Shami Chakrabarti to leave Liberty after 12 years

The campaigning organisation says her next role will be announced in the coming weeks

Shami Chakrabarti
Shami Chakrabarti

Shami Chakrabarti is to step down as director of the human rights group Liberty after 12 years, the campaigning organisation has announced.

Chakrabarti first joined Liberty as in-house counsel in 2001, the day before the 11 September terrorist attacks in the US, before being appointed director two years later.

During her time in charge, Liberty has run several successful campaigns, including against the introduction of compulsory ID cards and the extension of pre-charge detentions from 28 to 42 days. It works closely with its sister charity, the Civil Liberties Trust.

A Liberty spokeswoman said Chakrabarti would remain in post until her successor is appointed.

A recruitment process for Chakrabarti’s successor will begin in the next few weeks, the spokeswoman added. She said an announcement on Chakrabarti’s future plans would be made at a later date.

Chakrabarti said in a statement that it had been "the most enormous privilege" to lead Liberty.

"With members, colleagues, lawyers, journalists and politicians from across the spectrum, we have held three Prime Ministers and six Home Secretaries to account," she said.

"Liberty’s first president, EM Forster, rightly called defending civil liberties ‘the fight that is never done’. I leave Liberty secure in the knowledge that we’re stronger and more ready for that fight than ever."

Frances Butler, chair of Liberty, said: "Under Shami's transformative leadership, Liberty has greatly extended its expertise, influence and membership.

"Thanks to Shami's passion, fearlessness and absolute dedication to championing human rights and civil liberties, Liberty's long-term campaigning effectiveness is secured."

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