Dr. Alice Edwards

Website: https://works.bepress.com/alice_edwards/ ​




Dr. Alice Edwards is Head of the Secretariat of the Convention against Torture Initiative (CTI), www.cti2024.org, a global cross-regional diplomatic initiative of the Governments of Chile, Denmark, Ghana, Indonesia and Morocco with the aspiration to achieve universal ratification and effective implementation of the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT), by 2024. She has held this position since January 2016, and in this capacity, provides strategic and policy advice to the CTI Core States and oversees CTI’s annual programme of activities to support governments to ratify and implement UNCAT. 

Prior to taking up this appointment, Dr. Edwards was the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Chief of Protection Policy and Legal Advice, based in Geneva (2010-2015), where she was responsible inter alia for shaping international refugee law standards, positions and strategic direction, overseeing UNHCR’s engagement with the UN human rights system, and initiating and leading the implementation of UNHCR’s Global Strategy – Beyond Detention, a blueprint for action to support governments to end the routine detention of asylum-seekers through constructive dialogue, technical advice and capacity building. She also led the legal activities for both the 50th and 60th anniversaries of the 1951 Refugee Convention, bringing together States, practitioners and the academy to discuss key legal developments and challenges, and designed the series of Guidelines on International Protection that followed those processes (having written or overseen 12 of the current 13 guidelines). 

Alice has held academic appointments in law at the universities of Oxford (2009-10) and Nottingham (2006-9), is widely published and her work being cited by courts and tribunals in different regions, and has influenced policy changes at the United Nations and in non-governmental organisations. Her work on violence against women was awarded the Audre Rappoport Prize for the Human Rights of Women in 2008. She has worked in diverse countries as Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Morocco, Mozambique, Rwanda, Switzerland and the UK (the latter with Amnesty International). 

She holds degrees in law and political science from the University of Tasmania (UTAS), an LLM (Distinction/1st class) in Public International Law from the University of Nottingham, a Diploma in International and Comparative Law from the Fondation Rene-Cassin, Strasbourg, and PhD in Public International Law from the Australian National University. In 2017, she was awarded the UTAS Foundation Graduate Award, recognising significant contributions to society and demonstrated exceptional professional achievement. She is admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor in Australia, holds Australian and British nationalities, and speaks English and French. She is  a Fellow at Nottingham's Human Rights Law Centre, and former honorary Research Associate at Oxford's Refugee Studies Centre and St Anne's College.