Barrister (legal counsel) at Garden Court Chambers – United Kingdom
Smita is called to of Bar England and Wales and is a specialist in child rights, child protection and women’s rights in times of peace and war with over 10 years of experience in her field. Her areas of work include child rights, child protection, women’s rights, humanitarian law, broader human rights issues such as protection/support for lawyers and human rights defenders, engaging with regional and international human rights mechanisms and self determination.
Her work in Africa has taken her to Algeria where she presented workshops on women’s rights, UN CEDAW and the courts, child rights and the role of lawyers at a British Algerian Legal and Judicial Conference in March 2013 in Algiers aimed at Algerian lawyers in collaboration between the Law Society of England and Wales and Algerian Bar Association.
In 2012 she delivered a successful capacity building project for UNICEF Nigeria aimed at members, such as police, lawyers, judges and social workers of the child protection networks to enhance their documenting and monitoring of child rights violations and litigation, nationally and regionally. She remains involved with the project in an advisory capacity.
She has cultivated a domestic practice within the UK and internationally through advisory, litigation and litigation support such as amicus interventions, consultancies, capacity building and training. She has worked with local government, academic and non governmental organisations and civil society.
She has a Masters in Understanding and Securing Human Rights from the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, an LLM in International and Comparative Law from Columbia University, New York and was a Visiting Fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, Cambridge University in 2011 undertaking research on children, military tribunals and humanitarian law.