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Workshop: Austerity & Legal Aid: Impact on the vulnerable

London, 10 October 2014, 9:30am - 4:30pm



From REDRESS: Carla Ferstman, Harpreet Paul, and Kevin Laue at the seminar at Matrix Chambers

SEMINAR, REDRESS and Matrix Chambers - Torture Survivors: Justice, Reparation and Accountability

Thursday 9 October, 6pm - 8pm

Matrix Chambers, Griffin Building, Gray’s Inn, London, WC1R 5LN

It is estimated that at least 30% of asylum seekers have been tortured and/or ill-treated. The number of UK citizens known to have been tortured abroad is also steadily increasing. Upon returning, arriving or obtaining status in the UK, some torture survivors come to REDRESS for advice on their options to seek justice, reparation and accountability for the ill-treatment they experienced.

The aim of this seminar was to provide a broad overview of how REDRESS aims to fulfil its mission to obtain justice for survivors of torture, hold accountable the governments and individuals who perpetrate torture, and develop the means of ensuring compliance with international standards and securing remedies for victims.


Hugh Southey QC is a leading human rights barrister with Matrix Chambers. He has fought cases at all levels up to and including the Supreme Court, as well as cases at the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. Mr Southey specialises in public law in a wide range of fields including human rights, prison law, inquests, crime, extradition, mental health, immigration, discrimination and elections. Hugh litigates public law and human rights arguments both in judicial review proceedings and civil claims. He also appears regularly in criminal appeals.

Mr Southey is an author of Judicial Review: A Practical Guide (Jordans) as well as founding editor of the United Kingdom Human Rights Reports. 

Carla Ferstman is the Director of REDRESS. She joined in 2001 as its Legal Director and became its Director in 2005. She was called to the Bar in British Columbia, Canada, in 1994 and practiced there as a criminal law barrister. She has also worked with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on legal reform and capacity building in post-genocide Rwanda, with Amnesty International's International Secretariat as a legal researcher on trials in Central Africa, and as Executive Legal Advisor to Bosnia and Herzegovina's Commission for Real Property Claims of Displaced Persons and Refugees (CRPC). 

In 2012/13 while on sabbatical from REDRESS she was a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace. A graduate of the University of British Columbia and New York University, she is working to complete a DPhil at the University of Oxford.

Mrs Ferstman has published and is a regular commentator on victims' rights, the International Criminal Court and the prohibition against torture.

Kevin Laue is the UK Legal Advisor at REDRESS. He is a Zimbabwean human rights lawyer who was in private practice there from 1984 to 2002. In 1996 he was a founder of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, which he chaired for the next five years. From 1976 to 1982 he worked for the International Defence and Aid Fund for Southern Africa (IDAF) in London, and was an active member of the Anti-Apartheid Movement. Mr Laue joined REDRESS in December 2002.

Harpreet K Paul is a caseworker at REDRESS. She qualified as a solicitor (England and Wales) in 2010. She studied law at King’s College London and has a Master’s degree in International Law from Birkbeck. Prior to joining REDRESS in January 2013, Harpreet worked at Amnesty International’s United Nations office in New York following UN resolutions, special sessions and committees involved in work on counter-terrorism and human rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, torture and ill-treatment, the right to life, abolition of the death penalty, and the rule of law.



REDRESS Director Carla Ferstman speaks at the seminar. To her left are Caseworker Harpreet Paul and Legal Advisor Kevin Laue.


Hugh Southey QC from Matrix Chambers speaks at the seminar, with Carla Ferstman.


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