Women’s Justice Leadership Panel: member biographies

Member biographies for the Women’s Justice Leadership Panel.

Siobhan Brown MSP, Minister for Victims and Community Safety (Chair)

Siobhian Brown serves in the Scottish Government as Minister for Victims and Community Safety and is committed to addressing the needs of victims of crime and working with her SNP colleagues to create a just and safe society for all.  A former South Ayrshire councillor, Siobhian was elected to the Scottish Parliament in May 2021 as Ayr’s first female SNP MSP. Until her ministerial appointment, she served as Convener of the COVID-19 Recovery Committee. 

Ruth Charteris QC, Solicitor General

Ruth Charteris is a Scottish advocate who has served as Solicitor General for Scotland since 2021. Ruth has previously served as an advocate depute since October 2020, having been an ad-hoc advocate depute between 2010 and 2016, and she has been a legally qualified chair of the Scottish Social Services Council since 2017.

Jacqueline Clinton, Scottish Prison Service

Jacqueline is currently working on wider population issues, part of which will be to consider the learning from the new model of custody for women in the broader context.  She joined the SPS in 1994 and has served in a number of Prisons across Scotland. She has held posts of Acting Governor of HMP Perth and HMP Barlinnie, and has been Governor of Castle Huntly Open Estate, HMP Shotts and most recently HMPYOI, Cornton Vale. Between 2006-10 she was South West Scotland Community Justice Authority (CJA) Chief Officer.

Superintendent Hilary Sloan, Police Scotland

Hilary has 24 years police service, having worked mostly in Greater Glasgow in a number of uniformed roles, and in her national role within Partnerships, Prevention and Community Wellbeing, delivering on the public health approach and collaboration. Her most recent portfolio encompasses Harm Prevention, with national responsibility for Violence Prevention, which includes: Stop and Search, Violence Prevention and Licensing Co-ordination Unit, Community Improvement Partnership with Wheatley Group and Victims and Witnesses. 

Rose McConnachie, Head of Learning, Development and Innovation at Community Justice Scotland

Rose studied Psychology at the University of St Andrews and an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Edinburgh University, focussing on policing, mental health and crime. Post-masters, Rose has worked in the third sector at Sacro and with the Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector Forum, conducting research, developing policy positions and co-ordinating cross sector engagement to inform policy, practice and collaboration. Rose also worked for the MAPPA Co-ordination Unit for Edinburgh, the Lothians and Scottish Borders, supporting statutory agencies and their partners in coordinating the multi-agency management in the community of people with ‘high risk’ convictions. Rose has a particular interest in the journey of women through the criminal justice system, collaboration across sectors and prevention, to inform systemic change.

Jen Ang, Director of Development and Policy Scottish Women’s Right Centre/Just Right

Jen is a co-founder and Director of Development and Policy, responsible for strategy and development as well as oversight of our policy, communications and training. She also leads Scottish Just Law Centre (SJLC) and the social enterprise, JRS Knowhow. Jen is an experienced human rights lawyer qualified to practice in Scotland, England and Wales, and New York State. She is a legal expert on asylum, human rights and children’s rights, and on the rights of survivors of torture, and is regularly asked to speak, and contribute to research, policy and publications in these areas. Jen is also an experienced lecturer in law with the Open University, lecturing on Scots law and the law of England and Wales. She is an enthusiastic advocate of open education and widening access to education for all.

Harriet Wistrich, Director of Centre for Women’s Justice

Harriet is the founder and director of the Centre for Women’s Justice and a solicitor of 25 years’ experience who worked for many years with renowned civil liberties firm, Birnberg Peirce Ltd. She is the winner of the Liberty Human Rights Lawyer of the Year award 2014, Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year 2018 for public law and Law Society Gazette personality of the year 2019. She has acted in many high profile cases around violence against women including on behalf of women who challenged the police and parole board in the John Worboys case, women deceived in relationships by undercover police officers and on behalf of women appealing murder convictions for killing abusive partners, most recently Sally Challen. She is also founder member of the campaign group, Justice for Women and trustee of the charity, the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize.

Professor Vanessa Munro, Academic – University of Warwick, School of Law

Vanessa graduated with her LLB and PhD from the University of Glasgow, and was named 'Young Alumnus of the Year' by that institution in 2007. With funding from the ESRC, Nuffield Foundation, Scottish Government and British Academy, she has conducted extensive research with colleagues into law and policy responses to sexual violence, focusing particularly on criminal justice and asylum decision-making, and with a prominent interest in juror and lay participants. She has worked closely with third sector NGOs and policy-makers to amplify the social impact of her research - recently, for example, she has worked with REFUGE on a major project exploring the links between domestic abuse and suicidality, and with Rape Crisis Scotland on a study of the impact on rape complainers of receiving a not proven verdict. She was one of the lead academics on the Jury Research conducted by Ipsos Mori, Professor Chalmers and Fiona Leverick. She has been a visiting scholar at Universities in Australia, New Zealand and the US, and joined Warwick in 2016, having previously held Chairs at the Universities of Nottingham and Leicester.

Mariam Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer for Amina MWRC

Mariam is the Chief Executive Officer for Amina, a leading organisation in Scotland that supports and empowers Muslim and Ethnic Minority women. She is also a committee member of The Equality and Human Rights Commission. Her expertise is on gender-based violence and she has been committed to working with all sectors to end violence against women. She is a qualified Independent Domestic Abuse Advocate and her previous role was leading a BME domestic abuse service for over 11 years, where she was a specialist in supporting Asian, black and ethnic minority women. 

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