Rachel is Professor of International Human Rights Law at the University of Bristol and the Director of its Human Rights Implementation Centre, as well as an independent consultant. She undertakes regular work on the African human rights system, implementation of human rights decisions, OPCAT and torture prevention, among other areas.
She has experience submitting cases in particular to the UN special procedures, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, amicus briefs before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and engaging regularly with the UN and regional human rights bodies.
She advises national, regional and international organisations as well as governments and individuals on international human rights law and undertakes consultancies for the OSCE, UN, and human rights organisations such as the Danish Institute for Human Rights, Amnesty International, Open Society Foundations, among others.
Design and delivery of trainings for members of the judiciary with the CEELI Institute in Prague. This has included online courses on remote judging (for which good practice guidelines were developed) and on case management. She is involved in the development of an African network of judges.
Consultancies on national human rights institutions, including: providing strategic support to the Samoa Ombudsman Institution on effective engagement in SDG processes; an analysis of African national human rights institutions and a rights-based approach to the implementation of the SDGs; and baseline studies on NHRIs and litigation in Africa.
With ODIHR/OSCE, she has provided advice and consultancies on trials in absentia and admissibility of evidence, and key factors in successful litigation of universal jurisdiction cases.
With other members of Chambers, funded by UNICEF, she is part of a team providing capacity building on international human rights law and strategic litigation for local lawyers in Myanmar.
Influencing, through amicus briefs before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, its judgment on reparations in the Ogiek case (African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) v. Republic of Kenya (App.006/2012)), relating to the eviction by Kenya of the Ogiek minority ethnic group from the Mau Forest, their ancestral home.
Her torture prevention work includes collaborating with independent bodies who visit places of detention, including national preventive mechanisms. She has been involved in developing a governance model and strategy for the South African Human Rights Commission, in collaboration with African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF); analysing the implementation of the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture’s recommendations with respect to Scotland; designing options for Ireland in ratifying OPCAT; and providing advice to the UK NPM, and international bodies. Rachel was a consultant to the UN Independent Expert on the rights of older persons on her report on older persons in situations of deprivation of liberty and she has also developed training on torture prevention for, most recently, lawyers in Cameroon, and prosecutors in Uzbekistan.
Rachel is also Distinguished Fellow and Visiting Professor at the University of Notre Dame and Fellow of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex. She was formerly the Vice Chair of the Board of the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa. She is a magistrate sitting in Bristol.