Masters of the Bench
The Right Hon The Baroness Chakrabarti CBE
Full Title: The Right Hon The Baroness Chakrabarti CBECategory: Ordinary Bencher
Bench Call Date: 7.11.2006
Call Date: 13.10.1994
Shami Chakrabarti is the Shadow Attorney General and a member of the House of Lords.
Born in London, she is the child of Indian parents who moved to Britain in the Fifties. She studied Law at the London School of Economics.
She worked in the Home Office’s Legal Department from 1996-2001. While there, she came under the supervision of Dame Juliet Wheldon DCB QC, the Solicitor to the Home Office and later the first woman to hold the post of Treasury Solicitor, whom Shami greatly admired and who in turn thought that she showed great potential.
In 2001, Shami left the Government Legal Service to become In-House Counsel for the National Council for Civil Liberties (now Liberty).
Aged 34, she was appointed Director of Liberty, a post she held from 2003-16. She became one of the country’s most prominent spokespeople against the erosion of civil liberties.
In 2011 she was appointed a member of the Panel of the Leveson Inquiry, the judicial inquiry into UK press standards. Shami’s first book was On Liberty; her second, Of Women,details the continued impact of global gender injustice on health, wealth, education, representation, opportunity and security in the 21st century.
She is Honorary Professor of Law at the University of Bristol and the University of Manchester and an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge and Mansfield College, Oxford. She was previously Chancellor of both Oxford Brookes University and the University of Essex.
She was elected a Bencher in 2006, at 35, one of the youngest people ever to become a bencher of any Inn.
In April 2016 she was appointed to chair an inquiry into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. Her report, published in June 2016, made a number of recommendations including guidance on appropriate behaviour, recommendations for the improvement of disciplinary procedures, and guidance on political education. She was created a Life Peer in September 2016.