The Team |

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Prof. Phillip Leach

Project co-supervisor

Phillip Leach is Professor of Human Rights Law at Middlesex University, a solicitor, and Director of the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC). He has extensive experience in human rights litigation, including representing applicants before the European Court of Human Rights, in particular in relation to Russia, Turkey and the UK. He is the author of a number of books, journal and online articles and book chapters on various human rights issues. He has conducted human rights training for the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the British Council, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Law Society of England and Wales, the Arab Lawyers' Union and various NGOs.

Prof. Helen Duffy

Project co-supervisor

Helen Duffy is an experienced human rights litigator and professor of human rights and humanitarian law at the University of Leiden. She currently runs ‘Human Rights in Practice’, an international litigation practice based in the Hague specialising in strategic litigation before regional and international human rights courts and bodies, including the European Court of Human Rights. Previously, she held positions of Legal Director (and Litigation Director) of INTERIGHTS, Legal Officer at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Counsel to Human Rights Watch (International Justice, New York), Legal Director of the Centre for Human Rights Legal Action (Guatemala), Legal Adviser to the UK ‘Arms for Iraq’ Inquiry and Legal Officer in the UK government legal service.  She has written several books and articles on international law and practice, one of which was recently published on the topic of strategic human rights litigation. She is an Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow and serves on the advisory boards of a number of organisations.

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Ayse Bingol Demir

Project Co-Directer, Lawyer

Ayse is a lawyer specialised in international human rights law and domestic law and judicial procedures in Turkey. She practiced in Istanbul between 2003 and 2017. She has been working as a legal officer with Media Legal Defence Initiative in London since 2017 as well as being a research fellow with Middlesex University School of Law. She acts as a consultant and country expert for several national and international civil society organisations.

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Saniye Karakas

Project Co-Director, Lawyer

Sanya has been working with the Democratic Progress Institute since 2011. She is a graduate of Dicle University Law Faculty in Turkey. Between 2000 and 2006 she practised as a lawyer in Diyarbakir, Turkey. She has worked for several NGOs through her career and participated in representation of many applicants before the European Court of Human Rights. She is currently a PhD candidate at Queen Mary, University of London. She acts as an expert before the UK courts in matters related to Turkey.


Holly Huxtable


Holly is a researcher specialising in international human rights law. She has previously interned at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, the Office of the Co-Prosecutor at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, and was a Research Assistant at the Center on Law and Security at NYU School of Law. Holly received her LLM from Leiden University in Public International Law (Peace, Justice and Development).