Celia Ouellette – Founder and CEO of the Responsible Business Initiative for Justice (RBIJ), a not-for-profit working with companies to champion fairness, equality and effectiveness across systems of punishment and incarceration. RBIJ helps corporations fight systemic racism, reduce crime, and break the destructive cycles that dominate our most marginalised communities. Celia is a dual US-UK qualified lawyer. Before joining RBIJ, she founded and directed The Powell Project, which empowers and equips trial teams with the knowledge and skills to level the playing field in capital cases. Celia advises foreign governments on US criminal policy and practice and is an established media commentator and contributor. She was recently made a Meaningful Business Ambassador.
On the panel:
Chris Daw QC – Lawyer, writer, broadcaster, legal commentator. Chris is a Queen’s Counsel at Lincoln House Chambers, specialising in serious crime, fraud, business regulation and professional discipline. In addition to criminal and regulatory proceedings in Courts and Tribunals, Chris is an expert in pre-charge advice and strategy as well as the criminal law implications of commercial disputes. He is Passionately committed to social mobility in education and the legal profession. His documentary series Crime – Are we Tough Enough appeared on BBC One in January 2020, and his latest book Justice on Trial: Radical Solutions for a System at Breaking Point was released in July 2020.
Abimbola Johnson – Defence barrister and legal commentator. Abi’s practice focuses on serious crime, professional discipline, inquests and inquiry work. She specialises in defence and is a member of 25 Bedford Row Chambers. Abi is a regular commentator on the criminal justice system and racial discrimination in particular. She has featured in the BBC, Metro, Elle UK, Channel 4 News, Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters. She has also appeared on academic panels and webinars for Cambridge University, the LSE and for the Inner Temple where she volunteers as an advocacy trainer. In her spare time, Abi mentors, sits as a school governor at a state primary school; works as a legal trustee for the Advocacy Academy, a youth focused social justice charity for young people from south London; and is on an advisory board for the Howard League for Penal Reform. She also co-hosts a political podcast: The Manifesto Read. Abi won the 2018 Diversity Legal Awards Rising Star (Chambers) category; was a finalist in the 2018 Black British Business Awards and has been shortlisted as a future leader in the 2020 Chambers UK Bar Awards.
Ali Niaz – UK Advocacy Coordinator at RBIJ, co-founder of BPureSounds. Ali works with RBIJ to develop UK criminal justice advocacy and helps build a movement of businesses engaged in fair chance hiring. He came from a tough council estate in South London, and was drawn in to the prevalent gang culture. This led to him operating as a drug dealer and ultimately being convicted of possession with intent to supply a class A drug aged 18. In prison, Ali studied and worked on a day-release scheme, which exposed him to the legitimate business world. On release, he studied at Cambridge, trained to be a life coach, established a social enterprise, and co-founded BPureSounds, where he manages UK rap, grime and hip-hop artists.
Professor Richard Susskind OBE – President of the Society for Computers and Law, Chair of the Advisory Board of the Oxford Internet Institute, and Founder of Remote Courts Worldwide. He has been Technology Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales since 1998. He is the world’s most cited author on the future of legal services and has written ten books, including Tomorrow’s Lawyers (2013 and 2017) and Online Courts and the Future of Justice (2019). Richard wrote his doctorate on AI and the law at Balliol College, Oxford, in the mid-1980s.