I am a Professor of Law at Birkbeck College, University of London since September 2006, and am a practising barrister (Field Court Chambers, Gray's Inn).

I serve as the International Secretary of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, and President of the European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (in sixteen European countries). I am also an Executive Committee Member of the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, a Member of the Council of Liberty, and a Trustee of the Redress Trust, working for torture survivors.

I founded and am Chair of the International Steering Committee of the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC), which, in partnership with the Russian NGO Memorial and the Bar Human Rights Committee, is assisting with over 150 cases against Russia, Georgia and Latvia to the European Court of Human Rights.

I have represented applicants before the ECHR in cases against Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Russia, and Turkey.

I regularly act as expert for the Council of Europe on human and minority rights issues, and work as a trainer and expert for the Council, the European Union, OSCE (most recently the HCNM), Amnesty International and others.

I have written more than 80 publications on topics of international law, human rights, minority rights and Russian law, in which I am an expert and regularly contribute to EU-Russia Centre publications and events.

I speak fluent Russian.

I previously taught at University of East London, Essex University and London Metropolitan University.