Kate Jones


Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum


Kate Jones is a human rights and public international lawyer and former British diplomat with over 20 years’ experience in law and diplomacy, now focusing on academia, advocacy and consulting. She has long been interested in the application of human rights to the digital environment. She focused on this area because of the risk that digital developments fail to take account of international and domestic human rights frameworks, carefully developed since 1945.

Initially she focused on human rights as a framework that will harness the benefits of digital technology while avoiding grave erosion to our democratic systems. This is reflected in her 2019 Chatham House paper “Online Disinformation and Political Discourse: Applying a Human Rights Framework”.

She has extensive experience in human rights negotiation, litigation, implementation and strategy as well as research. She focused on human rights law during her 13 years as a lawyer and diplomat with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. This included 7 years in multilateral postings, first as Legal Adviser to the UK Mission in Geneva and then as Deputy Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. For example, while in Geneva she led for the UK, and eventually the EU, the negotiations that brought about the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In Strasbourg, she was a key member of the UK’s Council of Europe Presidency team. She was in the UK seat for negotiation of the Brighton Declaration that led to adoption of Protocols 15 and 16 to the European Convention on Human Rights. While in London, she focused on counterterrorism as well as a range of areas of public international law and related domestic law (including international humanitarian law, immunities, treaty law, international enterprises law, aviation, law applicable to the UK Overseas Territories.)

She spent five years at the University of Oxford, as Director of the Diplomatic Studies Programme (Foreign Service Programme). In that role she had the privilege of using and refining her legal and diplomatic experience in leading, managing and teaching a brilliant, wide-ranging postgraduate curriculum, helping to develop some of the finest minds of the next generation while in parallel developing her own broader perspectives and research.

A UK-qualified lawyer, she began her career as a trainee, then a litigation solicitor with international law firm Norton Rose, and spent several months as a Judicial Assistant at the UK Court of Appeal. There she had the privilege to work for two inspiring lawyers: Lord Bingham who at that time was Lord Chief Justice, and Lady Justice Butler Sloss who at that time was President of the Family Division and the first ever female judge to sit the Court of Appeal.


Contributions by Kate Jones