Rob Linham was appointed UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe in May 2018. He specialises in human rights and legal matters.
Rob joined the Lord Chancellor’s Department in 2001, which became the Department for Constitutional Affairs and later the Ministry of Justice. Between 2004 and 2018, he specialised in human rights policy, including three years as Assistant Director. He was responsible for the operation of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the development of proposals for a Bill of Rights for the UK. He also created the human rights powers of the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission.
In multilateral work, Rob represented the UK at the Council of Europe on human rights business for over ten years and was the UK member of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) from 2012 to 2017. He jointly led negotiations to secure the Brighton Declaration on the future of the European Court of Human Rights, agreed by the Council of Europe member States under the UK Chairmanship of the Council of Europe in 2011-12.
He chaired the drafting of Protocols 15 and 16 to the European Convention on Human Rights, and was a leading expert on the proposed accession of the European Union (EU) to the Convention. He has also represented the UK at the EU, notably on the Agency for Fundamental Rights, and at the United Nations.
Rob was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to human rights policy in 2014. He was a member of the Ministry of Justice team that won University Challenge: The Professionals in 2008.
Having grown up in Brighton, where he still lives with his partner Freya when in the UK, Rob studied law at St John’s College, Oxford.
Deputy UK Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe
The Deputy Permanent Representative role is an important advisor to the Ambassador and represents the UK within an international organisation, engaging with every other country or organisation that belongs to or observes the body.
They also have responsibility for the running of the UK delegation. They will represent the UK’s interests in the absence of the Ambassador as Chargé d’Affaires.