Founder

 

Keith Carmichael (founder of REDRESS) and Leah
Levin OBE (trustee)

 

Following his release in 1984, Keith Carmichael, a torture survivor, consulted those with extensive experience in human rights, law and non-governmental organizations about how to go about seeking reparation for torture. He also met with over 90 other survivors many of whom, like him, wanted to seek redress but did not know how to go about it. While existing NGOs helped survivors in other ways - by campaigning for their release, providing safe havens and medical care - none assisted them to obtain reparation. While the right to reparation existed in law, the practical difficulties in obtaining reparation proved difficult to overcome.

Keith Carmichael developed the concept for REDRESS in consultation with four persons in particular: the late Peter Davies OBE, former Director of Anti-Slavery International, Dame Rosalyn Higgins QC, Leah Levin, former Director of Justice, and Professor David Weissbrodt of the University of Minnesota, who shared the same interest in seeking ways of obtaining reparation for victims of torture. In 1990, a concept paper for a new initiative, REDRESS - a programme to focus on the right of torture survivors to reparation and to assist them to seek a remedy - was circulated.

The idea was discussed further at the IV International Symposium on Torture and the Medical Profession held in October 1991 in Budapest, and again at the Symposium on Human Rights and Development in December 1991 in Manila. Among others, Eric Sottas, Director of OMCT/SOS-Torture, Professor Bent Sorensen, and Dr Inge Gnefke, participated in the discussion. The conclusion was that there was a need for such a specialised organisation and an action programme should be developed. Keith Carmichael established REDRESS which was registered as a charity in the UK in December 1992.

 

The REDRESS Team

Staff | Trustees | Trustees (USA) | Patrons | Legal Advisory Council | Founder


Staff

 

Nora Bendžiūtė

Fundraising Assistant

Nora joined REDRESS in 2016 as a Fundraising Assistant. She completed her BA in International Relations at the University of Exeter and is studying for her Master's degree in Understanding and Securing Human Rights at the School of Advanced Study (University of London). She has undertaken various internships in the human rights and diplomatic fields, including with Minority Rights Group (MRG) in London, the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS) in Tbilisi, the Lithuanian Embassy in Paris, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania in Vilnius.

 

Sheilagh Cardosa

Head of Finance

Sheilagh joined REDRESS in January 2017 as Head of Finance. For the past twenty years she has worked in various charities, specializing in violence against women and girls. She was the Finance Manager for Eaves for twelve years, where she oversaw the many changes and challenges in the sector. She is also a trustee for PRCBC.

 

 

 

Nader Iskandar Diab

Legal Officer

Nader joined REDRESS in October 2016 as Legal Officer in its office in The Hague. Nader holds an LL.M in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights from the Geneva Academy and a B.A in law from the Lebanese University. Nader has been active with several organizations since 2012 in assisting victims of human rights violations obtain reparations in the aftermath of the 'Arab Spring'. Nader has published peer-reviewed articles on different international law topics.

Follow Nader Iskandar Diab on Twitter on @NaderiskDiab

 

Chris Esdaile

Legal Advisor

Chris joined REDRESS in 2017, as a Legal Advisor. Chris spent several periods working in South Africa on human rights issues in the period before the end of apartheid, and working as an election monitor in the first democratic elections there. Having qualified as a solicitor in 1993, he worked in Birmingham undertaking housing litigation for vulnerable tenants, joining with others to set up a new specialist housing practice, the Community Law Partnership, in 2000. Chris served on the International Human Rights Committee of the Law Society from 2000 to 2004. From 2004-2009 he worked as legal advisor at a centre for abused women in northern Chile, later assuming the role of Director of this project. After returning to the UK, he completed an LLM in International Human Rights Law at Queen Mary, University of London. From 2011-2017, Chris worked at Leigh Day, Solicitors, using legal action in England to hold large UK companies to account for harming people in other countries, and latterly working on some of the claims resulting from alleged mistreatment by British forces during the Iraq conflict. 

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisEsdaile

 

 

        Josie Fathers

Advocacy Officer

Josie joined REDRESS in 2017 as an Advocacy Officer working on a special project to increase support and assistance to British nationals detained abroad who are at real risk of torture and ill-treatment. She completed her BA at the University of Leicester before pursuing a master’s degree at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She has extensive experience working on human rights issues in the Middle East, particularly with regards to the Gulf States, and has previously volunteered with International Service in the occupied Palestinian territories. She has also undertaken various internships in the fields of human rights and peace and security, including with Amnesty International and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) in Geneva.

 

Carla Ferstman

 

 

 

 

 

Carla Ferstman 

Director

Carla Ferstman joined REDRESS in 2001 as its Legal Director and became the Director in 2005. She was called to the Bar in British Columbia, Canada in 1994 and practiced there as a criminal law barrister. Also prior to joining REDRESS, she worked with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 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. She has also been a visiting professional with Australian National University in Canberra. She obtained an LL.B. from the University of British Columbia and an LL.M. from New York University and completed her DPhil at the University of Oxford. She has published and is a regular commentator on victims' rights, the International Criminal Court and the prohibition against torture.

Follow Carla on Twitter on @CarlaFerstman

 

Charlie Loudon 

Solicitor

Charlie is a practising solicitor, specialising in international law. His work at REDRESS focuses on international human rights litigation, in particular before the African regional human rights bodies. Charlie studied Law at Oxford (BA) and International Law and African Politics at the London School of Oriental and African Studies (MA). He has spent time at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Legal Counsel to the World Health Organization and the Ghana Center for Democratic Development. He is currently a Steering Committee member of Oxfam Lawyers Against Poverty. Charlie is UK-qualified and a Higher Courts solicitor advocate. He works at Redress alongside practising at a commercial firm, where he has worked since 2011 and specialises in international arbitration and public international law.

 

 

 

 

Letizia Paoloni

Office Manager

Letizia is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the CUNY Graduate School in New York, where she obtained her Masters degree in Political Science. Prior to joining REDRESS, Letizia was a research associate at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies in New York, where she organised and coordinated the RBI UN Seminar Series, and conducted research on UN operations, human rights, globalisation and development. As project manager of the Ralph Bunche Centenary Celebration Secretariat, she worked closely with over ninety worldwide participating organisations to organise and coordinate the Centenary’s events such as conferences, lectures, exhibits, event openings, educational outreach programmes and TV shows.

 

Kanimoly Primson

Finance Assistant

Kanimoly Primson joined REDRESS team in August 2017 as Finance Assistant. She has fifteen years of experience working in the UK voluntary sector. She has worked with different communities, especially with ethnic minority groups and helped in many refugee settlement projects in the UK. She has also worked in Haringey CVS organisation which supported various small charitable organisations in North London.

 

Eva Sanchis

 

 

Eva Sanchis

Head of Communications

Eva joined REDRESS in 2011. Prior to joining REDRESS, she was the home affairs editor for El Diario-La Prensa, New York’s largest Spanish-language newspaper. She previously worked as its senior political and investigative reporter, and worked on several award-winning projects, including one that prompted a change in federal detention standards. She has also reported from Spain and the UK, and covered Latin America as an International Reporting Project fellow in Washington, DC. She has a M.A. in Journalism and Latin American studies from New York University, where she was an adjunct professor. Eva is originally from Spain. 

 

Jürgen Schurr

Head of Law and Policy, Head of REDRESS Nederland

Jürgen joined REDRESS in 2006 as Project Coordinator on Universal Jurisdiction, having previously worked for various human rights organisations. In 2009 he took a position as Associate Legal Officer at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He returned to REDRESS as Legal Advisor in 2010, with a focus on universal jurisdiction, and litigation & advocacy before the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. In November 2015, he took up his position as Head of Law and Policy. Jürgen obtained his law degree from the University of East Anglia, UK, and a LLM from the University of Trier, Germany.


Follow Jürgen Schurr on Twitter on @juergenschurr

 

 


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Trustees

Paul Lomas - Chair

Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Michael Birnbaum QC

Barrister at 9-12 Bell Yard Chambers.

Professor Bill Bowring

Professor in the School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London. He is a practising barrister at Field Court Chambers, Gray's Inn.

Sherman Carroll PhD, MBE (Hon.)

Head of Amnesty International's campaigns, including the abolition of torture (1974-1983) and co-founder of its medical programme; director of policy at the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture (retired 2006); and founding editor of human rights publisher Readers International, London and USA.

Willa Maria Geertsema (Honorary Treasurer)

Director of Finance and Administration at United World Colleges (UWC)

Leah Levin, OBE

Founder member of REDRESS' Board of Trustees, a Trustee of International Alert, and a former Director of Justice (the British Section of the International Commission of Jurists).

Reverend Nicholas Mercer

Former Lieutenant Colonel with the British army, and teacher at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, San Remo. Nicholas was named Liberty Human Rights Lawyer of the Year 2011-2012 for his work for prisoners of war in Iraq in 2003.

Baroness Vivien Stern

Crossbench member of the House of Lords. Former Secretary General of Penal Reform International.

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Trustees (USA)

Professor Michael Bazyler, Chair

Stephanie Deckrosh

Professor Naomi Roht-Arriaza

Professor Dinah Shelton

Professor David Weissbrodt

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Patrons

The Honourable Louise Arbour CC, GOQ

Professor Michael Bazyler

Rt Hon Ann Clwyd MP

The Rt Hon Lord Crickhowell

Dato’ Param Cumaraswamy

Edward Datnow FRCS

Anthony Foulger

Dr Inge Genefke MD, D.M.Sc.h.c.

Dame Rosalyn Higgins DBE QC

The Rt Hon the Lord Judd

The Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC

Caroline Moorehead OBE, FRSL 

Professor Manfred Nowak

The Rt Rev Lord Harries of Pentregarth

John Simpson CBE

Professor Theo van Boven

Professor David Weissbrodt

Dame Vivienne Westwood DBE, RDI

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Legal Advisory Council

Professor Michael Bazyler

Professor of Law, Chapman University School of Law, California.

Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC (Hon)

Solicitor specialising in human rights and founder and senior consultant at Bindmans LLP.

Joanna Glynn QC

Barrister at One Crown Office Row, Temple.

Professor David Harris CMG

Professor of Law, Nottingham University.

Professor Lorna McGregor

Professor at the University of Essex.

Professor Geraldine Van Bueren

Professor of Law, Queen Mary, University of London.

Professor David Weissbrodt

Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School and Chairperson of the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.

 

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