Helping detainees in need of medical assistance

Trustee Vacancy: Chair of Trustees

Friday, December 11th, 2020

Medical Justice seeks a Trustee and a Chair of Trustees to help navigate though a changing landscape.





About Medical Justice – a stable, successful and effective charity

Set up in 2005, Medical Justice provides independent medical advice to immigration detainees, uses medical evidence to document the harm experienced by those in immigration detention, and challenges the use of immigration detention. We are the only charity to do so. Using its medical evidence, Medical Justice has secured lasting change through combinations of research, policy, parliamentary, and media work, as well as strategic litigation.  Medical Justice now has 11 members of staff, 85 volunteer clinicians and 100 volunteer interpreters. 


New challenges emerging

Medical Justice has had a well-defined and focused remit which has served our aims well for 15 years. That said, we effectively expanded our activity in 2019 to include acting as the secretariat for the newly formed All Party Parliamentary Group on Immigration Detention.  In 2020 we were granted Core Participant status in the public inquiry into the mistreatment of detainees at Brook House IRC.


Unprecedented change and unmet need may necessitate change at Medical Justice

The Home Office has increased its use of charter deportation flights in recent months. Also, those recently arrived across the Channel in small boats have been kept in military barracks under a regime that reeks of detention but without its formal status. We are monitoring this changing landscape. We may need to think about the scope of what we do and assess possibilities for further collaborations with other charities working to challenge immigration detention.


About our trustees

The Board of Trustees is the governing body of Medical Justice and is responsible for the overall management of our charity. All our trustees are volunteers. Any single trustee does not need to know how to do everything, but the board should be made up of people who can each bring something different, and who can work together. Trustees should have links into relevant wider networks.


The Board currently meets from 6–8.30pm once a quarter. There may be some involvement in between meetings, including a quarterly Executive Committee meeting. It is expected that the Chair will be in regular contact with Director and, as necessary, with the other Trustees.


We are keen to recruit trustees from all sections of our community

Three of our trustees have lived experience of detention – we would like to increase this number. We are looking for trustees who share our values of human rights and equality.  You should hold a vision of radical change. Whatever your background, who you are, your experience and your commitment is what we are interested in more than anything and we look forward to hearing from you.


This is an extremely rewarding but voluntary position and is unremunerated.  The role description for the Chair follows below. There is scope for a new trustee to act as chair designate for a few months until comfortable about taking the chair role.  If you are interested in an informal discussion about being either a Trustee or the Chair, please email the Director on by Friday 12th February 2021 to arrange a call with her and Dr Hilary Pickles, our Acting Chair. 


Related material

Medical Justice Annual Reviews, Medical Justice research reports, and Medical Justice Trustees.