The Executive Directors and Staff
Saul Lehrfreund, Co-executive Director
Saul has been running the 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. He also provides legal assistance to British prisoners facing the death penalty as a member of the Pro Bono Panel of the UK FCO.
In 1995, The Death Penalty Project won the category of “best pro bono activity” at the inaugural ‘UK Lawyer Awards’, and in the same year Saul received an individual award from the International Bar Association for his contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights. In 1999, he and Parvais Jabbar were joint winners of the Times/Justice Young Lawyer of the Year award.
Saul is a member of the FCO Minister of State’s Expert Group on the Death Penalty and was a founding member of previous Death Penalty Panel advising the Foreign Secretary. He was appointed as the UK nominated representative at the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue Seminar held in Beijing in June 2005. Saul is a member of the University of Reading’s Law School “Pro Bono” Steering Committee and in 2009, he was invited to join The Times Law Panel.
He has published and lectured extensively on capital punishment and human rights.
Parvais Jabbar, Co-executive Director
Parvais specialises in domestic and international human rights law as it relates to the death penalty. He has represented prisoners under sentence of death 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. Parvais has for many years, worked with and supported local lawyers before the Supreme Courts in a number of Commonwealth Countries, including constitutionals cases concerning the death penalty in Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Singapore.
Parvais has participated in expert delegations focusing on criminal justice/ death penalty reform, including delegations to Belarus, China and Taiwan. He has lectured and conducted working seminars on capital punishment issues to a wide range of audiences including members of the judiciary, legal profession, parliamentarians and the diplomatic community.
He is a founder member of the Pro Bono Panel of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office which provides legal assistance to British prisoners facing the death penalty and was a member of the UK Foreign Secretary’s Expert Group on the death penalty. In 2008 Parvais was the recipient of the Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year award by the Society of Asian Lawyers. In 2012 he was awarded an MBE for his services to international human rights and in July 2016, he was awarded an Honorary Degree at Middlesex University.
Parvais regularly lectures on death penalty issues to a wide range of audiences including lawyers, students and the public.
Sophie Blake, Communications and Project Officer
Sophie is responsible for external communications at the Death Penalty Project and assists with project work.
Sophie joined the Death Penalty Project in November 2016. Prior to joining the DPP she provided research, projects and communications support to a number of non-profit organisations. She has worked on issues including UK democracy, environmental justice and criminal justice reform.
She holds an undergraduate degree in History from the University of Edinburgh. As part of her undergraduate degree she spent a year studying at the University of Mississippi. Sophie also holds an MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights from the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London.
Amanda Clift-Matthews, In-house Counsel / Legal Director
Amanda specialises in international human rights and criminal law, in particular capital offences, serious miscarriages of justice, juveniles, the mentally disordered and abused women who kill. Her notable cases before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council include the lawfulness of the imposition of the death penalty on the mentally impaired, the treatment of juveniles in police detention and the constitutionality of life sentences. In addition she has assisted local lawyers in Singapore, Malaysia, Zimbabwe and Kenya in connection with appeals and constitutional motions for prisoners facing the death penalty, as well as in numerous cases in the Caribbean region to correct serious miscarriages of justice.
Amanda started out at the criminal bar, which was followed by interludes at Hogan Lovells and Osborne Clarke in the field of in media law. She has lived and worked in Moscow and Hong Kong, in particular, on one of Hong Kong’s most high profile murder cases and in a pro bono capacity for women prisoners serving life or long sentences. She has been part editor of Archbold Hong Kong and Hong Kong Westlaw, has lectured on criminal law and written on contemporaneous legal issues. She also has a Masters in Journalism and is dual qualified. Amanda joined the DPP in 2014.
Nicola Goldfinch-Palmer, Administrator
Nicola has been with the Death Penalty Project since 2000. She is PA to the Executive Directors and handles all day-to-day administrative matters related to the organisation.
Amy Kuan, Legal Officer
Amy assists the Executive Directors in legal casework before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and other death penalty cases around the world.
Amy joined the Death Penalty Project as a volunteer in October 2014, and became a full-time member of staff in January 2015. Before joining the DPP, Amy studied Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Following completion of the Legal Practice Course, she trained and qualified as a solicitor at Allen & Overy LLP, and was seconded to Madrid as part of her training contract. On qualification in 2013, Amy undertook a capital defence internship in Houston, Texas and provided free legal assistance to prisoners facing the death penalty.
Annette is primarily responsible for development aspects of the organisation. She assists the Executive Directors in the implementation of all programme and organisation development. She also assists in ongoing legal casework and research.
Annette joined the Death Penalty Project in 2010. Prior to joining the DPP, Annette worked in Beijing, China at the Beijing Migrant Workers’ and Children’s Legal Aid Centre, China where she provided free legal representation on test cases on labour laws and conducted extensive comparative research discrimination and equality laws.
Annette is a qualified solicitor in England and Wales, and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. She trained and qualified with Allen & Overy LLP before making a career move into the human rights field. Annette holds a Masters in Law (LLM) at Columbia University in New York, specialising in human rights and international law. She has worked in Hong Kong, Beijing, New York, and London.
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