Helena Kennedy is a leading barrister and an expert in human rights law, civil liberties and constitutional issues. Baroness Kennedy is a broadcaster and journalist on law and women's rights. She has acted in many of the prominent cases of the last decade including the Brighton Bombing Trial, Guildford Four Appeal, the bombing of the Israeli Embassy, the abduction of Baby Abbie Humphries and a number of key domestic violence cases. In 1992 she received the Women's Network Award for her work on women and justice and in 1995 added to it the UK Woman of Europe Award. For her work on equal rights she was recognised by the National Federation of Women's Institutes in 1996 who presented her with their Campaigning and Influencing Award - Making a World of Difference. In 1997 The Times gave her their Lifetime Achievement in the Law Award for her work for women and the law, and The Spectator made her Parliamentarian of the Year 2000. She is a member of the House of Lords and the Doughty Street Chambers in London.
Yakın Ertürk is a retired Prof. of Sociology from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey (Sept.1986 – Oct 2010). She worked for various national and international agencies on rural development projects (1986-2003); held international positions, including: Director of International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (Oct.1997- Feb.1999); Director of Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) - UN Headquarters, NewYork (March 1999 – Oct. 2001); UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women (SRVAW) (2003-2006); member of Independent International Commission of Inquiry of the June 2010 events in the Republic of Kyrgyztan (Oct. 2010-April 2011); member of Independent Commission of Inquiry for Syrian Arab Republic (Sept. 2011 – March 2012); member of European Council, Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) (2009-2013). She is currently coordinating an eleven-country research on family law and violence against women, which is part of an IDRC funded law reform advocacy project carried out by Women’s Learning Partnership. Her book, Violence without Borders: Paradigm, Policy and Praxis Concerning Violence against Women, was published in 2016 (translation from the 2015 Turkish original).
The Accountability Unit’s Pro Bono Legal Advisory Team comprises of international and regionally based lawyers who provide advice on a regular basis to our Legal Team and participate in our work before international courts and institutions, including international human rights mechanisms such as the ECtHR and UN Special Procedures, Treaty Bodies and Human Rights Council. In the UK our pro bono lawyers are selected from the leading human rights chambers and law firms.
Strategic decisions about the Accountability Unit’s work streams are made by its members and partner organisations following open, thorough consultation and risk assessments.
The Accountability Unit works with national bar associations, universities, national and international NGOs and other bodies. We work closely, in particular, with survivors of human rights violations, human rights defenders, and local civil society organisations.