Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR)
President and International human rights expert and co-founder
Patrick Burgess is an international human rights expert and co-founder and President of Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR.) He is an Australian barrister who has lived and worked full-time in Asia full time for 20 years. Patrick’s previous positions include Senior Member and Acting Principal Member (head) of the Australian Refugee Tribunal, Director of Human Rights for two UN peacekeeping missions to Timor Leste, Commissioner of the Timor Leste Judicial Commission, three years as Principal Legal Counsel to the Timor Leste Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CAVR) and five years as Asia Director for the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ.) Patrick helped to develop and draft the national legal aid laws in Indonesia, Timor Leste, Myanmar and Vietnam, and supported the pro bono movement in a broad range of Asian contexts. He was Team Leader for CARE Australia’s program in the Zairean refugee camps immediately following the genocide in Rwanda, and led complex humanitarian emergency programs in DRC, Uganda, Yemen and Indonesia. He has worked on rule of law and post conflict programs in Indonesia, Timor Leste, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, India, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Bosnia, Montenegro, Kenya, Uganda, DRC, Rwanda and Burundi. He was a member of the UN Panel of Experts responsible for drafting the UN Model Criminal Code and the UN Model Law on Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems. Patrick has taken a lead role in creating highly popular ‘justice-based drama’ edutainment TV series in Myanmar and Timor Leste viewed by over 8 million people. He is an acclaimed singer songwriter with albums on Itunes and Spotify, with many songs including a focus on justice and rights issues. He is a recognized international expert and trainer on post conflict issues, transitional justice, prevention of violent extremism, legal aid and human rights.