Shami Chakrabarti, director of London-based rights group Liberty, has announced she is to leave the organisation after 12 years at the helm.
She joined as the counsel on the day before the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and was appointed director two years later.
During her time in the role, the organisation has seen off attempts to impose compulsory ID cards, disrupted plans to extend pre-charge detention to 42 days, defeated the internment of foreign nationals in Belmarsh prison and challenged the divisive section 44 stop and search without suspicion powers.
She said: “It has been the most enormous privilege to lead Liberty for the past 12 years. With members, colleagues, lawyers, journalists and politicians from across the spectrum, we have held three Prime Ministers and six Home Secretaries to account.
“Liberty’s first President EM Forster rightly called defending civil liberties ‘the fight that is never done’. I leave Liberty secure in the knowledge that we’re stronger and more ready for that fight than ever.
“Human rights belong to everyone. Today we begin our search for someone ready to defend these values well into the future.”