Distinguished friends

Baroness Shami Chakrabarti CBE

Shami Chakrabarti is a member of the House of Lords and Labour party politician. She was the director of Liberty (The National Council for Civil Liberties) from 2003 to 2016. Shami first joined Liberty as In-House Counsel on 10 September 2001. She became heavily involved in its engagement with the ‘War on Terror’ and with the defence and promotion of human rights values in Parliament, the Courts and wider society.

A barrister by background, she was called to the Bar in 1994 and worked as a lawyer in the Home Office from 1996 until 2001 for governments of both persuasions.

After becoming Liberty’s director she has written, spoken and broadcast widely on the importance of the post-Second World War human rights framework as an essential component of a democratic society.

She has been Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University and a Governor of the British Film Institute. She is a Visiting Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford and Chancellor of the University of Essex, in addition to being a Master of the Bench of Middle Temple. She was one of six independent assessors advising Lord Justice Leveson in his Public Inquiry into the Culture, Practice and Ethics of the UK Press.