Human Rights Council appoints new member for Syria’s Commission of Inquiry
Translated and edited by: Committee for Justice
Geneva: December 2, 2021
The Human Rights Council has appointed a new member of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.
The President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan of Fiji, announced the appointment of Lynn Welchman, as a member of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, which the Council established in August 2011, to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law committed in the country since March 2011.
Welchman will join Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro of Brazil chairperson of the commission since September 2011, and Hanny Megally of Egypt, who has been a member of the commission since October 2017.
She is expected to replace Karen Koning AbuZayd from the United States of America, who recently resigned from her position after ten years of service, following Abu Zeid’s recent remarks to the Council last September to present the committee’s final report, where Council members expressed their appreciation her invaluable contribution to the work of the main UN human rights body over the course of a decade.
Welchman will bring to the Committee extensive experience in the field of human rights law, with a specialization in the Middle East and North Africa region. She is currently a Professor of Law at SOAS University in London. She began her career at SOAS as a lecturer in Islamic law in 1997, where she served as Head of the Department Faculty of Law and held a number of other senior positions.
Welchman currently teaches Islamic law, gender, law and society in the Middle East and North Africa, human rights and Islamic law, and has designed and held the International Human Rights Clinic, for which she won the SOAS Director’s Award for Inspirational Teaching in 2019.
After graduating from Cambridge University with honors, Welchman worked with many local and international human rights organizations, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, but also in Haiti and Rwanda. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Support of Human Rights Defenders, and on the International Advisory Board of the Open Society Foundations’ MENA office, and is fluent in Arabic.