We believe the death penalty, however administered, will almost always violate universally accepted and absolute human rights, namely, the right to life and the right not to be subject to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Directors & Trustees
Board of Directors of The Death Penalty Project Limited
- Anthony Burton CBE (Chair)
- Afua Hirsch
- Philip Kirkpatrick
- Julian Knowles QC
- Joseph Middleton
- Razi Mireskandari
- Keir Starmer QC
Trustees of The Death Penalty Project Charitable Trust
- Anthony Burton CBE
- Edward Fitzgerald CBE QC
- James Guthrie QC
- James Hughes-Hallett CMG
- Philip Kirkpatrick
- Sarah Morrison
- Simon Goldberg
Anthony Burton CBE
Chair and director of the Death Penalty Project Limited
Anthony has been involved with the Death Penalty Project since its inception. A leading authority on domestic and international criminal law, Anthony has a wealth of high-profile court experience. He also sits as a recorder of the Crown Court.
Anthony is chairman of the Board of the Royal Court Theatre and is a regular writer and broadcaster on legal affairs. He is a Council member of the all party organisation Justice. The Legal 500 ranks Anthony as a leader in his field, and the Chambers Guide describes him as “the criminal heartbeat of the firm…a calm authority”.
Edward Fitzgerald CBE QC
Edward specialises in criminal law, public law and international human rights law. He was awarded a CBE in 2008, and he was the winner of the Silk of the Year award in 2005 and the Times Justice Human Rights Award in 1998. He frequently appears in the Privy Council in cases involving the constitutions of the Commonwealth, Caribbean, death penalty appeals and extradition: he has won numerous important appeals in the House of Lords and the Privy Council establishing rights for life sentence prisoners and prisoners on death row. He has also appeared frequently in the European Court of Human Rights. Edward has been called to the Bar in numerous jurisdictions, including Belize, Grenada and St Vincent, and has been granted rights of audience to appear in cases in Hong Kong, Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia, Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands. He has represented death row prisoners in the Caribbean at all levels – at sentencing hearings in the local courts, in the Court of Appeal of Belize and the Eastern Caribbean and the Privy Council. Edward gives frequent lectures and seminars and provides sentencing training to lawyers in the Caribbean. He has been a Trustee since the inception of the Trust in 2005.
Simon has for several years been both a key adviser to and ardent supporter of the Death Penalty Project, and he routinely advises on a wide range of fundraising and public profile aspects affecting the organisation’s work. Simon is a commercial lawyer specialising principally in non-contentious media work, and is recognised by both the Chambers Guide and the Legal 500 as a key practitioner in his field. Simon also lectures in media studies on a part-time basis at Warwick University. His advice to the charity clients of Simons Muirhead & Burton, very frequently given on a pro bono basis, has been a cornerstone of his practice since qualification, and those clients include Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and Compassion in World Farming.
James Guthrie QC
James Guthrie specialises in a broad range of appellate work in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and he frequently undertakes pro bono work in Caribbean and Privy Council cases, often in death row cases. His human rights work has included references to the various international bodies, including the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. He has considerable experience of litigation in Commonwealth jurisdictions, both in an advisory capacity and as an advocate, and has been called to the Bars of the Turks and Caicos Islands, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, St Christopher & Nevis, Grenada and Bermuda. James also sits as a Recorder trying civil and criminal cases, and he is also a Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple. He has been a Trustee since the inception of the Trust in 2005.
James Hughes-Hallett CMG
James joined the Board of Trustees in September 2013. He is the Chairman of John Swire & Sons Ltd and a Director of Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, Swire Pacific Ltd and Chairman of United States Cold Stores Inc. He is chairman of The Courtauld Institute and of The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. James is also a Fellow of the Society of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and an Honorary Fellow of The University of Hong Kong and of Merton College, Oxford.
Afua Hirsch is the Social Affairs and Education Editor for Sky News. She was previously the West Africa Correspondent for The Guardian. She writes a regular blog on law and justice and human rights, and appears regularly in radio and TV broadcasts, and speaks widely on the law, media and diversity. Afua has practiced as a barrister in criminal defence and teaches public law, constitutional and human rights law.
Philip is a founder director and company secretary of The Death Penalty Project and a founder trustee of the Charitable Trust. He is a partner in the charity and social enterprise department of Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP. Philip advises charities and social enterprises, other voluntary organisations and commercial bodies on charity, corporate and commercial law. He is General Editor of the Charities Administration Service (Jordan Publishing) and co-author of The Fundraisers’ Guide to the Law (Directory of Social Change) and serves on the Institute of Fundraising Standards Committee. Philip has an active interest in human rights and is a former member of the Law Society’s International Human Rights Committee. He has conducted monitoring missions in Turkey for the Law Society and for the Kurdish Human Rights Project.
Julian Knowles QC
Julian specialises in criminal law, extradition and international criminal law, human rights law and media law. He is both a highly skilled trial counsel and an accomplished appellate expert, having appeared in over 30 cases in the House of Lords, Privy Council and Supreme Court, including in a large number of death penalty cases. Julian advises in relation to jurisdictions all around the world including, in particular, the Caribbean, the Channel Islands and Hong Kong. He has been called to the Bars of Northern Ireland, the Eastern Caribbean and the British Virgin Islands. Julian is the author of a number textbooks in his fields of practice, including The Law of Extradition and Mutual Assistance (3rd Edn, Oxford, 2013), the leading work in the field.
Julian’s cases include: South Africa v. Dewani (2010-2014, representing Shrien Dewani, whose extradition was sought by South Africa for allegedly murdering his wife on honeymoon); R v. Vicky Pryce (2013, defending Chris Huhne’s ex-wife, on ‘points swapping’ charges); R v. Office of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police (2007; prosecution arising from the shooting of Jean Charles De Menezes); R v. Kenneth Noye (2011, the M25 murder); The Pinochet case (1998-2000, representing General Pinochet in the extradition case brought by Spain); R v. Siôn Jenkins (2004 – 2006, the ‘Billie-Jo Jenkins’ murder); R v. David Chaytor and others (2009 – 2011, defending several MPs accused in relation to their expenses claims); R v. Corporal Donald Payne (2006-2007, the war crimes court-martial of British soldiers).
Before being called to the Bar Julian worked as an assistant in a public defender’s office in the United States representing death row prisoners. He began working with The Death Penalty Project/ Simons Muirhead & Burton on Privy Council death row cases shortly after beginning pupillage in 1994, and the relationship has continued throughout his career.
Joe has been working on death penalty litigation since he joined Doughty Street as a pupil in 1997 and has appeared in the Privy Counci
l in a number of capital appeals from the Caribbean. He worked with the Death Penalty Project on the successful constitutional challenges to the mandatory death penalty in Malawi and Kenya and is pursuing similar challenges with the DPP in Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia.
As for his domestic practice, Joe’s main areas are immigration and extradition. He is also an expert on elections in transition democracies, having advised on elections and election legislation in most countries of the former Soviet Union and beyond. He has conducted numerous human rights missions abroad for NGOs including Amnesty, the International Commission of Jurists and the Interparliamentary Union.
Razi is a founder director of The Death Penalty Project. He is a specialist in media and press law and commercial litigation. He has twenty years’ experience of dispute resolution on behalf of both claimants and defendants, and has acted in some of the most high profile media litigation cases of recent years. Razi has appeared on TV and radio as an expert on legal affairs and is a CEDR–trained mediator. He is described by the Chambers Guide as a “punchy, inventive and positive lawyer” who manages to “bring a touch of flair to his cases”.
Sarah has recently completed an MA in Global Ethics and Human Values at King’s College London, following a successful career as an audit partner with accountancy firm PKF Littlejohn, where she specialised in the charity and not for profit sector. She is currently acting as an Interim Finance Director for the UK based NGO, Solar Aid, which distributes solar lights throughout East Africa.
Sarah sits on the Board of the regeneration company, Renaisi and also chairs the audit committee of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).
Sarah became a trustee of The DPP Charitable Trust and head of its Finance Committee in 2007.
Keir Starmer QC
Keir was the Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales between 2008-2013. He was formerly Joint Head of Chambers of Doughty Street Chambers. His main areas of practice have been human rights, international law, judicial review, extradition, criminal law, police law and media law, and he has written extensively on human rights and criminal law.
In 2007 the Chambers & Partners Directory named him QC of the Year in the field of human rights and public law, and in 2005 he won the Bar Council’s Sydney Elland Goldsmith award for his outstanding contribution to pro bono work, in particular in challenging the death penalty throughout the Caribbean and also in Uganda, Kenya and Malawi. From 2003 to 2008 Keir was the human rights advisor to the Policing Board in Northern Ireland, working to ensure that the Police Service fully complies with its obligations under the Human Rights Act of 1998. He writes and lectures extensively on criminal law and human rights. He is a founder director of The Death Penalty Project.
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