Preetha Gopalan

Joint Head of UK Litigation and Project Lead - Death Penalty (South East Asia)
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Preetha works on Reprieve’s strategic litigation efforts which seek to hold the British Government to account for complicity in the death penalty, torture, secret detention and extrajudicial killings abroad. She manages a diverse portfolio of cases before the English Courts, Tribunals and complaints mechanisms, as well as before a range of international and regional human rights mechanisms. These cases include civil and public law actions, information law claims and human rights complaints.

Preetha also leads Reprieve’s death penalty work in South East Asia. She works alongside the South East Asia Caseworker, regional fellows and Reprieve’s partner organisations in the region to provide direct assistance in strategic cases, and is responsible for developing the team’s overall legal, political and advocacy strategies to further abolition efforts in the region.  Preetha’s work on the death penalty in South East Asia also touches on related issues such as fair trial standards, migrant workers’ rights, human trafficking, drug policy and discrimination.

Before joining Reprieve, Preetha was a commercial litigator for several years after qualifying as a solicitor at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in 2012. Preetha has been involved in access to justice and rule of law initiatives in a number of jurisdictions, including a youth legal literacy programme in the UK, a project to protect women’s land rights in Tanzania and capital defence work in Malawi.

Preetha holds a BA in Anthropology and Law (London School of Economics), and an MPhil in Development Studies (University of Cambridge) with a focus on the rule of law and access to justice in the Global South. She speaks Malay, Tamil and Spanish, and has lived and worked in Malaysia, Malawi and the US.