CIVIL rights group Liberty announced the appointment yesterday of campaigner and barrister Martha Spurrier as its new director.
Ms Spurrier will join Liberty from Doughty Street Chambers, where she has specialised in defending access to justice and the rights of women, children and disabled people.
She vowed to “shine a light on abuses of power and protect equality, dignity and fairness” in society.
As a barrister she has an track record of acting on behalf of bereaved families seeking answers after loved ones have died in state care.
She has also represented victims of rape, domestic violence and trafficking who have been failed by the police and challenged attempts to curb press freedom and the right to protest.
Ms Spurrier was previously a lawyer at mental health charity Mind and the Public Law Project, where she led a ground-breaking access to justice project.
She has written extensively on the issue of civil liberties and recently ran a high-profile campaign on the importance of the Human Rights Act — a key Liberty campaign — in protecting ordinary people and their families.
“In this fast-paced, complex, digital world the battle to defend our human rights faces new frontiers,” said Ms Spurrier.
“I look forward to joining Liberty’s formidable staff and members to take on these challenges in the pivotal months and years to come.”
Her predecessor Shami Chakrabarti, who stepped down yesterday, said: “With so many threats to refugee protection, online privacy and even our Human Rights Act, Liberty was never more needed, nor its leadership ever in better hands.”