Yash Pal Ghai studied law at the University of Oxford and Harvard Law School. He taught at the then University of East Africa, in Dar es Salaam, and was its first African national Dean. He later taught at Yale, and the Universities of Uppsala, Warwick and Hong Kong as well as being visiting professor at several other universities. He has been involved in various capacities in the making of over 20 constitutions, from Papua New Guinea (1975). He chaired the 2000- 2004 phase of constitution making in Kenya. He was co-author of the book still read by Kenyan law students (Ghai & McAuslan, Public Law and Political Change in Kenya (Oxford University Press, 1970). He and Jill Cottrell Ghai spend a good deal of their time working for Katiba Institute on a pro bono basis.
Jill Cottrell Ghai taught law at universities in Nigeria, the UK and Hong Kong for over 40 years, having studied law at the London School of Economics and the Yale Law School. Towards the end of that career she was particularly involved in teaching economic social and cultural rights. And she also had the chance to act as advisor on the constitution making processes of several countries: including East Timor, Nepal, Maldives, Iraq and Somalia. Since 2008 she has been involved in educating about, and pushing for the implementation of, the 2010 Constitution of Kenya. Jill and Yash Ghai authored the first book on that Constitution (Kenya’s Constitution: An Instrument for Change).
John Sibi-Okumu taught French for nearly 30 years. He is an accomplished actor, writer, journalist and television presenter. He has acted in films including Born Free (1975), and The Constant Gardener. Over the years Sibi-Okumu has appeared in some 40 lead roles on stage, including Sophocles’ King Oedipus; and Shakespeare’s Romeo, Oberon and Shylock. Sibi-Okumu himself has written various plays, including In Search of the Drum Major on the American Civil Rights Movement, Minister Karibu! Elements, Role Play, Meetings, and Kaggia. His is also a distinguished director (the musical Mo Faya) a journalist and TV personality. He also writes regularly for AWAAZ – Voices of the South Asian Diaspora.
Justice (ret’d) Dr. Willy Mutunga is the retired Chief Justice of Kenya and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya. He recently visited the Maldives as the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Special Envoy. He has lectured at the University of Nairobi, Faculty of Law. A committed activist in the pro-democracy movement in Kenya since the 1970s, Dr. Mutunga has worked in a number of prominent human rights organizations throughout the country and has also been an active member of the university staff trade unions. He served as the Chair of the Law Society of Kenya from 1993-1995. He is also the author of a number of widely published articles, on the rights of detainees, the role of NGOs and civil society in democratization, the constitutional rights of Kenya’s nomad pastoralists, and the rights of tenants, as well as a book on the movement for a new constitution in the 1990s. He is also the former board member of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development in Montreal.
Father Gabriel Dolan is a Catholic missionary who has, in the last 33 years, worked across the country, including in in Mombasa, where he is currently based. A great champion of the Constitution, he is a leading light in civil society. He was formerly on the Board of the Independent Medico-Legal Unit and is now a Director of Haki Yetu. He is a regular Daily Nation columnist. He is particularly active in fighting against land grabbing and unjust evictions and has been arrested numerous times for protesting against injustice. He believes that the struggle for freedom is a lifelong project-a struggle to which he is fully committed.
Christine Gakii Nkonge is the Executive Director of Katiba Institute. She is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a Public Interest Litigator on constitutional and human rights matters, in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. She graduated with a Bachelors in Law from the University of Nairobi and a Masters of Law degree in Human Rights in International Justice Specialization from the Central European University, Budapest. She has litigated a wide spectrum of criminal cases before magistrates’ courts in Kenya and has ample experience in children’s rights. She has also appeared before the High Court of Kenya a counsel in a number of human rights violations. She was the Senior Litigation Counsel/Public Interest Litigation Manager in charge of the public interest litigation unit in Katiba Institute before taking up the acting position following the departure of the founding Executive Directing in September 2018 and being appointed to the substantive post in July 2019.