Press Releases

Justice Catherine O'Regan Becomes a Human Dignity Trust Patron

14 March 2017


The Human Dignity Trust is proud to announce that Justice Catherine (Kate) O'Regan has recently agreed to become a patron of the Trust. She joins an existing Board of Patrons that includes eminent jurists from around the world including the longest serving Secretary General of the Commonwealth, retired Chief Justices, former Attorneys General and other distinguished jurists.

Kate served as a judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa from 1994 – 2009.  She has served as an ad hoc judge of the Supreme Court of Namibia (from 2010) and Chairperson of the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency and a breakdown in trust between the police and the community of Khayelitsha (2012 – 2014).

She also served as the inaugural chair of the United Nations Internal Justice Council from 2008 – 2012, a body established to ensure independence, professionalism and accountability in the internal system of justice in the United Nations. Since 2011, she has served as President of the International Monetary Fund Administrative Tribunal, and since 2012, as a member of the World Bank Sanctions Board.

She is the inaugural Director of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at the University of Oxford. She also serves as a member on the boards or advisory bodies of many NGOs working in the fields of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and equality. She has also been closely involved in the development of SAFLII, a free-access-to-law website that reports judgments, and now legislation, from southern Africa.

About the Human Dignity Trust

The Trust is a charitable organisation whose principal purpose is to support our local partners to uphold human rights and constitutional law in countries where private, consensual sexual conduct between adults of the same sex is criminalised. Legal provisions that criminalise lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people put them beyond the protection of the law, fostering a climate of fear and violence. These provisions also violate constitutional and international human rights law, including a person’s right to dignity, equality and privacy. The Trust provides technical legal assistance and advisory services at the request of, and in collaboration with, local activists, their lawyers and other human rights defenders, who wish to use the courts to challenges these persecutory laws.

Tim Otty QC, Founder and deputy Chair of the Human Dignity Trust said:

The Human Dignity Trust is delighted that Justice Catherine O'Regan has agreed to become a patron of our charity. Her wisdom and insight will be invaluable as we seek to support those fighting to uphold human rights and the rule of law in countries that criminalise consensual same-sex sexual acts.”

Victoria Barnes, Legal Director of the Human Dignity Trust said:

“We welcome Justice Catherine O'Regan on our Board of Patrons. We rely on our patrons to guide us and inspire us in our work to best support our local partners to uphold human rights in countries around the world where it is still a crime to engage in consensual same-sex sexual acts. Though several positive strides have been made in the past two years, there are still 75 jurisdictions with laws criminalising such conduct.”




Notes for Editors

  1. If you have any questions about the Trust and our work, please contact us at: / +44 (0)207 419 3770
  2. For more information please visit our website:  




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