Jonathan Cooper
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Jonathan Cooper Chief Executive of the Human Dignity Trust. He is a human rights specialist who represents clients before English and international courts and tribunals and has taken several cases to the European Court of Human Rights.

He has worked with the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the UK Ministry of Justice, the UK Home Office, the Turkish military, Sudanese government officials and lawyers in Syria, Cameroon, Gambia, Albania and Lithuania.

Jonathan devised and wrote the human rights and terrorism programme and manual for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). He has carried out counter-terrorism and human rights training programmes across Central Asia, as well as the Balkans.

Previously, Jonathan was the Legal director of Liberty and the Deputy Director of JUSTICE. He is the editor of the European Human Rights Law Review. He advises the Bingham Centre on the Rule of Law on education and training. From 2005 to 2011 he was the chair of the Executive Committee of the Human Rights Lawyers' Association (HRLA). He sits on The Times Law Panel. Jonathan is a member of Doughty Street Chambers. In 2007, Jonathan was awarded an OBE for services to human rights.

Entries by Jonathan Cooper

Criminalizing Men Who Have Sex With Men Boosts AIDS: A Lesson From Sri Lanka

(4) Comments | Posted 27 April 2016 | (08:49)

Over the past three months, 70 new cases of HIV have been reported in Sri Lanka, representing an increase from this time last year. The National STD /AIDS Control Programme says this is an upward trend for the country; and the programme's Director, Dr. Sisira Liyanage, has called for the...

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The People for Whom Human Rights Have No Meaning

(0) Comments | Posted 10 December 2015 | (15:31)

A young man is chased by a violent mob, targeted for no reason other than his identity - because of who he is. His only prospect of escape is to jump into the sea. He can't swim. He drowns. Two leading human rights activists advocating for his cause are murdered....

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Testament of Love: the Life and Times of Edward Brittain

(0) Comments | Posted 16 January 2015 | (12:37)

We were reading the papers.

"Did you see the article about Vera Brittain and the fact that her brother, Edward, the one that was killed in Testament of Youth, that he was gay," he said.
"No, I didn't,' I replied. "I loved that book. The most important thing...

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The Human Rights Act: Repeal at Our Peril

(0) Comments | Posted 4 October 2014 | (18:33)

The 1980s was a watershed decade. From the perspective of human rights, it was the decade when the United Kingdom (UK) began the process towards the successful shift from a system of government premised principally on civil liberties to one that recognised that the human rights of all within the...

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The Human Rights Act and Preserving the Union

(0) Comments | Posted 21 September 2014 | (17:13)

The crucial role played by the Human Rights Act (HRA) in the UK devolution settlements should not be underestimated as the role of the Union and the relationships between its constituent parts are reassessed. Trust was a key issue in the Scottish independence debates and the fact that devolved Scotland,...

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Nelson Mandela: Giving Substance to LGBT Human Rights

(0) Comments | Posted 10 December 2013 | (17:26)

When Nelson Mandela first read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the justness of his cause and the iniquity of apartheid were confirmed. As he retells in his autobiography The Long Walk to Freedom, he took great comfort from that declaration. He didn't need the UDHR to bestow upon...

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Perpetuating Persecution: When Will the Church of England Condemn the Criminalization of LGBTI Identity?

(1) Comments | Posted 22 July 2013 | (20:41)

Eric Lembembe was a human rights defender, an articulate young man who defended the rights of the gay, lesbian, trans and bi communities. He was brutally murdered in Cameroon last week. As with other murders of prominent gay rights activists, Eric's death was particularly horrific. He will have...

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Out but Not Down: The Ongoing Consequences of Criminalising Identity in Jamaica

(1) Comments | Posted 29 November 2012 | (13:31)

As World AIDS Day approaches with the ongoing commitment to zero transmission, it is impossible not to reflect upon the obstacles to preventing HIV transmission. A key risk factor are laws that prevent effective health education. The reality of the impact of such laws was thrown into sharp relief during...

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Lawyers, Not Diplomats, are the Key to Decriminalising Homosexuality Worldwide

(7) Comments | Posted 20 February 2012 | (23:00)

The recent announcement that Uganda's parliament has resurrected its infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill and the news last week that a Ugandan cabinet minister ordered a raid a gay rights conference and demanded that one of the organisers was arrested, demonstrates the problem many gay people face worldwide. Despite high level diplomatic...

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