Friday in Focus: Natasha Holcroft-Emmess
I started blogging for the Oxford Human Rights Hub in the summer of 2012, when the blog was just starting out. I had recently finished my undergraduate degree at Oxford and was looking forward to returning to study for the BCL. Since then, the Hub has gone from strength to strength due to the unwavering dedication of a team of inspirational human rights advocates led by Sandy Fredman. It is fantastic to see how the Hub’s impact has grown over the years.
I studied undergraduate law at Oxford between 2009-2012. In 2013, I read for the BCL, studying Comparative Human Rights Law, Criminal Justice and Human Rights, Comparative Public Law, and International Law and Armed Conflict. During this time, I wrote for the Hub’s blog on diverse topics including prisoner voting, whole life sentences, national security, open justice and fair trial rights, and extraterritorial jurisdiction under the ECHR. I volunteered with Oxford Pro Bono Publico, providing comparative legal research on biometric identification and privacy for the Centre for Law and Policy Research, India. I was very proud to contribute to the first and second editions of the Hub’s publication Global Perspectives on Human Rights.
After finishing my BCL studies, I left Oxford to take the Legal Practice Course and train as a solicitor in London. I stayed connected with the Hub through Facebook and Twitter. On completing my training contract, I returned to Oxford to undertake an MPhil, focusing on the implications of Hassan v UK for internment without judicial review in extraterritorial armed conflict. During my MPhil, I edited the Hub’s blog and assisted in co-ordinating an OPBP research project on derogations from the ECHR which was submitted to the Joint Committee on Human Rights. I recently started training as a barrister at Matrix Chambers.
Blogging, editing and pro bono work in connection with the Hub all provided me with great opportunities to learn about fascinating areas of law, and really improved my legal research and writing skills. My experiences with the Hub certainly benefitted my studies and my professional life. I would highly recommend getting involved to any budding human rights advocate.