The current members of the Executive Committee are as follows:
Azhar Cachalia is currently serving his third term as a Commissioner, having been elected in 2011, and he was elected to the Executive Committee in 2012 (he is now the Chair). He is currently a Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa. Before this he served as Judge of the South African High Court from 2001 – 2005. In 1983 he was a founding member of the United Democratic Front (a coalition of anti-apartheid organizations in South Africa) and has worked with numerous community organizations throughout his life. Between 1977-1989 he was detained and banned on several occasions for his anti-apartheid activity. From 1996-1999 he served in Government as Secretary for Safety and Security. In 1999 he returned to legal practice.
Sir Nicolas Bratza is serving his first term as Commissioner, having been elected in 2013. He was elected to the Executive Committee in 2018. He is a British lawyer and a former President of the European Court of Human Rights. He was appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown at Common Law in 1979 and took silk as Queen’s Counsel in 1988. In 1993, Nicholas Bratza was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court and elected a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn. In the same year, he was appointed as the UK Member of the European Commission of Human Rights, part of the European Convention on Human Rights system of the Council of Europe. In 1998, the Commission was abolished and replaced by a permanent European Court of Human Rights, and he was elected as the Judge of this Court representing the United Kingdom. In the same year, and again in 2001, he was elected as one of the five section presidents of the court. He was a vice-president of the court from 19 January 2007 to 3 November 2011. In July 2011, he was elected to succeed Jean-Paul Costa as President of the court on 3 November 2011. His term on the court ended on 31 October 2012, and he resigned as a Justice of the High Court on 1 November 2012. He is a member of the Advisory Council and former Vice-Chairman of the British Institute of Human Rights, a member of the Advisory Board of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and a member of the Editorial Board of the European Human Rights Law Review.
Dame Silva Cartwright was elected as a Commissioner and to the Executive Committee in 2018. Dame Silvia Cartwright was Governor-General of New Zealand from 2001-2006 and the first woman appointed to the High Court in New Zealand. She was also a judge on the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Amongst others, she has the following honours: Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) and Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (PCNZM). Dame Cartwright has served on the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and played a role in drafting the optional protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). In 2006 Ewha Woman’s University, Seoul, Korea awarded her an honorary doctorate, and she holds honorary doctorates from three New Zealand Universities.
Ms Roberta Clarke, from Barbados and Canada, is serving her first term as ICJ Commissioner having been elected in December 2016. She was elected to the Executive Committee in 2018. Ms Clarke has an extensive background in working on human rights issues, particularly in relation to women’s rights and social and economic rights. Ms Clarke has held a number of Academic roles including Research Assistant, Junior Research Fellow, Assistant Lecturer and now Visiting Fellow at the University of West Indies. Ms Clarke has also worked as an Attorney in private practice and in a number of civil society and intergovernmental organization roles including as the Project Coordinator of the Women and the Law Project with the Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action in Trinidad and Tobago, Social Affairs Officer on the Gender and Development Programme for the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Regional Programme Director for UNIFEM/UN Women’s Caribbean Office and then for UN Women’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
A second term commissioner, Shawan is a Palestinian human rights defender and the General Director of Al-Haq, an independent Palestinian non-governmental human rights organization and an ICJ affiliate. He was elected to the Executive Committee in 2018. He began his career as a fieldworker in the southern West Bank for Al Haq and acquired a MA in human rights from Galway University in Ireland before becoming the General Director of Al-Haq. In August 1990, during one of his administrative detention terms, Amnesty International adopted him as a prisoner of conscience. In November 1994, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared his detention to be arbitrary. Following his release in early 1998, the Israeli authorities allowed him to travel abroad eight times over seven years before imposing an indefinite travel ban in 2006, after he became Al-Haq’s director. Shawan has won numerous awards from various European and American organizations. He is also a member of the MENA board at Human Rights Watch.
Hina Jilani is serving her third term on the Executive Committee and second term as a Commissioner. She is a human rights activist and an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. With her sister Asma Jahangir, in 1980 she co-founded Pakistan’s first all-female legal aid practice, AGHS Legal Aid Cell (ALAC), in Lahore. Initially the activities focused on providing legal aid to women, but gradually they began to provide legal awareness training, protection from exploitation, legal research, counselling and legal assistance. She is one of the founders of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Women’s Action Forum (WAF), a pressure group established in 1980 campaigning against Pakistan’s discriminatory legislation. In 1986, Jilani founded Pakistan’s first legal aid centre and, in 1991, a shelter for women fleeing violence and abuse (Dastak). Her work has primarily focused on the human rights of women, children, minorities, bonded and child labour, political and other prisoners. Jilani’s work for the protection of child labourers engaged in hazardous work is widely credited to have led to the Pakistani government to pass legislation in 1991 to regulate the employment of children. Jilani is affiliated with the United Nations Centre for Human Rights, the Carter Center, and the UN Conference on Women. From 2000 to 2008, she served as the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders. In 2006, she was appointed to the UN International Fact-Finding Commission on Darfur, Sudan. She was also a member of the ICJ’s Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and Human Rights. In 2009, she was appointed to the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. She is also a patron of the Media Legal Defence Initiative.
Sanji Monageng Sanji Monageng is currently serving her third term as Commissioner, she was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2013 and 2018. She was elected to the Executive Committee in 2018. Judge Monageng was appointed a Judge of the International Criminal Court, in The Hague, the Netherlands, in March 2009 and served until 2018. She served as the Court’s 1st Vice President from 2012 to 2015. From 2009 to 2012 she was a Judge in the Pre-Trial Division of the Court and she has served as an Appeals Judge from 2012 to date. Before joining the Court she served as a Judge of the High Courts of The Republic of the Gambia in West Africa, and the Kingdom of Swaziland in Southern Africa as an expert judge appointed by the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, under its Commonwealth Fund for Technical Assistance. Prior to that, she served as the founder Chief Executive Officer of the Law Society of Botswana for 8 years. Judge Monageng also served the African Union as a Commissioner and subsequently Chairperson of the African Commission of Human and Peoples’ Rights, an organ of the African Union, and the premier body which is mandated, among other things, to protect and promote human and peoples’ rights in Africa for six years from 2003 to 2009. She also served as a Magistrate in Botswana for more than ten years. Judge Monageng possesses skills in women and children’s human rights, in areas such as torture, and in international human rights and humanitarian law. She is also knowledgeable in international criminal law and issues of the Rule of law. She has served as a board member in numerous national and international organisations. Judge Monageng is a Board member in a number of international organizations, including the International Commission of Jurists. And she is also a member of the International Association of Women Judges, Washington, The United States of America among others.
Belisário dos Santos is serving his second term on the Executive Committee, having been re-elected in 2018. He was elected to the Commission in 2008 and re-elected in 2013 and 2018. He is currently a practicing lawyer in Brazil. From 1995 until 2000 he served as Sao Paulo’s Secretary of State of Justice and Defence of Citizenship. He is highly respected for improving the human rights situation in San Paulo, Brazil, during this term. He has previously served as Legal Adviser to the Institute of Social Security of the State of Sao Paulo and is former President of the Latin American Lawyers Association for the Defence of Human Rights.