Professor Philip Leach, Director
Philip Leach is Professor of Human Rights Law at Middlesex University, a solicitor, and Director of EHRAC, also based at Middlesex University. He has extensive experience of representing applicants before the European Court of Human Rights, in particular against Russia and other former Soviet states, as well as the UK and Turkey. He researches and publishes widely in the field of international human rights law. He was a member of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody from 2009-2015 and a member of the Harris Review (2014-2015). He was appointed Specialist Adviser to the Joint Committee on Human Rights for its inquiry into mental health and deaths in prison in 2016-2017. He is Vice-Chair of the European Implementation Network (EIN), a member of the Advisory Board of the Open Society Justice Initiative, and a former trustee of the Media Legal Defence Initiative and the Human Dignity Trust. He is the author of ‘Taking a Case to the European Court of Human Rights’, 4th ed., Oxford University Press, 2017. In 2015, Leach was named Human Rights Lawyer of the Year by the Law Society of England and Wales.
Jessica Gavron, Legal Director (job share with Joanna Evans)
Jessica Gavron is a UK barrister with extensive experience litigating domestic criminal law issues and cases before the European Court of Human Rights. She has taught the International Human Rights Law module on the LLB and LLM at the London School of Economics and continues to be a guest lecturer to undergraduates, postgraduates and professionals. In 2007 she moved to Jerusalem for two years where she provided legal advice for Ha-moked legal centre in East Jerusalem, on cases from the West Bank involving freedom of movement, family unity and the legality of means and methods of warfare in the Gaza conflict 2009. She has run training courses in Europe and the former Soviet Union for international lawyers on International Human Rights Law, Human Rights in Conflict, Evidence in Human Rights Litigation and Litigating Violence against Women. She holds a degree in History, from Cambridge University and an LLM (Distinction) in Public International law from the LSE, where she was awarded the Higgins Lauterpacht International Law Prize; the Derby Bryce Law Prize and the Georg Schwarzenberger Prize for outstanding performance in International law.
Joanna Evans, Legal Director (job share with Jessica Gavron)
Joanna Evans is a UK barrister with extensive litigation and advisory experience at domestic, regional and international levels. She has particular expertise in criminal justice issues and human rights violations arising from armed conflicts and has conducted rule of law and capacity building work arising from jurisdictions as diverse as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Iraq. She has extensive litigation experience at both domestic level and before the European Court of Human Rights. She has also practised before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia. She is a Recorder of the Crown Court, a Deputy District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts), a Judge of the First Tier Mental Health Tribunal (Restricted Patients Panel) and an Independent member of the Parole Board. She works part time at EHRAC in combination with her private practice.
Laure Trebosc, Head of Programmes
Laure Trebosc joined EHRAC in July 2014. She has over 15 years of experience of project and programme management in the non-profit sector in the UK, France and the former Soviet Union. Laure joined EHRAC from Lumos, where she managed the development of new programmes for the de-institutionalisation of vulnerable children in Ukraine for 3.5 years. Prior to that, she lived and worked in Russia, leading an EC-funded project transforming services for children with learning disabilities separated from their parents in North-Western Russia, and managing events for the EU Delegation to Russia in Moscow. She holds an MA (Hons) in Political Science from the Paris Institute of Political Science and a BSc (Hons) in Russian Joint Studies from the London School of Economics.
Kate Levine, Lawyer (on parental leave)
Kate Levine is a UK solicitor, and joined EHRAC in 2014. Prior to that she worked as a Human Rights Programme Officer at the Sigrid Rausing Trust, where she carried out grant-making and capacity building for NGOs focused on strategic human rights litigation, torture prevention, and the protection of human rights defenders (with a focus on the former Soviet Union, as well as southern and east Africa). Previously Kate practiced law in the litigation department of a top tier global firm in London. She has litigated cases before international and regional human rights bodies, including the European Court of Human Rights, the UN CEDAW Committee, and the UN Human Rights Committee. Kate holds an LLM (Distinction) in Public International Law from the London School of Economics, an LLB, and a BA Hons (First) Philosophy and Politics. She has also completed two professional courses on women’s human rights and international humanitarian law at the London School of Economics.
Elba Bendo, Lawyer (International Advocacy)
Elba Bendo is a human rights lawyer specialising in equality and non-discrimination law. For seven years, she has worked alongside front-line organisations and people with lived experience of marginalisation to bring an equality lens to human rights violations. Prior to joining EHRAC, Elba acted as Director of Law Reform for a leading legal advocacy organisation in Canada, where she undertook advocacy aimed at addressing inequities experienced by women and gender-diverse people. She supported community efforts that resulted in important systemic reforms, including amendments to employment standards and housing legislation to support survivors of domestic violence, and played a leading role in securing a monumental increase in funding for community-based, sexual assault programs and pay transparency legislation in British Columbia. Elba has also worked alongside Indigenous land defenders in Myanmar to bring forward successful public nuisance litigation against coal mining polluter, and to challenge unlawful land grabs by the military. She started her legal career litigating cases of employment discrimination on behalf of workers in situations of precarious employment.
Constantin Cojocariu, Lawyer
Constantin Cojocariu is a Romanian lawyer with particular expertise in equality and non-discrimination law. Over the past 15 years, he has developed pioneering litigation on Roma rights, disability rights and LGBT rights before regional and national courts, in close partnership with local lawyers and activists. Prior to joining EHRAC, Constantin worked as a strategic litigation advisor for Transgender Europe, and as a lawyer for London-based Interights and for the Budapest-based European Roma Rights Centre. Between 2015 and 2020 he has been involved in a wide range of capacity building, training and research activities as consultant for Council of Europe, which included co-designing several eLearning human rights courses for its HELP unit. Constantin is a member for Romania of the LGBT rights lawyers’ network European Commission on Sexual Orientation Law (ECSOL) and writes his own bilingual human rights blog (www.pedreptvorbind.blogspot.com). He holds a master degree in human rights from the Central European University, formerly of Budapest, Hungary.
Toby Collis, Lawyer
Toby joined EHRAC in August 2020. Toby is a litigator, trainer, facilitator, and researcher in international human rights. Prior to EHRAC, at Advocates for International Development (A4ID), Toby was responsible for delivering training on sustainable development and international legal pro bono. Toby was Associate Legal Officer at the Open Society Justice Initiative, and was a case lawyer on a wide-range of human rights issues, trainer on strategic human rights litigation, and facilitator of litigator networks for regional human rights fora. He has worked on cases at the European Court of Human Rights, UN Human Rights Committee, the International Criminal Court, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Originally from Australia, in a past life he was a commercial lawyer and clerked at the New South Wales Court of Appeal. Toby is qualified as a solicitor in New South Wales, Australia, and has received the BCL (Distinction) (equivalent to LLM) from the University of Oxford, and LLB (Hons 1) and BA (Hons 1) from Macquarie University, Sydney.
Ramute Remezaite, Legal Consultant (parental leave)
Ramute Remezaite is a Legal Consultant at EHRAC and a PhD Candidate at School of Law, Middlesex University looking into the impact of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in fragile democracies, such as former Soviet Union states. Prior to this, Ramute was based in Azerbaijan, where she litigated civil rights cases before the European Court of Human Rights and the UN bodies together with local human rights lawyers. She also ran a project on the implementation of judgments of the European Court for Human Rights in the South Caucasus region and has done research and consultancy work for Article 19 and the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute. Ramute has published a number of articles on human rights issues in Azerbaijan. Before that, she worked as a Program Officer at the Bertha Justice Initiative in London, and at the Human Rights House Foundation in Oslo, Norway where she worked with a network of NGOs in former Soviet Union states. Ramute graduated from Oslo University, Law School with LL.M. in Public International Law and Master in Law from Vilnius University.
Tina Devadasan, Programme and Financial Advisor
Tina Devadasan is legally qualified and holds a Master in Business Administration, with a strong background in management, fundraising, financial and project management. She was formerly projects officer at the Kurdish Human Rights Project and was primarily responsible for consecutive Community Fund (National Lottery) grants as well as successive incremental governmental and grant-making trust funding.
Patrick Regan, Strategy, Evaluation and Reporting Advisor
Patrick Regan joined EHRAC in 2019. He has worked in the NGO sector for over ten years, specialising in programme management and monitoring and evaluation for education, health and human rights NGOs. Before joining EHRAC he worked as the Evaluation & Strategy Manager at the Media Legal Defence Initiative, focusing on strategy development, measuring the impact of litigation projects and evaluating projects delivered by an international network of partners. He holds a BA in Spanish & Latin American Studies from Cardiff University and is currently studying for a Masters of Research (MRes) in Social Research, Law and Legal Studies at Birkbeck, University of London.
Chloe Tennant, Project and Evaluation Officer
Chloe Tennant joined EHRAC in November 2019. Before joining EHRAC, Chloe was part of the Alfa Fellowship from May 2018-May 2019. The Alfa Fellowship is an international programme which offers participants the opportunity to live and work in Moscow, where she undertook a professional development placement with Human Rights Watch. Prior to the Alfa Fellowship, Chloe worked in volunteering and community fundraising at ShelterBox, an international disaster relief charity based in Cornwall. She holds a BA in International Relations and Russian Studies from the University of Birmingham, and an MA in Russian and Eurasian Studies from Leiden University in the Netherlands.
Charlotta Blomqvist, Project Officer
Charlotta joined EHRAC in October 2020 from the Equal Rights Trust, where she worked on various projects related to non-discrimination and equality law, first as a legal intern, then as Programmes Coordinator. Previously, she also interned at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, working in the monitoring and impact evaluation team. She holds an LLB in Law (European Legal Studies) from the University of Southampton, an MA in Diplomacy and International Law from the American University of Paris, and a summer course certificate in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford. She is also a qualified lawyer at the New York bar, and speaks French, Finnish, Swedish, and English.
Lucy MacEwan, Development Officer
Lucy joined EHRAC in October 2019 from Orbis, an international NGO where, as Trusts and Foundations Officer, she managed Orbis’s portfolio of Trusts and Foundations donors and worked to identify and secure new funding opportunities. Prior to this, Lucy worked at Newcastle University as Philanthropy Assistant, where she supported fundraising across a variety of income streams including: trusts and foundations, public giving, major donors and community fundraising. She is currently studying for an MA in Human Rights from University College London.
James Dowsett, Media and Communications Officer
James Dowsett joined EHRAC in September 2019. He is a freelance journalist. Prior to joining EHRAC, he worked for a high-profile political campaigning organisation. He holds a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Essex and a MPhil in Modern British History from the University of Cambridge.
Barbara Karch, Finance and Grants Officer
Barbara Karch joined EHRAC in February 2017 from Against Violence and Abuse (AVA) where she was Administration and Finance Manager for over four years. Prior to that, she was Finance and Administration Officer at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Barbara has extensive experience of all aspects of financial management required by a small NGO, including working with a variety of income streams. She holds AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting and CIPFA Certificate in Charity Finance and Accountancy.
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