Promoting Human Rights & Rule of Law in South Africa
Lord Abernethy was called to the Bar at Inner Temple, London, in 1963 and admitted as a member of the Faculty of Advocates (Scottish Bar) in 1966. He was made Queen’s Counsel (Scotland) in 1979 and was elevated to senator of the College of Justice in Scotland (Judge of the Supreme Court) in 1992, where he served until 2007. He has held many senior positions in national and international organisations, including the International Bar Association, and serves as a judge of the Court of Appeal of Botswana.
Abdool Rahim Khan has been an attorney since 1977. He was admitted as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa (T.P.D.) in 1977 and as an attorney of the High Court of Botswana in 1981. Rahim has been in private practice from 1982 to date. He was a law lecturer at the University of Botswana from 1980 to 1982 and a part-time lecturer with Barclays Bank of Botswana from 1984 to 1985. He has been an acting chief magistrate of Gaborone in 2000 (September to December), 2002 (March to June), 2003 (January to April) and 2012 (March to May). He is a member of the Legal Aid Board, Botswana Railways Properties Board, Basil Read Botswana, Norilsk (Botswana), and Auto Sueco (Botswana), amongst others. He is a former honorary Swedish consul to Botswana (2007to 2012). He is a board member of Freedom Under Law, a South African nongovernmental organisation.
Keith Baker is a London solicitor and has been an individual member of the International Bar Association for approximately 25 years, specialising in cross-border private client work. He is a past chair of the Individual Tax and Private Client Committee and past treasurer of the former Section on General Practice. He was elected an Honorary Life Member of the International Bar Association, and its Council, in October 2011.
Zohra Dawood has degrees in law and a Master’s degree in economic history. She worked for a decade as chief researcher for a land rights organisation. After 1994, she worked with the Department of Land Affairs and Agriculture, where she was involved in policy formulation and implementation, including negotiations and settlement of land claims. She has been an adviser to cabinet members and was an adviser to the Presidency of Nelson Mandela. She also worked for the Department of Defence in drafting its legislation and policies on land and environment. In 1999, she joined the Open Society Foundations as the deputy executive director of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa, and was the executive director from 2001-2012.
A prominent media lawyer and human rights defender, Beatrice Mtetwa has appeared in numerous high-profile cases in Zimbabwe. In a country where the law is often used as a weapon of persecution, she has defended those targeted, at great personal risk. She is a past president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe and is the recipient of numerous human rights awards.
Tawanda Mutasah is director of programs at the Open Society Foundations, overseeing the work of network programmes across the Soros Foundations Network. He previously served as chair of Open Society Foundation's Africa Advisory Board. He also formerly directed the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa from 2003 to 2008. He was admitted to the Bar in Zimbabwe in 1995. An International Human Rights award winner, Tawanda has previously worked on the international advocacy staff of Oxfam Great Britain, among other roles.
Dr Phillip Tahmindjis was a professor of law teaching human rights in Australia, North America and Hong Kong, as well as a consultant to government and private industry on human rights and discrimination issues. He was a member of the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Tribunal and has published four books and numerous articles in this field. He is currently the co-director of the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute and has undertaken capacity building with bar associations in Afghanistan, Bhutan, East Timor, and Swaziland; human rights training in Iraq, Nepal, and Palestine; and human rights fact-finding missions in Pakistan, Russia, and Syria.