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About us

OUR VISION


Our vision is of a world where there is access to justice.

A world where:

  • The vulnerable and marginalised enforce their legal rights without impediment;
  • Human rights are upheld, our natural environment is protected;
  • State and corporate actors held to account for human rights and environmental abuses; and
  • The vulnerable have meaningful access to justice.

Our vision is underwritten by the belief that for social and environmental justice is to realised, there must first be access to justice.


OUR MISSION


Our mission is to equip individuals and communities with the practical information needed to help them uphold their human rights and protect their environment through legal action and advocacy.

We will achieve this by:

  1. Providing practical guidance on access to justice in the most vital areas of need;
  2. Distributing our materials via websites, other appropriate portals/media and via partnerships with networks on the ground in the countries we serve; and
  3. Facilitating the creation of communities of public interest lawyers and activists to be a further resource of legal and practical support in this field.

 


Our board


Odi Lagi

Odi Lagi, is a development professional and human rights advocate with over 17 years experience promoting human rights-based programming and community development in Nigeria and an Action4Justice board member. She is the Program Director, Network of University Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI) Nigeria, a network of clinical programmes promoting access to justice, legal aid, justice education, and public interest lawyering. A member, Board of Director and Secretary Executive Committee of the Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE) representing African region. Founder and Executive Director Value-Based Community Initiatives. Odi Lagi has an MA in Human Rights from Central European University, diploma in Development Leadership from Coady International Institute Saint Francis Xavier University Canada, diploma in Social Innovation from UN University of Peace, and an Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) Human Rights Fellow. 

Joss Saunders

Joss is the General Counsel at Oxfam and Action4Justice board member. Joss was a founder of Advocates for International Development, the pro bono legal organisation and of the Legal Response International which seeks to create a more level playing field between actors in the climate change negotiations (UNFCCC) through legal assistance and building the capacity of climate negotiators. Joss is the Director of Lawyers Against Poverty. His interests at Oxfam include defending civic space, human rights, and disaster law. Joss was a Research Visitor at the Bonavero Institute and a key contributor to the Bonavero’s Non-Credit Course, Developing Strategies for the Protection & Promotion of Human Rights. His research at the Institute was on strategic litigation for human rights and the environment, and on the role of lawyers in promoting social justice.

Irene Tello

Irene is Executive director of Impunidad Cero, an anti-corruption organisation in Mexico and an Action4Justice board member. She has a Master’s degree in International Relations from New York University and is a Fulbright Grantee. She has a degree in Philosophy at UNAM. Previously she worked at Transparencia Mexicana, the Mexican Chapter of Transparency International, and at NYU’s GovLab as a research assistant. As part of her work at Impunidad Cero, she has coordinated the publication of more than 45 research papers regarding several topics of lack of rule of law in Mexico and co-designed two digital tools to fight and visualize impunity in Mexico (https://denuncia.org/ and https://impunidata.org/).

Richard Lord

Richard is a Chair of the Action4Justice Governance Group and A4J board member. He is a barrister and commercial litigator in Brick Court Chambers in London. He has particular interests in maritime, insurance, environmental and climate change law as well as promoting public interest litigation. He is co-author of Climate Change Liability: Transnational Law and Practice, published by Cambridge University Press.

 

Gaye Sowe

Gaye is Executive Director of IHRDA and an Action4Justice board member. Previously Gaye has worked with the Gambia Judiciary as a Principal Magistrate and Acting Judicial Secretary, and served as a Lecturer of Criminal Procedure at the Gambia Law School. He is currently an Adjunct Lecturer of Criminal Law at the University of The Gambia, an Expert Member of the ECOSOC Working Group of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights; a member of the Constitutional Review Commission of The Gambia, and a member of a team of three lawyers charged with reviewing and redrafting the criminal justice laws of The Gambia. He has a wealth of experience in human rights litigation, capacity building and advocacy at domestic and regional levels. Gaye holds an LLM (University of Essex’s), an LLB (Honours) (Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) and a BL (Nigerian Law School).

Matthijs de Jong

Matthijs is an Action4Justice board member and works for Greenpeace International as in-house organisational lawyer and is admitted to the Dutch bar as attorney-at-law. Matthijs specialises in corporate and maritime matters with a background in corporate law and private litigation. He holds an LL.M. in European Union Law from the University of Amsterdam (2009).

James Gardner

Ádam Földes

Ádám Földes is a legal advisor of the Policy and Advocacy team at the international secretariat of Transparency International (TI). Previously, from 2013-2015 he was in charge of producing TI’s report on enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. Prior to that, he used to work in TI Hungary in various positions, including legal director and executive director. His field of anti-corruption expertise includes freedom of information, protection of whistleblowers, law enforcement, statutes of limitation, political financing, regulation of lobbying. He also led the Advocacy and Legal Advice Center of TI Hungary. Before TI, he also worked for Access Info Europe (Madrid, Spain) and led the Freedom of Information and Privacy Program of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union.

Christopher Mbazira

 


Our Executive Committee


Chara de Lancey


Chara de Lacey is based in London, UK. Chara currently works with Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, within the organisation’s corporate legal accountability team. Previous roles include with Advocates for International Development (A4ID), where she had the privilege of partnering with the East Africa Law Society to deliver a business & human rights project, and in the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, where she worked with coalitions of lawyers and judges to deliver justice sector reform projects, and more generally, to provide collective solidarity with legal professionals at risk. Chara is a UK-qualified lawyer and holds a master’s degree (LLM) in law, globalisation and development for which she focussed her thesis on corporate due diligence and accountability in global supply chains.

Richard Lord QC


Richard is a Chair of the Action4Justice Governance Group and A4J board member. He is a barrister and commercial litigator in Brick Court Chambers in London. He has particular interests in maritime, insurance, environmental and climate change law as well as promoting public interest litigation. He is co-author of Climate Change Liability: Transnational Law and Practice, published by Cambridge University Press.

Hannah Blitzer


Hannah joined Action4Justice in 2020, having previously worked in environmental and human rights legal research and in charity fundraising and development. She became a member of the A4J Executive Committee in January 2021. Hannah is also a PhD Candidate at the University of Sussex, specialising in environmental and climate law, human rights and justice. She holds a LLB, LPC, and LLM in International Human Rights Law.

Josh Jackson


Josh is a barrister at Cloisters Chambers, London, where he specialises in human rights and international law, public and administrative law, and employment and equality law. He has also been elected as a Steering Committee member of the ETO Consortium.

Eliana Barrera


Eliana is a Chilean lawyer with an interest in human rights law, environmental justice, international law and public law.  She joined A4J as Coordinator in 2018 and became an A4J Executive Committee member in January 2021. She holds an LLB from the University of Chile, an LLM in international development law from the University of Warwick and has completed the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme to soon apply to be admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales.