion, Ethics, Law & Activism in the Protection of Sentient life on Planet Earth - chaired by Ruby Sandhu featuring a panel of expert speakers: David Clough Professor of Theological Ethics, Sasha Lawson-Frost, Jordi Casamitjana and John Oberg

Details HERE


All on the SIHRG committee are devastated to announce the sudden death of our youngest committee member Sam Moodey who died suddenly in October 2018 of a heart attack whilst running. He was passionate about human rights and is a great loss to SIHRG and the solicitors' profession. His family have set up a fund in Sam's name, to support a project where he interned for nine months, involving local Christian lawyers working with disadvantaged prisoners in Kenya. Click HERE for donations.

Marc Willers QC - Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers

‘Prejudice against Gypsies and Travellers: the last acceptable form of racism'.

Click here for Marc Willers' excellent speech

Wednesday 17th October 2018 at 6pm

The University of Law,

14 Store St, Fitzrovia, London WC1E 7DE

Date: THURSDAY 19th APRIL 2018

Time: 6.15pm for 6.30pm start

Venue: Room RG05 University of Law, 14 Store Street,

London WC1E 7D


Challenging Oil Production: A call to action.

Melinda Janki, an international lawyer, will discuss legal and environmental issues around the proposed oil

production in Guyana, a small South American nation and former British colony. She will discuss the potential

impact on the Caribbean and the rest of the world through climate change and biodiversity loss. She will

also touch on recent litigation challenging the proposed oil production in Guyana.

Melinda Janki. Click here for FLYER and event report.

Wednesday 6th December 2017

University of Law Bloomsbury London 6.00pm

How Can Lawyers Defend Media Freedom in the World?

Rebecca Vincent UK Bureau Director of Reporters Without Borders will provide a world overview with examples of the restrictions and challenges going on world wide. See our link opposite to numerous reports from RSF. She will be followed by lawyer Ayse Bingol of Media Defence Initiative as to the possible difference active lawyers could make to challenge the pressures.

Click HERE for flyer

SIHRG organised at the University of Law, Bloomsbury, a lecture on Thursday 28 September given by Thomas Halpin, a Specialist Prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service, entitled “Challenges in Prosecuting Domestic Torture” focussing on the case against Colonel Kumar Lama, an officer in the Nepalese Army. The lecture covered the legal and factual foundation for the prosecution, the many and varied challenges that litigating a case where the torture occurred in Nepal presented, how these were overcome and the lessons to be learned from the case

Click HERE for a full report on the case by Alastair Logan OBE.

Click HERE for the event flyer.

IHRG trainers have returned from St Petersburg October 2016, January and February 2017 where seminars were conducted on the role of lawyers at the police station, trial observation skills and advocacy training and ethics. The collaboration was extended to further lectures in three Siberian cities in March. See REPORT HERE.

Following successful trial observation training for Turkish lawyers and activists SIHRG is completing a written guide for trial observers working in Turkey.

SIHRG joined forces with OpenTrial to provide training in Malawi in April in trial observation skills and the use of OpenTrial's special mobile app. See the REPORT and flyers for the training HERE.

SIHRG observers have completed a trial observation of two Burmese migrants on trial on the island of Koh Samui Thailand for the murder of two British citizens in September 2014. The verdict of guilty and death penalties was delivered on Christmas Eve 2015. The REPORT is available HERE.

Refugees and Asylum in the UK - Practical Challenges 15th May 2017 at 6:00 pm at the University of Law,

14 Store St, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7DE Sheona York - solicitor of the Kent Law Clinic since 2012 she undertakes various casework, teaching, research and policy work in immigration and asylum. Ahmad Al-Rashid A Syrian refugee granted asylum in the UK in 2015. He will speak a little about Syria before the conflict, his experience in the conflict zone, his experience fleeing Syria as a refugee and his journey to the UK, as well as his experience in the UK and his plans for the future.FLYER

24th November 2016 - 6.30pm - Dominic Grieve MP QC - wide ranging round table discussion on Brexit, ECHR and media attacks on judiciary and lawyers.

17th October 2016 - We stage again our UN human rights enforcement machinery training with Dr Nazila Ghanea of Oxford University:

Click here to Register Your Interest in the October UN HR training event.

5th October 2016 6.30pm at IALS Wanlin Wang of Client Earth and Nicola MacBean of Rights Practice on "China - Progress on the Environment, Regression on Human Rights". Details HERE

Thursday 30th June 2016 5:45 pm

American human rights lawyer David Matas and human rights defender and China watcher Ethan Gutmann present a short documentary film on an alleged forced organ removal programme of China against dissidents and take questions.

Details HERE

Those events below that have been recorded and are available to listen to on this web site are conveniently listed HERE

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Tuesday 24th May 2016 6.30pm

Mr Michael Strauss of the Centre d’Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques in Paris . His talk is on "Practical Challenges of Distinguishing Between Civilians and Combatants in Armed Conflict." A topic of searing relevance to today's conflicts and war zones. A very well illustrated and illuminating lecture.

See his biography HERE

At the University of Westminster - 5th May 2016 6.30pm

Gender Violence, Conflict Minerals and the DR of Congo

Charlotte Simon - Mothers of Congo

Dr Eirin Mobbeck

Robin March - Universal Peace Foundation

Full details HERE

At the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Clore House, Russell Square, London 6.30pm to 8.00pm we presented:

Monday 18th April 2016 - Dr Olivier Ribbelink of the Asser Institute, The Hague. His talk is about the legal status of gold that was lent by a Crimean museum to an Amsterdam museum just before the Russian takeover. Where should the gold go now? (The Case of the "Sythian Gold"). A truly fascinating lecture.

See his biography HERE

Eritrea: Business Ethics, Migration and Trafficking

Register for the event HERE

Venue: 43 Lancaster Gate, London W2 3NA

Monday, 15 June 2015

6pm: Registration

6.30pm: Event starts

This is the third part series on Eritrea and the development of Business and Human Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility. This panel discussion will look at the key issues facing Eritrea from the development of its natural resources through to migration and trafficking.

Mr Todd Romaine, VP Corporate Social Responsibility, Nevsun Resources Limited

Lloyd Lipsett, LKL International

Indira Kartallozi, Chrysalis Family Futures

Simon Tesfamariam, Trafficking in Eritrea

Introduction and Welcome: Robin Marsh, Secretary General UPF Chair: Ruby Sandhu, Vice Chair of SIHRG

Friday 12th December 2014 6.00pm to 7.30pm

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Clore House, Russell Square, London

“Eritrea, through the lens of Business Ethics and Sustainability”

Click here for details, audio cast and report order form.

TUESDAY 25th November 2014 6.00pm to 7.30pm.

BPP Law School Red Lion Street Holborn London

Seeking Refuge from Afghanistan: Personal and Legal Perspectives

Details and Register HERE

Annual Baha Mousa Lecture

Law Society Chancery Lane 7.00pm 16th October

Dr Jonathan Beynon

Full Details HERE

UN Human Rights Enforcement Machinery Training.

Dr Nazila Ghanea of Oxford University

10.30am to 2.30pm 2nd October in London

Up to 8 CPDs for £40 to £100


Tuesday 17th June 6.00pm

Freedom of Expression, David Miranda,

Rwanda and the International Picture

-Kate Goold, Peter Noorlander, Carina Tertsakian.

-click HERE for full details

Webcast available HERE

Wednesday 28th May 2014 6.00pm

Tanzania - Corruption and Human Rights

- Evarist Chahali and Sarah Hermitage

- click HERE for full details and HERE for the podcast.

Tuesday 6th May 2014 6.00pm

Doing Good Business - The Evolution of Corporate Responsibility in Eritrea

- Todd Romaine and Lloyd Lipsett

- click HERE for full details

Thursday 20th February 2014

Election Observation Missions and International Human Rights: Challenges and Impact

Richard Howitt MEP

6.30pm to 8.00pm

Fuller details here

The meeting will be preceded by SIHRG's short AGM

Wednesday 12th February 2014 BBP School of Law Red Lion Street London 18:30pm

Our Middle East and North Africa subgroup will be starting the new year with a speaker from the MENA Solidarity Network, Anne Alexander, a writer, researcher and trade unionist who will be speaking on the situation in Egypt, and particularly the repression of activists and their lawyers The meeting will also discuss the situations in Syria, Tunisia, Libya and Palestine (and any other MENA country which members wish to raise). For further information contact the co-ordinator Michael Ellman at

SIHRG is proud to jointly sponsor the 5th Annual Baha Mousa Lecture with the keynote address by Juan Mendez (Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment).

It will be held on Monday, 9th December at 7pm at the Edward Lumley Hall. Please RSVP to

Full details here

Wednesday 4 December 2013.

"The Unknown Tragedy" - a short documentary by the Russian film-maker Denis Bilunov. The event will commemorate the events in Zhanaozen, West Kazakhstan on 16th December 2011. Full details HERE

SIHRG is proud to jointly sponsor the 5th Annual Baha Mousa Lecture with the keynote address by Juan Mendez (Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment).

It will be held on Monday, 9th December 2013 at 7pm at the Edward Lumley Hall.

Full details here

No End to Disappearances and Impunity in Mexico: The Way Forward

Rupert Knox and Alma Rosa Garcia Guevara

Tuesday 12th November 2013 6.00pm

Full details HERE

Click here for a recording of the event.

Click here for a video produced by Alma Rosa Garcia Guevara on disappearances in Mexico.

Sri Lanka - A Country in Crisis?

Geoffrey Robertson QC and Fred Carver

Thursday 17th October 2013 6.15 pm

Full details HERE

Tuesday 4th of June at 6.00 pm IALS:

"Law, Rights and Ideology in Russia" (Routledge)

Professor Bill Bowring talks about his new book out soon. Further details CLICK HERE

Click here for a broadcast (43 minutes) of the evening.

Wednesday 15th May 2013 6.00pm

Speakers : Chris Woods, Jennifer Gibson and Daniel Carey

"The War Against Drones" - details to date here. PODCAST HERE

Monday 13th May 2013 6.30pm

Russian Lawyer Konstantin Rivkin and his book on the Yukos case. Details HERE.

Tuesday 9th April 2013 6.00pm - the widow speaks

Rebellion - the Case of Litvinenko

Full details here Register here

Tuesday 16th April 2013 6.00pm Robert Amsterdam:

The FCPA and the Bribery Act and Extraterritoriality

Full details HERE

19th of March 2013 time 6.30 pm Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Russell Square:

The story of Sergey Magnistky who died in pre-trial detention and now on trial posthumously...

Speaker: William Browder from Hermitage Fund and showing of the documentary "Justice for Sergey". Further details and registration CLICK HERE

Tuesday 19th February 2013 6.00pm Ingrid Gubbay - human rights and environmental law specialist

Lessons Drawn from the Khulumani (Apartheid) ACTA case: an international law perspective

Full details HERE

Tuesday 5th February 2013 6.00pm Adrienne Margolis founder of Lawyers for Better Business

21st Century Lawyers - champions of business and human rights

Full details HERE

Thursday 24th January 2013 6.30pm

Khordokovsky Documentary film showing and panel discussion with Alexandra Zernova and Andrey Sidelnikov: Criminalisation of the Political Opposition in Russia.

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Clore House, Russell Square, London

Wednesday 12th December 2012 6.00pm

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Russell Square London

Extraordinary Rendition



Click Here For Full Details

Sihrg issues a report on a politically important trial in Kazakhstan following our own observation team's attendance in September.

Click here for the report pages.

Tuesday 13th November 2012 6.00pm

Ethics, Sustainability and Eradicating Ecocide


Hugely successful meeting. Follow up actions will be communicated to attendees shortly.

Click Here For Full Details of the meeting.

16th October 2012 6.15 pm

Libya: where from and where to?

Elham Saudi - Director of Lawyers for Justice in Libya.

[Fuller cv] [Event flyer]

4th October 2012

United Nations Human Rights Enforcement Mechanisms Introductory Course - Dr Nazila Ghanea

Trial Observation training - Paul Garlick

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 65 Fleet Street London EC4Y 1HT

3rd October 2012 6 pm

Peoples In South America: Land Rights and Wrongs for Guyana's Amerindians

Melinda Janki - specialist native title expert international lawyer - click here for details

19 June 2012


The truth about the rule of law, democracy and human rights in the Ukraine: Recent cases - what can we learn from them?

Valentyna Telychenko, well-known as the defence lawyer of Myroslava Gongadze in the murder case of her husband, journalist Georgiy Gongadze. Click here for Details. Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Charles Clore House 17 Russell Square London WC1B 5DR. Tuesday 19 June 2012 6-7.30pm CLICK HERE FOR THE LIVE RECORDING OF THE MEETING

28th May 2012

Rendition and holding to account secret Government.

Monday 28th May 2012 6-7.30pm Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Charles Clore House 17 Russell Square London WC1B 5DR Rosa CURLING Solicitor with Leigh Day and Co.

The Commissioner for the British Indian Ocean Territory is being sued for complicity in the alleged rendition and torture of a Libyan rebel who is now head of the Tripoli Military Council. Law firm Leigh Day & Co announced it has filed legal papers against the Commissioner in the High Court on behalf of Abdel Hakim Belhadj, who says he was rendered to Libya via British-controlled Diego Garcia in 2004. Mr Belhadj, who has been hailed for his role in the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi's regime last year, is already suing the UK Government, its security forces, and Sir Mark Allen, a former director of counter-terrorism at MI6. Rosa Curling is at the forefront of efforts to hold to account the secret quarters of the British Government.

May 1, 2012

The Batang Kali massacre trial: end of a very British cover up?

May 1, 2012 6:30-8:00pm BPP Law School 68-70 Red Lion Street London WC1R 4NY

On 8 and 9 May 2012, the Divisional Court in London will hear a judicial review test case challenging this and previous successive governments’ refusal to properly investigate and inquire into the massacre of 24 unarmed villagers at Batang Kali, Malaysia in 1948 at the hands of British troops. Ian Ward and Norma Miraflor are two Southeast Asia-based authors who have written about the massacre in their book Slaughter and Deception at Batang Kali. Together with John Halford of Bindmans LLP, the solicitor representing the victims’ families, they will speak about why the truth of what happened at Batang Kali has been suppressed for six decades and why the outcome of the case is highly relevant today

See archives for record of all previous events.

SIHRG arranged a return visit of Hary Pahaniaila Belarus human rights lawyer to the Haldane Society and Amnesty conference on defenders 25th February 2012. Read our organiser's report here.

11th and 12th February 2012 Syed Ahmed of SIHRG attended a Euro-Med Human Rights Network organised conference in Rabat on Reform of Judiciaries in the Wake of the Arab Spring. You can read his detailed report HERE

Launch of third lawyers' caravana to Colombia - 27th March 2012 - click HERE for details.

Tuesday 27th March 2012 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Charles Clore House 17 Russell Square London WC1B 5DR

Placing Human Rights at the Core of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

ADAM OGNALL - Chief Executive New Israel Fund UK Click Here for full details

Wednesday 8th February 2012 Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Charles Clore House 17 Russell Square London WC1B 5DR

Saul Lehrfreund. The title of his talk was “Restricting the use of the Death Penalty: the relevance of international human rights norms.” Saul has been running the Death Penalty Project since its inception in 1992. In November 2000 he was awarded an MBE for services to international human rights and in July 2009 he received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Law from the University of Reading. He specialises in constitutional and international human rights law and has represented prisoners under sentence of death, inter alia, before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Committee. Click here for audio cast and written report.

The talk was preceded by SIHRG's AGM

Thursday 12th January 2012 6.00pm

Ronan Toal - Asylum from Armed Conflict, Islamist Extremism and Humanitarian Catastrophe in Somalia

Click here for Flyer

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Charles Clore House 17 Russell Square London WC1B 5DR

Monday 5th December 2011 6.00pm

Russia's Economy Under Putin. Energy Superpower or Oil Dependent Laggard?

Simon Pirani. Click here for details.

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Charles Clore House 17 Russell Square London WC1B 5DR

Wednesday 16th November 2011 6.00pm

The Situation in Belarus: Is there any hope for democracy?

Prominent Belarus Lawyers. Click here for details and audio visual intro.

The Advanced Course on the United Nations Human Rights Enforcement Machinery

Herbert Smith London Monday 17th October 2011 all day course (followed by evening short course on mission preparation).

COURSE FULL. SIHRG also took the introductory course to Amsterdam on 10th October 2011

Wednesday 19th October 2011 6.00pm

Bosnia - an Overview of the Historical and Current Situation. Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Charles Clore House 17 Russell Square London WC1B 5DR. Ed Vulliamy Senior Correspondent The Observer/ Guardian

Click here for full details AND FOR WEB CAST OF EVENT IN FULL.

Monday 12 September 2011 at 6.00pm

Middle East and North Africa Working Group Meeting - BPP Law School, Red Lion Street Holborn

This is a working meeting to discuss future projects. If you would like to attend or have ideas regarding future projects, please email for further information

Tuesday 13 September 2011 at 7pm Sheikh Zayed Theatre, LSE, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, WC2A 2AE. Baha Mousa Memorial Lecture 2011. "Exporting Human Rights? The Grand Chamber, Bakovic and Al-Skeini"

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Charles Clore House 17 Russell Square London WC1B 5DR Thursday 8th September 2011 6.00pm - International Labour Standards - How Effective is the Current System?

Sam Gurney TUC lnternational officer, International Labour Organisation Governing Body member

Click here for further details

BPP Law School Red Lion Street, Holborn, London Sunday 14 August at 2.30pm SIHRG Malaysia Working Group presents:

Talk by Ambiga Sreenaevasan former President of the Malaysian Bar Council and current President of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections. Ambiga will be giving a first hand account of the BERSIH rally held on 9 July 2011 in Malaysia amidst significant opposition from the Malaysian Government, threats and intimidation of rally organisers and participants.

Click here for further details

UN Human Rights Enforcement Mechanisms Introductory Course for SIHRG and LS IAT associate members was held 6.00pm 8th June Law Society Chancery Lane.

Booking instructions for the advanced all day course Monday 17th October to be held at Herbert Smith London will be issued in due course.

Two SIHRG members joined last year's lawyers' caravana to Colombia and the report was launched at an event on 25th May 2011. Click here for full details and HERE for our members' preliminary report

May 18th SIHRG presented Oliver MILES (ex-ambassador to Libya) Dr Daud Abdullah, Director of Middle-East Monitor

Re-launching SIHRG's Middle-East and North Africa Group Debate report HERE

SIHRG members have recently returned from a conference on Tunisia. You can read their report HERE

SIHRG collaborated in staging a major Conference on the Malaysian Internal Security Act 2nd April 2011 at Amnesty International. CLICK here for conference report

New SIHRG committee member attended a Tutu foundation meeting 28th March 2011 in London addressed by the man himself - read her report here.

SIHRG joined observer mission to Syria

On Tuesday 1 February 2011, Lionel Blackman returned from Syria. He was there to observe disciplinary hearings against Radeef Moustafa and Abdel-Rahman Najjar in Aleppo. Moustafa risks being disbarred for life because he – without permission from the bar association – leads a human rights organization (Al Rased) and publishes on human rights violations. Najjar also faces disbarment, for his representation of political activists and defence of the rights of the Kurdish minority in the country. The hearings were postponed on the spot to 3 April and 20 March 2011 respectively, seemingly because of the presence of the international observers.

Where the Syrian Bar Association pressures its members through disciplinary measures, the State increases the pressure on lawyers through criminal trials. After Muhannad al-Hassani, Haytham al-Maleh and Mustafa Ismail were convicted to prison sentences in 2010, lawyer Ismail Abdi now also might face a criminal conviction. He is board member of the Committee for the defence of democratic rights (CDF) and was arrested on 23 August 2010.

See the press statement by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, which initiated the mission, here and a full report from the Union International Des Advocats pdf at foot of that page.

Roger SMITH Director of Justice - Maintaining and Developing Fair Trial Standards Across Europe

Wednesday 26th January 2011 6.30pm London South Bank University, Lecture Room B, Keyworth Centre, Keyworth Street, Elephant and Castle London SE1 6NJ Directions to venue HERE


SIHRG's AGM (@ 15 mins) will immediately preceded Roger's address. The elected committee for 2011 can be viewed via committee pages on left side bar.

Baha Mousa Annual Memorial Lecture 2010

“The International Struggle Against Torture" PROFESSOR MANFRED NOWAK The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

Chaired by Professor Nigel Rodley (UN Special Rapporteur on Torture 1993-2001)

Over 300 people attended and our report MAY BE READ HERE


Corporate Accountability for Human Rights Abuses

BPP 137 Stamford Street, Waterloo LONDON SE1 9NN main lecture theatre Wednesday 20th OCTOBER 6.30pm Recommended Pre- meeting reading HERE! If you attended the event and wish to have a copy of her speech click here to complete the request form. We will shortly establish a working group of SIHRG to pursue this issue. Click here to express your interest

Saturday 2nd October SIHRG hosted the leader of the opposition of Malaysia Anwar Ibrahim, together with Tian Chua M.P. and Senator Tunku Adbul Aziz. A full report is available HERE.

SIHRG presented THREE COURSES Autumn 2010:


The Introductory Course on the United Nations Human Rights Enforcement Machinery

(see below for details on the advanced course)

Dr Nazila Ghanea and Smita Shah

Monday, 27th September 2010 2.00pm – 5.00pm

Herbert Smith LLP Exchange House Primrose St London EC2A 2HS

Qualified Lawyers £80 (£60 to SIHRG members)

NGO’s/Trainees and Students £50 (£30 to SIHRG members)

This Training Event - 3 CPD points

The lecture will serve as an introduction to the United Nations human rights machinery. The main mechanisms of the UN human rights system, how they advance international standards and promote and protect human rights. Operation of key UN human rights bodies. The lecture will be given by Dr Nazila Ghanea, Lecturer in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford. Editor of Religion and Human Rights Journal. She has acted as Consultant, delegation member and expert at many UN fora. Smita Shah is a Barrister at Garden Court Chambers, London, and will assist Dr Nazila Ghanea. Materials will be provided to participants to cover the following aspects of the UN Human Rights machinery:

  1. History and Development of the UN

  2. Organs of The UN Human Rights Machinery

  3. Organs of the UN Human Rights Machinery and Charter based bodies

· Human Rights Council

· UN Special Procedures as Established by the UN Human Rights Commission

· Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action 1993

  1. Assessment of effectiveness/proposals for reform.


Tuesday 29th June 2010 18:30 to 21:00 on

PAKISTAN in conjunction with the Centre for South Asian Law Dr Martin LAU in the chair with Amir Ghauri and Owen Bennett-Jones

Khalili Lecture Theatre, School of African and Oriental Studies Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

A discussion, a debate, an opportunity to meet experts on the country. The meeting will be followed by light refreshments. Speaker details .........CLICK HERE

SIHRG is working with the University of York's Centre for Applied Human Rights programme of fellowships for at risk human rights defenders. Click here for more details of the Centre. Members of SIHRG may wish to assist in short term hosting in the London area when fellows need to come down from York. Contact admin for how to apply.

SIHRG gave financial support to a member to join the mission to Guerrero region of Mexico in partnership with PBI and BHRC. His report is available HERE. Also, our missions officer received support to go to a special conference on Palestine in Switzerland and you can read his report HERE

SIHRG Malaysia Speaker Event

Raja Petra Kamarudin Saturday 22nd May 2010 13:00 – 15:00 BPP Law School Lecture Theatre, 68-70 Red Lion Street, Holborn, London, WC1R 4NY

350 plus attended this event and over £300 was raised to support human rights in Malaysia

Raja Petra Kamarudin, an iconic figure in the Malaysian blogosphere, will give an account of his personal experience in campaigning for greater transparency and accountability in Malaysian politics.

No other blogger has been so systematically targeted for speaking out and fighting for greater democratic space, justice and a more inclusive society in Malaysia. For his activism, Raja Petra has been twice detained without trial under the notorious Internal Security Act (ISA)[2]. He has been charged with sedition and criminal defamation in connection with writing about the PM and his wife. Today, Raja Petra remains in exile, unconvinced that he will be afforded due process and justice in defending himself against these charges and in responding to the appeal regarding his ISA detention.

We will screen Penusah Tana (The Forgot Struggle) and hear from the Producer, Hilary Chiew. The event will focus on the effects of timber logging, Indigenous Peoples rights, and the EU-Malaysia timber agreement. BPP Red Lion Street Holborn London Saturday 17th April 13.00 - 15.00pm room 5.7 CLICK HERE for full details.

Michael Strauss - author of "The Lease of Guantanamo Bay" will address our speaker meeting at BPP Red Lion St on Wednesday 24th March 2010 at 6.30pm. Click here for his bio and book details.

Bill Bowring addressed our speaker meeting on Wednesday 24th February 2010 at BPP Red Lion St London 6.30pm. Details click here

Andrew Khoo, Malaysian Bar speaks to us on 3rd March 2010 at 6:30pm. Click here for details

Dr. Barbara E. Harrell-Bond OBE

BPP Law School, Red Lion St WC1 on Wed 27 Jan 2010 at 6.30 pm.

Dr Harrell-Bond Will addressed the failures to fully implement the Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol with particular reference to the "Global South" - click here for further details.

SIHRG is proud to be associated with a rare visit to the UK by an academic from the oft forgotten nation of Belarus ("The last dictatorship in Europe"). The Associate Professor of Law Dr Alena Douhan of the State University in Minsk will address a joint meeting with London South Bank University and SIHRG at 6.30pm at the Keyworth Centre, Keyworth Street, Elephant and Castle, Lambeth London SE1 6NG on Thursday 21st January. The topic is "Post Guantanamo - East European and Asian Perspectives." The talk will prove fascinating and there is likely to be time to discuss the situation in Belarus.

The same academic will join a panel for a full day conference on Post-Guantanamo hosted the next day Friday 22nd January at the University of Westminster Fyvie Hall, 309 Regent Street London W1B 2UW. Registration 9.15 Conference 9.45 to 17.45. Click here for full details.

Monday 2nd November 2009 - special meeting on Burma with Andy HEYNS British Ambassador to BURMA

The Group was fortunate to have secured a meeting with Andy Heyn, the British Ambassador to Burma, during his visit to London, and he will speak on "Burma, the Road to the 2010 Elections"

Unlike many British Embassies, in Burma "our man in Rangoon" works with the people of the country, including Aung San Suu Kyi and other political opponents of the regime more than the Government. As the Embassy website says: "Because of the UK Government’s concerns about the human rights situation in Burma, this Embassy does not offer the range of business support services our missions overseas normally provide, nor do we encourage tourism"

Come and hear this exceptional talk on what Britain and the EU are doing to foster democracy in Burma.

6.00pm at BPP Red Lion Street Holborn London. Room 4.5

Wednesday 28th October 2009 - special report on Malaysia from returning solicitor Shubhaa Srinavasan and Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch at BPP Red Lion St Holborn London 6.30pm Room 4.7

Wednesday 23rd September 2009 - SIHRG speaker meeting featured the Chief of Operations of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions MIKE KENNEDY - HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE PROSECUTION OF CRIME Click HERE for full speech

Public Interest Lawyers, Solicitors International Human Rights Group (SIHRG) and the Law Society presented the inaugural

Baha Mousa Annual Memorial Lecture :

"The UK's Abu Ghraib? Coercive Interrogation Techniques in Iraq" Professor William Schabas

Held at 7pm on Tuesday 30 June 2009 At Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Northcliffe House, 28 Tudor Street, London , EC4Y 0AY MORE DETAILS of the EVENT HERE

A successful inaugural event. Full report to follow soon and PIL's Iraq Report is available on the MORE DETAILS page

Wednesday 24th June 2009 6.30pm BPP Law School

Andrew Scallan, Director of Electoral Administration and Boundaries, Electoral Commission speaking on

"International Observations and Elections"

Andrew has over 25 years experience in electoral administration. Before joining the Electoral Commission in 2007 he worked for Manchester City Council. He is a founder member of the Association of Electoral Administrators and a former joint editor of Schofield's 'Election Law'. Andrew is responsible for the Observer scheme operated by the Electoral Commission and has undertaken observation and pre election assessments in a number of countries.

Wednesday 17th June 2009 6.30pm

Iqbal Haider - The current human rights situation in Pakistan.

Co-Chairperson Human Rights Commission, former Federal Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and former Attorney General. BPP Law School 68-70 Red Lion Street, London

Wednesday 29th April 6.30pm Michael Ellman Slavery In Mali BPP Red Lion Street Holborn London

Have we got some old news for you.....Click here for the full advice of Lord Goldsmith on the legality of the invasion of Iraq

The United Nations Human Rights

Enforcement Machinery

Dr Nazila Ghanea and Smita Shah

11th February 2009 2.00pm to 6.00pm

The Fetter Room The Law Society Hall, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL

Qualified Lawyers £75 (£50 to SIHRG members)

Trainees and Students £40 (£25 to SIHRG members)

This Training Event - 4 CPD points

The lecture will serve as an introduction to the United Nations human rights machinery. The main mechanisms of the UN human rights system, how they advance international standards and promote and protect human rights. Operation of key UN human rights bodies. The lecture will be given by Dr Nazila Ghanea, Lecturer in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford. Editor of Religion and Human Rights Journal. She has acted as Consultant, delegation member and expert at many UN fora. Smita Shah is a Barrister at Garden Court Chambers, London, and will assist Dr Nazila Ghanea. To reserve a place on this course please complete the attached booking form and return it with a cheque made payable to Solicitors International Human Rights Group to SIHRG, 7 Waterloo Road, Epsom, Surrey, KT19 8AY. If you have any queries concerning this event please email Materials will be provided to participants to cover the following aspects of the UN Human Rights machinery:

History and Development of the UN

Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

Treaties of The UN Human Rights Machinery





- CEDAW; Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women; and Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict

- CRC; Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict; and Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

- CMW; Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and Convention for the Protection of All Persons From Enforced Disappearances

Organs of the UN Human Rights Machinery and Charter based bodies

- Human Rights Council

- UN Special Procedures as Established by the UN Human Rights Commission

- Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action 1993

Assessment of effectiveness/proposals for reform

AGM and Alan Hart was held Wednesday 28th January 2009 at The Chancery Room The Law Society Hall

click here for agenda and motion and link to Chair's 2008 Annual Report. click here for details of new committee

Alan Hart - Journalist and Author - Middle-East Expert - Palestine and Israel - No Law, No Peace.

Click here for full biography . Click here for associated press release and full speech.

Wednesday 26th November 2008 6.30pm BPP Law School - Room 4.4 68-70 Red Lion Street, London

Mark Stephens Solicitor Renowned international expert Click here for full biography Media Law and Human Rights report HERE

Wednesday 22nd October 2008 6.30pm BPP Law School 68-70 Red Lion Street, London

Michael Mansfield QC Leading criminal barrister and fair trial expert - renowned for his extemporaneous discourses :


Wednesday 24th September 2008


BPP Law School

68-70 Red Lion Street, London

Margarette Macaulay. She has been appointed as a Judge on the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in June 2006 and sits on the Court in Costa Rica in ordinary sessions and in other member States in Extraordinary Sessions.

“The Inter-American Court of Human Rights”

Click here to read more....................

Friday, 26 September 2008

4.00pm – 8.00pm

The United Nations Human Rights Enforcement Machinery -Dr Nazila Ghanea and Smita Shah . Addleshaw Goddard (Manchester office). 100 Barbirolli Square, Manchester M2 3AB

Wednesday 23rd July 2008 6.30pm BPP Law School 68-70 Red Lion Street, London

Nigel Fawkes - The Director of Wateraid, an NGO that has been singularly successful in their work over the past 25 years in improving fresh water and sanitation.

"How Wateraid provides fresh water and sanitation to developing countries, and in particular commenting on their work in Nepal and Tanzania with the aim to raise their living standards and their health".

Nigel has been involved with Wateraid for two years. He has ridden a bicycle with two friends from Lands End to John o Groats in August 2006 raising £16,000 for them ( see He is a Director of a Natural Health Products company and chairman of a new UK registered charity known as Malaika Kids. Malaika Kids UK is an initiative among a group of former MBA students of London Business School. This company is developing a new model for helping orphans in Tanzania. They have a programme to find extended family members to foster orphans, and a new Community Village in which those for whom no relatives can be found will grow up. For this they have a 45 acre site, on which they intend to grow as much of their our own food as possible. With the assistance and advice from Wateraid they have drilled their first well to 80m and have excellent water.

Wednesday 25th June 2008 6.30pm BPP Law School JUNE VENTERS QC

In 2006 became the first woman Practising Solicitor to be appointed Queen’s Counsel, and she specialises in Crime and Family law.

"Social Justice/Access to Justice and the changes that are occurring and the impact upon members of our society".

Wednesday 28th May 2008.

Amy Barrow is an Associate Lecturer in the School of Law at the University of Manchester. Her doctoral research examines gender mainstreaming policies in a peace and security context focusing on UN Security Council Resolution 1325: women, peace and security (UNSCR 1325).

In January/February 2007 she conducted fieldwork in Kathmandu, Nepal with women activists lobbying for the implementation of UNSCR 1325. Amy is Coordinator of the Women, Peace and Security working group, UK WILPF (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom UK section).

Amy has represented UK WILPF UK at the 4th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva and at the 52nd Commission on the Status of Women at the UN in New York.

Amy will examine the challenges of implementing UNSCR 1325 drawing on perspectives from the field in Nepal and other conflict/postconflict contexts.

Event 10th April 2008

Vanessa Redgrave 60th Anniversary Year United Nations Declaration of Human Rights

On 10th April, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights (the Declaration), SIHRG had the honour of hosting an engaging, informative and emotive meeting with guest speakers Vanessa Redgrave and Serheul Benhassen (the President of the International Human Rights Federation (FIDH)).

The meeting was held at the Keyworth Centre Lambeth with the generous support of the London South Bank University.

Benhassen highlighted the work of various human rights defenders around the world: she congratulated the people in the Democratic Republic of Congo who are lobbying for the prevalence of mass rape in that country to be classified as a war crime; she trumpeted the courage of Iranian women who have been arrested, whipped and beaten for petitioning for the recognition of women’s rights; she also denounced the recent detention of Hu Ja in China who was sentenced to 3 ½ years imprisonment for writing an article demanding the Chinese authorities to change its policy towards HIV/Aids sufferers.

Benhassen also stressed the need for further recognition of Economic, Cultural and Social Rights. FIDH are one of the many organisations pressuring the international community to give these rights equal recognition under the law so that they can be fully enforced and protected.

Vanessa Redgrave, captured the audience’s attention with her impassioned reflection on the raison d’etre of the Declaration and its meaning, 60 years on. Redgrave highlighted the importance of learning from history so as to avoid past atrocities from happening again. Redgrave revered the principles set out in the Preamble of the Declaration: the universality of human rights and the role of the rule of law as the guardian of humanity. Redgrave stated that the principles echoed with ‘the shrieks and groans of the people destroyed by the barbarities of Fascism’ for they remind us of what can happen when human rights are forgotten.

Amongst other things Redgrave lamented the troubling news that President Bush had vetoed a Congressional resolution banning torture. She condemned the veto as flying in the face of not only the Convention against Torture (of which the USA is a signatory) but also the US Constitution. Redgrave stated that this reiterated the contempt the current US administration has for human rights.

Redgrave also questioned the New Security Strategy recently announced by Gordon Brown as, she pointed out, it only makes one passing reference to the UN. Redgrave concluded that this is hardly restoring the founding organisation of the Declaration or respect for human rights at the heart of global decision making and sets a worrying precedent for the century ahead.

Report by George Zachary

Event - 27 March 2008 - Malaysia Thursday 27th March 2008 6.30pm The Law Society 113 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1PL

The Solicitors’ International Human Rights Group, in association with The Law Society, and Society of Asian Lawyers, invite you to a meeting regarding discrimination faced by the minority Indian population of Malaysia. There will be a talk by Brad Adams, Human Rights Watch, and members of the Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) will also be present to provide first hand accounts of the situation.

Annual General Meeting and member reports - 27th February 2008 6.30pm - SIHRG annual general meeting, presentation of annual reports and accounts, election of management committee- followed by SIHRG members' talks on missions abroad undertaken - George Zachary on the second SIHRG/JFC mission to Colombia, Tessa Gregory on Nepal and Alex Wilks on IBA capacity building in Afghanistan.

November 2007 Art and Human Rights Event - SIHRG and the Arts Diversity Forum St Ethelbergers

The Art and Law of Human Rights, organised for SIHRG by Zoë Bryanston-Cross, which attracted a legal and non-legal audience. An exhibition of works engaging with human rights themes by artists from the Diversity Arts Forum were displayed in the atmospheric St Ethelburga's, a former church in Bishopsgate. Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers gave a passionate speech on human rights violations carried out by the British Army in Iraq.

October 26th 2007 Training event

The Human Rights Enforcement Mechanisms of the United Nations

An afternoon training event presented by the Solicitors' International Human Rights Group at the offices of Clifford Chance solicitors Coleman Street London on Wednesday 24th October 2007. The main speaker was Dr Nazila Ghanea solicitor and lecturer of Oxford University with Smita Shah barrister of Garden Court Chambers London. Four CPD points were available at modest prices.

The event was very well attended and we are indebted to Clifford Chance's generous support for the afternoon.

The training session was followed by the usual monthly SIHRG meeting and Dr Ghanea enlightened her audience on the plight of the Bahai faith adherents in Iran and Egypt.

Plans are a foot to repeat the training event in the Spring 2008 in Manchester. If you are interested in attending please contact our administrator now for your interest to be noted.

July 2007 - Widowhood in Conflict and Post-Conflict Scenarios

Summary of the Talk by Margaret Owen

Widowhood in conflict and post conflict situations is such an important topic. However it is one of the most neglected of the gender inequality issues and is often missed out by Human Rights law. The most important thing to be aware of is that there cannot ever really be democracy or peace in areas that are or have been affected by conflict until women in these areas are regarded as equals.

In Iraq, 35% of all adult women in Iraq are widows or their husbands are missing and this is a conservative estimate. Widowhood is a social death. Women who are widowed are often shunned by their own communities and by other women as well. Even when you have in place legislation that says widows should have equal rights to inheritance, the right not to be evicted from the matrimonial home, the right to return, the right to keep land, for instance, there is still very little implementation of these laws.

In many countries the word ‘widow’ is synonymous with ‘whore’ and other words. Which illustrates the situation that these women face. It also illustrates that widowhood is viewed as a taboo subject that is also surrounded by the myth that these women will be looked after by their families. Enormous numbers of widows are also subject to horrific rituals. Ritual cleansing for instance, is where the women are forced to have sex after the death of their husband, to bring out the spirits of their husband. In Tanzania, it was reported that 400 elderly women, all widows, were stoned to death as witches. Women who are widows are routinely beaten and raped. In Rwanda, and other African nations, lets not forget that women who were made widows were also routinely infected with HIV after soldiers used rape as a weapon to help ‘ethnically cleanse.’

It is often not realised that enormous numbers of widows are very young, and are often left with children so that they become the sole carers, at a very young age, of large families. The cycle of widowhood has in fact been exacerbated because sole carers usually find themselves in a situation of poverty. There is no employment, often it isn’t safe for these women to leave their homes now that they are outside the protection of their husbands or they are stuck in refugee camps with no means to get out, as is evident in Darfur for instance. These women will sometimes sell their female children as wives to old men. These men then die and these young children are also left as widows and sole carers. If you neglect widowhood and the causes of their poverty you are causing more poverty and stretching out the suffering and the Human Rights Violations into the next generation.

There is a huge escalation of domestic violence during conflict. Also during conflict, drugs and arms smuggling hugely endangers the lives of women. Immigration problems also arise. The UN convention on refugees needs up-dating as the guidelines are not helpful. Margaret’s organisation often gets asked things like “what would be the situation of a Nigerian widow, who would refuse to be ‘inherited’ by her brother.” The organisation has to emphasise that these women must be given Asylum, because if they are sent home they will almost certainly be killed.

It is important that these issues are addressed within peace conferences that occur during and after conflict. Voices must be heard during the peace building process because there is not much chance of addressing it after those processes have commenced. UN security council resolution 1325 – was the first security council resolution to focus on gender issues, and said that all actors should look at the impact of the conflict upon women. It is unacceptable that in some countries you have to wait 12 to 20 years to get a declaration that their husband is dead. It is even more unacceptable that in some countries there isn’t even the right for women to ever go to court to get such a declaration.

As Lord Bingham said, the rule of law must be accessible, it must be clear and it must be predictable. It must uphold the rule of human rights. But a rule of law cannot be implemented properly post conflict unless there is consultation with all the groups in that community. It certainly cannot be done without consulting women. There was not a single woman on the Iraqi drafting commission of Article 41. It is difficult to perceive any improvement in the lives of women now and what they faced under Saddam Hussein. Electoral processes in post conflict countries should not even begin before any kind of security is put in place for women and the widows that are a result of that conflict. Widows For Peace through Democracy has a model charter, which can be forwarded to any party who needs it.

Report by Katie Gwynne

27th June 2007

Professor Van Bueren

Professor of International Human Rights Law in Queen Mary, University of London

'Human Rights, The Next Stage - Incorporating Socio-Economic Rights'

Professor Geraldine Van Bueren is prfessor of International Human Rights Law at Queen Mary, University of London and Visiting Fellow at Kellog College, Oxford. She is an Associate Tenant at Doughty Street Chambers.

From 2002 to 2006, Professor Van Bueren held a second concurrent human rights chair at the University of Cape Town. She is currently working on a project for UNESCO on how law can be used constructively to help combat poverty

Events - Thursday 24 May 2007

Morgane Landel Solicitor. Eberto Diaz Montes President of FENSUARGO

Colombian Lawyer Solidarity - fundraising for the next phase

Morgane Landel, a SIHRG member, returns from a 3 month Justice for Colombia & SIHRG volunteer project in Bogotá, Colombia working with human rights defenders in Colombia.

Eberto Diaz Montes is the President of FENSUAGRO, the Colombian Agricultural Workers' Union. Fensuagro is the 2nd largest union in Colombia and one of the most persecuted, with over 600 members having been assassinated in recent years, including their former General Secretary. Many of their members are currently in prison simply for being a member of the union, and Eberto and his colleagues in the union leadership regularly receive death threats and harassment.

Events - Friday 27 April 2007

Arnold Tsunga Director for Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Guglethu Moyo

Lawyer for the International Bar Association working on Southern African Issues.

To Raise Support And Funds for 'Protecting Lawyers in Zimbabwe'

To highlight the plight of lawyers and the justice system in the current political climate, SIHRG in collaboration with the Bar Human Rights Committee is pleased to welcome Arnold Tsunga & Gugulethu Moyo to provide their insight into the Zimbabwean legal system and their work in campaigning for Zimbabwe. Arnold Tsunga is the Director for Zimbabwe Lawyer s for Human Rights and Secretary of the Zimbabwe Law Society and Gugulethu Moyo is a lawyer for the International Bar Association working on Southern African Issues & was previously an in house lawyer for the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe.

The event will be chaired by Andrew Hall QC, barrister at Doughty Street Chambers who is also the Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association

Thursday 26 April 2007

CMDPDH documentary: "Dual Injustice - Feminicide and Torture in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua"

Amnesty Cinema, Amnesty International UK

The Human Rights Action Centre

17-25 New Inn Yard

London EC2A 3AE

Attendance is free, donations welcome, but places are limited.

The SIHRG Americas Group in collaboration with Amnesty International is very pleased to welcome Fabián Sánchez Matus, Lawyer and Director of La Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, A.C . (CMDPDH) (the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights) to the UK to speak at the showing of the CMDPDH documentary "Dual Injustice - Feminicide and Torture in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua"

Events - Wednesday 25 April 2007

Paul Garlick QC

Barrister at Outer Chambers

'Trial monitoring in Eastern Europe and Asia - The protection of suspects and accused persons from human rights violations'

6.30pm, BPP Law School (Room 6.6)

68 - 70 Red Lion Street, Holborn, London WC1R 4NY

(Nearest Tube stations: Holborn & Chancery Lane)

Appointed Queen's Counsel in 1996, Paul Garlick QC has specialised in extradition, international criminal justice and European Convention on Human Rights cases. He has recently been involved in a number of high profile extradition cases including representing the former directors of the Russian "UKOS" oil company.

Since 2004 Paul Garlick has been deeply involved in trial monitoring projects for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and human rights training for the Council of Europe and the European Commission in Turkey, Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. In 2005 he was one of International Judges in the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Events – Wednesday 28th March 2007

Abdelsalam Hassan

Sudanese Human Rights Lawyer

'The ICC & Sudan'

6.30pm, BPP Law School (Room 5.7)

68–70 Red Lion Street, Holborn, London WC1R 4NY

(Nearest Tube stations: Holborn & Chancery Lane)

Abdelsalam Hassan is a Sudanese lawyer who has lived in the UK for 17 years. He works to further human rights in Sudan and has worked for a number of human rights organisations in London including Human Rights Watch, The Sudan Human Rights Organisation and Justice Africa.

Mr Hassan currently works with REDRESS on issues relating to fighting impunity and torture in Sudan

Events - Wednesday 28th February 2007

Carla Ferstman,

Director, Redress

‘The Role of Lawyers (and Legal NGOs) In The Process of Securing International Human Rights Norms’

6.30pm, BPP Law School (Room 6.6)

68–70 Red Lion Street, Holborn, London WC1R 4NY

(Nearest Tube stations: Holborn & Chancery Lane)

Carla Ferstman is the Director of REDRESS, whose mission is to rebuild the lives and livelihoods of torture survivors and their families. REDRESS also aims to eradicate the practice of torture worldwide.

Carla is the informal coordinator of the NGO Coalition for an International Criminal Court's Victims Rights Working Group, and a member of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Expert Panel on Torture and is called to the Bar in British Columbia, Canada. Prior to joining REDRESS, she held a variety of international human rights positions including work with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda and as Executive Legal Advisor of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Commission for Real Property Claims of Displaced Persons and Refugees (CRPC)

Read full report HERE

Events - Wednesday 24th January 2007

Gareth Peirce

‘Internationally Protected Rights: How They Have Been Destroyed’

6.30pm, BPP Law School (Room 6.6)

68–70 Red Lion Street, Holborn, London WC1R 4NY

(Nearest Tube stations: Holborn & Chancery Lane)

Gareth Peirce, Senior Partner of Birnberg, Peirce and Partners has championed human rights for many years. The Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four, David Shayler, Abu Qatada ('Europe's alleged Al-Qaeda Ambassador'), Judith Ward and the family of Jean Charles de Menezes are but a few of her most high profile clients.

Gareth Peirce currently defends a number of terrorist suspects including Bisher Amin Khalil al-Rawi, a detainee at Guantanamo Bay.

Read full report HERE

Events - Wednesday 22nd November 2006

Richard Gifford

6:30pm, BPP Law School (Room 6.6),

68–70 Red Lion Street, Holborn, London WC1R 4NY

Richard Gifford Solicitor of Sheridans will speak on the Chagos Islanders

A little known episode in the history of British rule overseas was the decision taken in the 1960s to order the eviction of an entire population from their island homes in the Indian Ocean. Justified at the time by claims of "good governance" in reality it was to make way for the American's establishment of the air base at Diego Garcia. Come and hear about the unique legal battle fought in recent years to redress this wrong.

Events - Wednesday 25th October 2006

Shami Chakrabati

6:30pm, BPP Law School (Lecture Room 1),

68–70 Red Lion Street, Holborn, London WC1R 4NY

Shami Chakrabati Director of Liberty : "Asylum" - The new dirty word"

Events - Wednesday 27th September 2006

Sarah Stephen-Smith

6:30pm, BPP Law School (Room 6.6),

68–70 Red Lion Street, Holborn, London WC1R 4NY

Sarah Stephen-Smith of the Poppy Project will speak on human trafficking

Sarah Stephen-Smith is Counter Trafficking Development Worker at the Poppy Project, which provides support and housing for women trafficked into prostitution. It is part of Eaves Housing For Women, a charity formed in 1977 under the orginal name of Homeless Action. The Poppy Project is funded by the Home Office and the Association of Local Government (ALG) and it combines direct services, support and advocacy with research, development and lobbying, so bridging the gaps between theory, practice and the need to influence strategy. Sarah Stephen-Smith will discuss the Project's work looking at key statistics in the context of the relevant international and European instruments, and those areas in which further work by SIHRG members is particularly required.

Events - Wednesday 26th July 2006

Katie Ghose

"Beyond the Courtroom: making your mark as a campaigning lawyer"

6.30pm, BPP Law School, (Room 5.7),

68-70 Red Lion Street, London, WC1R 4NY

Katie Ghose is a barrister and Director of the British Institute of Human Rights. She has extensive campaigns and political experience, having worked in campaigns and public affairs at Age Concern England (2001 - 05), as an MP's researcher (1992 - 1994), for Citizens Advice as their parliamentary adviser (1994 - 1995), and as Campaign Manager for the Child Accident Prevention Trust (1999 - 2000). She has also worked as a freelance consultant, providing lectures and training to City law firms and charities on parliamentary procedures and lobbying techniques. Katie was a member of the taskforce which advised the Government on the establishment of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights. She is also a Commissioner on the National Asylum Commission.

Events - Monday 24th July 2006

Carlos Mauricio

Speaker Meeting - SIHRG Americas Group in Association with Redress

6:30pm, BPP Law School (Room 6.6),

68–70 Red Lion Street, Holborn, London WC1R 4NY

Carlos Mauricio a Salvadorean national, was tortured during the early 1980s at the hands of El Salvador's repressive military. Carlos will speak about his experiences in El Salvador and recent landmark US court case where an award for damages of $54 million was upheld against Salvadorean Generals found responsible for torture".

Events - Wednesday 28th June 2006

Professor Robert McCorquodale of the University of Nottingham will speak on the role of non-state actors in international human rights law.

Professor McCorquodale is Professor of International Law and Human Rights, and Head of School, at the School of Law, University of Nottingham. Previously he was a Fellow at St. John's College, Cambridge and at the Australian National University. Before embarking on an academic career he worked as a lawyer with leading law firms in Sydney and London. Robert's teaching and research interests are in the areas of international law and human rights law. He has provided advice to governments, corporations, international organisations, non-governmental organisations and peoples concerning human rights issues, including advising on the drafting of new constitutions and conducting human rights training courses.

MARCH 2006: The SIHRG contributes to the Parliamentary Inquiry on Trafficking

The Joint Committee reported and accepted many of SIHRG's recommendations.

The SIHRG human trafficking working group was invited to give evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights' inquiry into trafficking at the Houses of Parliament on 5 June 2006. SIHRG presented evidence in the same hearing as Amnesty International and the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association. We welcomed this opportunity to highlight the urgent need for the Government to sign the Council of Europe Convention on Trafficking and to improve the protection of victims here in the UK.

Events - Wednesday 24th May 2006

Dr Fareda Banda

More Alike Than Unalike: Women's rights in Africa and the UK

6.30pm, BPP Law School, (Room 3.7),

68-70 Red Lion Street, London

Dr Fareda Banda of the School of Oriental and African Studies will speak on Women and Human Rights in Africa.

Dr Banda is Lecturer in Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and editor of the Journal of African Law (Cambridge University Press). Her research focuses on women's access to human rights, and she is a specialist on women's rights in Zimbabwe, especially their position in customary law. Her book "Women, Law and Human Rights: An African Perspective" came out with Hart Publishing in 2005. Dr Banda is also interested on the position of women and minorities in the legal profession in the UK and in 2000 she and Kate Malleson (LSE) carried out the Department for Constitutional Affairs' study on the effects of patronage and discrimination in the legal profession, looking at factors affecting decisions to apply for silk and judicial office by women and members of minority groups.

Events - Wednesday 26th April 2006

Tayab Ali

Representation of those suspected of committing terrorist offences and the treatment of terrorist suspects in the UK and abroad

6.30pm, BPP Law School, (Room 3.7),

68-70 Red Lion Street, London

Tayab Ali is Head of McCormacks Solicitor's 'Specialist Crimes Unit', where he defends, advises and lectures in terrorism and related cases.

He will speak about the difficulty of representing terrorist suspects at police stations in the UK, the increase in police powers, and public apathy towards understanding the issues. He will also speak about the detention, interrogation and mistreatment of suspects abroad and detail some of the allegations of Western governments' complicity into these types of cases.

Events - Wednesday 22nd March 2006

Justice in Conflict - Tensions Between Conflict Resolution and Human Rights Protection

Speaker: Barney Afako

6:30pm, BPP Law School, (Room 3.7), 68-70 Red Lion Street, London

Barney Afako is a member of the Ugandan Bar. Over the last 20 years, he has practised law in Uganda, Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom. He has supported conflict resolution, access to justice and human rights interventions in Eastern and Southern Africa. He is a keen follower of the work of the interventions of the International Criminal Court in Africa. Barney is also a part-time Immigration Judge in the United Kingdom.

The talk will canvas the dilemmas of transitional justice in countries in the throes of, or emerging from, conflict situations, using predominantly African examples. It will also be eligible for CPD points.

Read more HERE

Events - Wednesday 22nd February 2006

Andrew Stevens Kenyan death penalty cases and Mel James of the Law Society

6.30pm, BPP Law School,

68-70 Red Lion Street, London – Room 3.7

This talk is eligible for 1 CPD hour with the Law Society.

Mel James will talk about the Law Society (England & Wales) International sub-committee

Events - Wednesday 25th January 2006

Peter Carter QC, Chairman of the Bar Human Rights Committee

6.30pm, BPP Law School, (Room 5.7),

68-70 Red Lion Street, London

(Nearest tube: Holborn)

Peter Carter QC is Chairman of the Bar Human Rights Committee, In addition to his practice in the UK, he undertakes pro bono work on behalf of death row prisoners overseas, appearing in the Privy Council, preparing submissions to international tribunals and amicus briefs in US courts and elsewhere. In recent years he has spent an increasing amount of time conducting seminars and addressing international bodies on human rights aspects of domestic and international criminal law.

CPD Points: 1

At this meeting, there will also be elections for members of the management committee of SIHRG, as part of the Group's AGM.

Events - Wednesday 23rd November 2005

Philippe Sands QC, Professor in International Law, UCL

An Analysis of the Consequences of British and US Foreign Policy on the Global International Order

6.30pm, Bates, Wells & Braithwaite,

2-6 Cannon Street, London, EC4M 6YH [Map]

Nearest tubes Mansion House and St. Paul’s

Philippe Sands QC is Professor of Law and Director of the Centre of International Courts and Tribunals at University College London. Called to the Bar in 1985 and appointed Silk in 2003, he has also been a member of the Irish Bar since 2003. His publications include From Nuremberg to The Hague (CUP, 2003), Principles of International Environmental Law (CUP, 2003), and Lawless World (Allen Lane, 2005).

Events - Saturday 15th October 2005

Justice Albie Sachs, Constitutional Court of South Africa

3.00pm, BPP Law School, Room 6.6,

68-70 Red Lion Street, London

Justice Sachs will speak on Terrorism and Human Rights. Justice Sachs was a leading figure in the anti-apartheid struggle and is a key architect of the post-apartheid constitution for South Africa. He was appointed to the Constitutional Court by former President Nelson Mandela. His books include The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs and Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter

Events - Wednesday 28th September 2005

Peter Ashman, FCO Human Rights Policy Committee

6.30pm, Bates, Wells & Braithwaite,

2-6 Cannon Street, London EC4M 6YH [Map]

The talk will focus on how the FCO is working on promoting the rule of law as part of the FCO Human Rights Strategy 2005-2008. Peter Ashman is also keen to gauge the Group's views on the rule of law toolkit that the FCO is preparing for use by British Embassies and High Commissions. Mr Ashman would also like to exchange views on effective ways that lawyers in the UK can support human rights defenders and organisations overseas, and situations in which the FCO may be able to co-operate with groups like SIHRG.