The role of Ambassadors is a new and important one for Young Citizens. We are bringing together a group of distinguished individuals, from different walks of life, who are united by their passion for the work of Young Citizens and want to help us spread the word.
Our first three Ambassadors are all very senior members of the legal profession and for many years have supported our work in public legal education - especially the Mock Trials – but are equally committed to our vision in which every young person achieves their full potential as an active citizen.
The Right Honourable Sir Brian Leveson was called to the Bar (Middle Temple) in 1970. He took Silk in 1986 and was appointed a Recorder in 1988. He was appointed a Judge of the High Court (Queen’s Bench Division) in 2000, and was a Presiding Judge on the Northern Circuit from 2002 to 2005. He was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2006 and Deputy Senior Presiding Judge in the same year. He was Senior Presiding Judge from 2007 to 2009 and was appointed President of the Queen’s Bench Division in 2013. Sir Brian was Chairman of the Criminal Justice Council from 2008 to 2011 and of the Sentencing Council for England and Wales from 2010 to 2013. From 2011 to 2012 he chaired the Inquiry into the Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press and in 2014 conducted a Review of Efficiency in Criminal Proceedings. He is Head of Criminal Justice in England and Wales. An Honorary Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, Sir Brian is also the Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University.
The Honourable Lady Rae was admitted as a solicitor in 1974 and worked as an apprentice and assistant at various firms between 1974 and 1977. In 1977 she became partner at Ross Harper & Murphy, until 1981. In the early 80’s Lady Rae was on the Glasgow Bar Association Committee and served as Secretary from 1981 – 1982. She was junior counsel at the Faculty of Advocates from 1982 and appointed QC in 1992. She was a member of the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics between 1996-98; a member of the Sentencing Commission for Scotland between 2003 and 2006; the Glasgow Branch Chair of the Scottish Association for the Study of Offending from 2003 – 2014; and a member of Glasgow University “Legal 40” from 2010, mentoring diploma students. She currently mentors law students at various stages in their legal studies. She has given lectures on a variety of legal topics. She served as a temporary sheriff from 1987-1997, a sheriff at Glasgow from 1997 and a temporary judge at the Court of Session from 2004 - 2013. From 2001-2007 she was a member (and vice-chair from 2005) of the Parole Board for Scotland. Lady Rae was appointed Senator of the College of Justice in Scotland in January 2014 and in 2017 she was appointed as an Upper Tribunal Judge in immigration and asylum cases.
His Honour Judge Christopher Kinch has been the Resident Judge at the Crown Court at Woolwich since 2013. Located near HMP Belmarsh, his court is the location for the trial of some of the most serious criminal cases including the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit burglary. Before his appointment Chris had spent many years in practice as a barrister including 13 years as a silk (QC) prosecuting or defending in cases of murder, fraud and other serious crime. He served as Head of Chambers at 23 Essex Street and as Chair of the Criminal Bar Association in 2010-11.
His interest in professional education led to a term as the CBA’s Director of Education and also to appointment as a tutor judge at the Judicial College helping to train other judges. He was first recruited as a barrister helper for the Bar Mock Trial Competition by Anthony Hooper QC as he then was in the early 1990s and has been involved with the competition as helper, judge, case writer and organiser ever since. He has also chaired the competition working party and served as a Trustee of the Citizenship Foundation until 2015. He is a governor at a school in Croydon.
Rushanara Ali is a Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bethnal Green and Bow since 2010. She has served as Shadow Minister for Education and Young People and as Shadow Minister for International Development. Rushanara has served as a member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee and the Communities and Local Government Select Committee. She currently serves as a member of the Treasury Select Committee.
She was previously Associate Director of the Young Foundation, where she co-founded UpRising, a national leadership development and employability charity which has helped thousands of young people develop their campaigning and leadership skills.
Rushanara has also served as a Commissioner on the London Child Poverty Commission; as a board member of Tower Hamlets College; as a Trustee of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation; as a member of the Tate Britain Council and as a member of the Home Office Working Group on Preventing Extremism established after the 7/7 London bombings. In April 2016 she was appointed as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Bangladesh.
Rushanara Ali says: “The work of Young Citizens could hardly be more relevant and important. The need to help young people understand how society works, and how they can use their agency to make the changes they want to see is more vital than ever. Our democracy is strongest when its citizens are well-informed and actively involved in all aspects of society.”