Lord Alex Carlile of Berriew appointed as Chair of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) in London.

Lord Carlile has been appointed Chair of CHRI's regional office for the Western Hemisphere, with effect from 15th March 2018, at a key moment for the Commonwealth.

Lord Carlile, appointed a Life Peer in 1999, now sits as a member of the United Kingdom’s upper chamber. From 1983-1997 he was first a Liberal, and then Liberal Democrat MP. During that time, he served as his party's spokesperson on a range of issues, including Home Affairs and the Law, and was the first Member of Parliament to campaign for the rights of transgender people. He has sat as a Recorder of the Crown Court, a Deputy High Court Judge, and Chairman of the Competition Appeal Tribunal. Between 2001-2011, Lord Carlile was the Independent Reviewer of UK Terrorism Legislation; the Independent Reviewer of the UK Government’s PREVENT policy, and remains the independent reviewer of National Security policy in Northern Ireland. A highly successful barrister and former Head of Chambers at 9-12 Bell Yard, Lord Carlile has written several high profile reports, including for the Howard League, the UK’s Secretary of State for Education, and Church of England.

Welcoming the appointment, Sanjoy Hazarika, International Director of CHRI said from New Delhi:

'We look forward to Lord Carlile's stewardship of CHRI in the UK and working with him to strengthen the world of rights.'

Lord Carlile said:

‘It is a great privilege to be asked to chair such a vital organisation. The Commonwealth can be an exemplar of human rights, crossing government systems, cultures and religions. I shall do everything in my power to further CHRI’s wonderful aims and praiseworthy objectives.’

Richard Bourne, Founder Director of CHRI and London Executive Committee member said:

‘Lord Carlile will bring much experience of human rights, and a respected public profile, to the CHRI. We are fortunate that he is joining as our Chair. Working with colleagues in our head office in New Delhi, and our Accra office also, he will add impetus to essential efforts to protect the human rights of 2.2 billion Commonwealth citizens. With a Commonwealth Summit in London next month, and UK in the Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth for the next two years, the CHRI in London will be watching carefully, and holding governments to account where necessary.’

For more information contact dpwhite@humanrightsinitiative.org