Co-director of the GJG
Adam Stapleton is a criminal justice adviser. He is a Fellow of the Human Rights Centre at Essex University (UK) and senior Justice adviser to the UK government’s Stabilisation Unit. In 2007/8 and 2014/15 he was a Visiting Professor of Law at the Bluhm Legal Clinic, Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, USA. He practised as a criminal barrister in London (1985-1993) and served as a human rights officer with UN missions in Cambodia, South Africa and Rwanda. He co-wrote with Kathryn English: the Human Rights Handbook – a practical guide to monitoring human rights (published by Essex 1995 and Juta and Co in 1997 with translations published in Cantonese, Tetum, Croatian and Burmese.
From a base in Malawi he worked as an independent adviser to Penal Reform International (1995-2007) and consulted for a number of governments in the development and evaluation of criminal justice programmes including in post-conflict countries in over 25 African countries, in the Balkans and South Asia. He was the architect of the Paralegal Advisory Service while in Malawi which has been introduced in six other African countries and in Bangladesh. He worked with Prof Dirk van Zyl Smit at Nottingham University in drafting Prison laws in Malawi, Bangladesh and for USIP’s Model Penal Codes. He worked with Prof Mcquoid-Mason at the University of KwaZulu Natal in drafting Legal Aid legislation in Uganda and for UNODC in mapping legal aid services across Africa. He was commissioned by UNODC to research and draft the UN Principles and Guidelines on Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems (2013). He has worked since 2010 with other GJG practitioners to develop the Justice Audit methodology, leading Justice Audits of Helmand (2011), Malaysia (2012), Bangladesh (2014 and 2018) and adapting the methodology for states recovering from conflict in South Sudan (2015) and Somalia (May 2017).
Currently he is joint Team Leader on the Justice Snapshot Somalia.