Katherine McHaleChair of Board of Directors
Katherine McHale Chair of Board of Directors
Katherine McHale is an American lawyer who retired from her employment as a Court Attorney in 2013. During Katherine’s thirty-year career as a lawyer, she worked in the New York State court system, for the New York Legal Aid Society, on the staff of a United States Senator, and as an Editorial Assistant at the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.
Katherine was awarded a doctorate in Art History from the University of St Andrews in April 2018. She is active in her local church community, previously serving on the vestry of St Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church and directing annual fundraising campaigns. In Scotland, she is involved in her local church where she currently serves as convenor of its Resources Company.
Colin McKay Director
Colin is Chair of JustRight Scotland’s Board of Trustees. He is a Professor of Mental Health and Capacity Law at Edinburgh Napier University. He is on the Executive team of the current review of Scottish mental health law.
From 2014-2020 he was Chief Executive of the Mental Welfare Commission. The Commission is a statutory agency responsible for protecting the human rights of people with mental illness, learning disabilities, dementia and related conditions.
Previously Colin worked in the Scottish Government for 14 years, working on areas including mental health law, strategy and public service reform. For several years he had responsibility for civil justice policy, including legal aid and court reform. Before that he was a solicitor, and spent 10 years with ENABLE Scotland, where he led campaigning and policy work, established the ENABLE Trustee Service, and served as a Mental Welfare Commissioner for 2 years.
Katharine Jones Director
Working virtually from her home in Glasgow, she has been conducting advocacy-related migration research for over 20 years for the UN, NGOs and grant-making foundations. Katharine specialises in writing about employment rights for migrants, trafficking and forced labour, and business and human rights.
She is motivated by a passion for challenging the accelerating global precarity of migration. Katharine also serves as a Trustee for A Moment’s Peace, a socially engaged theatre company producing art, activism and solidarity; and for Bazooka Arts, which provides therapeutic arts for children and adults.
Jen Ang Director
Jen is a Director at JRS Knowhow, on secondment from our parent charity JustRight Scotland, responsible for its strategy and development.
Jen is an experienced human rights lawyer qualified to practice in Scotland, England and Wales, and New York State. She is a legal expert on asylum, human rights and children’s rights, and on the rights of survivors of torture. Jen is also an experienced lecturer in law with the Open University, lecturing on Scots law and the law of England and Wales.
Kirsty Thomson Director
Kirsty is a co-founding Managing Partner / Director of JustRight Scotland, responsible for overall management and development of our parent charity. She also leads our Scottish Women’s Rights Centre (SWRC) and our Scottish Anti-Trafficking & Exploitation Centre (SATEC).
Kirsty has an LLM in International Human Rights Law and 13 years’ experience in practice as a human rights lawyer within Scotland. During this time, she managed a specialist legal service within a national law centre where she developed a collaborative human rights based approach working in the area of women’s rights, children’s rights and asylum/immigration law.
Kirsty has experience of designing, implementing and managing innovative legal projects. She has worked with legal and non-legal partners at a national and international level in order to pilot and deliver legal services more effectively.
Kirsty is a member of various advisory and working groups in human rights law. She is a legal expert in human trafficking and has published best practice standards, training and written publications in this area. She co-convenes the Scottish Working Group of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association and is the Scottish member for the Strategic Litigation Fund expert panel.
Mahlea Babjak Director
Mahlea Babjak is a Trustee of JustRight Scotland and the London Project Manager at the Migrants’ Rights Network. She works across policy, advocacy, research, and network development to create a just society for all migrants. She advises on the Greater London Authority’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Board, the Migrants, Refugees, and Asylum Panel, and the No Recourse to Public Funds steering group.
Mahlea is also in the final stages of a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. Her thesis focuses on reframing the anti-human trafficking narrative through the perspective of migration policy reform.
Her professional background includes having previously worked across 30+ countries on combating the issue of sexual and labour exploitation, gaining experience especially in program development and strategy.