The Commonwealth Group of Experts on Law Reform to Eliminate Discrimination against LGBT People, Women and Other Marginalised Groups is an international network which includes lawyers, legislative drafters, politicians, academics and researchers with significant experience and skills relating to the reform of discriminatory laws.

The Trust works closely with members of the Group of Experts to deliver our legislative reform programme and support our government partners through the process of reform. We strategically utilise the expertise within the Group, which spans thematic legal topics such as human rights, criminal law, sexual offences, anti-discrimination and hate crimes as well as technical processes ranging from legislative drafting to attitude polling to public education campaigns.

Our Experts work with us to develop evidence to inform policy and highlight solutions to pressing legislative issues, and they help us make the case for reform compelling.

The draft Bill prepared by the Human Dignity Trust and its Experts is a fantastic piece of work.

Human Dignity Trust government partner

Our Experts

Membership of the Expert Group varies and evolves depending on our research needs and the demands for our technical assistance. Some of our current experts include:

  • Robin Banks – lawyer, former Anti-Discrimination Commissioner of Tasmania, Australia
  • Rashad Brathwaite – lawyer, Barbados
  • Professor Neil Chakraborti – Professor of Criminology, UK
  • Professor James Chalmers – Professor of Law, UK
  • Professor Elaine Craig – Professor of Law, Canada
  • Robin Dormer – Parliamentary Counsel (retired), UK
  • Professor Christine Forster – Professor of Law, Australia
  • Eric Gitari – human rights lawyer, Kenya
  • Dr. Kay Goodall – former Reader in Law, UK
  • Adrian Hogarth – Parliamentary Counsel, UK
  • Adrian Jjuuko – human rights lawyer, Uganda
  • Neomai Maravuakula – Senior Human Rights Advisor, Fiji
  • Professor Vanessa Munro – Professor of Law, UK
  • Fazilet Özdenefe – Deputy of the Turkish Republican Party, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
  • Indira Rosenthal – lawyer, Australia
  • Paul Salembier – legislative drafter, Canada
  • Kim Simplis Barrow – former Special Envoy for Women and Children and spouse of the former Prime Minister, Belize
  • Professor Dee Smythe – Professor of Public Law, South Africa
  • Professor Mark Walters – Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology, UK

One of the constant challenges is finding good people who are credible and who have done solid work, but who can explain something technical in its simplest form. The Human Dignity Trust have vetted their Experts and they are credible people. That’s the value for people like me who do this work.

Human Dignity Trust government partner

How our Experts support us

Members of the Commonwealth Group of Experts have worked with us in a wide range of ways to support and inform our technical assistance to governments seeking to review and reform discriminatory laws or to enact protective legislation, including:

  • Drafting thematic legal papers
  • Drafting legislation
  • Supporting public sensitisation campaigns and public polling
  • Researching and drafting a report outlining international good practice on sexual offence laws
  • Drafting a series of reports assessing the sexual offence laws of every Commonwealth jurisdiction
  • Documenting the extent and nature of anti-LGBT hate crime throughout the Commonwealth
  • Outlining the reasons for introducing legislation to prohibit anti-LGBT hate crimes and the various models
  • Contributing to short films on sexual offences and hate crimes to help build the case for better laws
  • Engaging in South-South learning exchanges on successful reforms
  • Providing strategic input to advance the work of the Trust generally

Related Links

Resources

Resources

The Human Dignity Trust host an in-depth online resource library of key court rulings, research and reports.

Status of Commonwealth Sexual Offences Laws

Status of Commonwealth Sexual Offences Laws

The Human Dignity Trust has assessed sexual offence laws in every Commonwealth country against a set of seventeen indicators to evaluate the extent to which their laws are human rights compliant.

Changing Laws, Changing Lives

Changing Laws, Changing Lives

We provide technical assistance on request to governments looking to reform discriminatory sexual offence laws and to enact protective legislation.

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