Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL) is proud to announce that it recently welcomed three new members to its Board of Trustees (the Board), Mervet Mhanni, Dr. Lutz Oette and Mervat Rishmawi. These three members are each highly respected in their fields and bring a wealth of diverse experience and expertise to LFJL which will help to strengthen and grow its work over the coming years. The new trustees join our distinguished board members Andrew Balfour, Mariam Elhadri, Ibtisam Al Kilani and Elham Saudi, with Andrew Balfour selected to be LFJL’s Chairman going forward.
New Board member Mervet Mhanni is a Libyan activist and senior member of the non-partisan and highly respected Free Generation Movement (FGM) that was a significant part of the 2011 resistance in Tripoli. Through FGM’s Mafqood project and later at the Ministry of Martyrs and the Missing, Mervet worked extensively on the search for missing persons in Libya. Mervet’s in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Libyan context combined with her practical experience as an activist on the ground means that she is a wonderful asset to the Board.
Dr. Lutz Oette is convener of the LLM in Human Rights, Conflict and Justice, MA in Human Rights Law Director of the Centre for Human Rights Law at the School of Law, SOAS, University of London. Before taking up his post at SOAS full time, Lutz combined teaching with his role as Counsel at REDRESS, an international human rights organisation that helps torture survivors obtain justice and reparation. Lutz is one of our earliest supporters and has given legal and strategic advice throughout our life, as well as training lawyers and activists at some of our first workshops and collaborating on much of our anti-torture work. We are honoured that he will lend his expertise to the Board officially.
Mervat Rishmawi is a Palestinian human rights activist with years of high level experience working with international, regional and national NGOs and the UN across the MENA region including the International Secretariat of Amnesty International. Mervat is currently a Board Member of a number of international organisations including the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute, and the Palestine Independent Commission for Human Rights. She is an independent consultant for many national, regional and international organisations and UN agencies and bodies, providing strategic analyses and research pertaining to developments in international law and in relation to the MENA region. Mervat has been a long term supporter and champion of our organisation.
LFJL’s new Chairman, Andrew Balfour, is a solicitor and former partner at Slaughter and May where he was Head of Financing. Andrew is currently Chairman of Slaughter and May’s Africa Practice Group and sits on the boards of a number of charities. Since joining LFJL’s Board in 2012, he has been instrumental to its strategy due to his invaluable advice and support, and we feel hugely privileged to have him lead us into our next phase.
Director Elham Saudi commented, “We are delighted to have some of our longstanding mentors and advisors joining LFJL in a more formal capacity and hugely excited about the possibility of new directions and collaborations. We work very closely with our Board, so it means a huge amount to everyone in the organisation to have members with such significant experience and expertise that span law, governance, grassroots civil society and the international community.”