International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in Law Enforcement
On 16 December 2021, the President of the Human Rights Council appointed Justice Yvonne Mokgoro; Dr. Tracie Keesee and Professor Juan Méndez to serve as experts on the Expert Mechanism. Justice Mokgoro serves as chairperson of the Expert Mechanism.
Yvonne Mokgoro (South Africa) is a former justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa from its inception in 1994 until the end of her 15-year term in 2009. She also served simultaneously on the South African Law Reform Commission (1995-2011 – as its Chairperson from 2000-2011) and President of Africa Legal Aid (AFLA) (1995-2005). Justice Mokgoro is the current Chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and after her term on the South Africa Constitutional Court, she served as Acting Justice at the Lesotho Appeals Court and the Namibia Supreme Court. In November 2020, she completed her 4-year non-renewable term as Chairperson of the United Nations Internal Justice Council. She has held a number of academic positions, including at the University of Bophuthatswana, University of the Western Cape and University of Pretoria and has taught in the United Kingdom, the United States and the Netherlands.
Tracie L. Keesee (United States of America) served for 25 years in the Denver Police Department (retired Jan 2015). She subsequently served as New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Deputy Commissioner of Training (Feb 2016-Jan 2018) and as NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Equity and Inclusion (Jan 2018-Mar 2019). She served as Project Director of the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice - a Department of Justice project designed to improve relationships and increase trust between minority communities and the criminal justice system. (Jan 2015-Feb 2016). She was also Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado Denver, teaching courses on race, crime and justice. She is currently Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Justice Initiatives of the Center For Policing Equity, which promotes police transparency and accountability. Additionally, she works closely with communities to ensure their voice and representation are centered in the co-production of public safety.
Juan E. Méndez (Argentina) is professor of human rights law in residence at the American University-Washington College of Law and member of the Board of Trustees of the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture. He was the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment (2010-2016); former Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide (2004-2007) and concurrently President of the International Center for Transitional Justice (2004-2009), as well as former Commissioner of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (2000-2003) and its President in 2002. Professor Méndez was elected commissioner to the International Commission of Jurists in January 2017 and has been a Special Advisor on Crime Prevention to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (2009-2011). He also worked with Human Rights Watch for 15 years and was the Executive Director of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (1996-1999).