Personal profile

Mark Guthrie was called to the Bar in 1984. He was in private practice for seventeen years undertaking criminal defence work as well as civil actions against the police.

From 2001 until 2006 he worked for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) Mission to Bosnia Herzegovina where he held a number of roles including Senior Human Rights Officer and Rule of Law Adviser. He gave expert technical advice at the time of the introduction of a new criminal procedure code. In addition, he led a team of trial monitors and provided expert analysis of the local prosecution of war crimes cases.

From 2006 until 2008 he served as Deputy Head of Human Rights at the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), in Warsaw. He was responsible for the establishment of the OSCE/ODIHR Focal Point for Human Rights Defenders monitoring and highlighting human rights violations. He also supervised trial monitoring projects in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Throughout he worked closely with national human rights defenders, national human rights institutions, ombudsmen, international human rights organisations and inter-governmental organisations.

From 2009 until 2018 he worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, concluding his term of office as Acting Head of Rule of Law. He led the development of policy relating to judicial independence, integrity in public life and work to promote the separation of powers between the three branches of government across the Commonwealth. In addition, he was responsible for the organisation of judicial education seminars across all regions of the Commonwealth including Africa, Asia, Caribbean and Pacific. He supported and advised the Commonwealth Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Zambia as part of a process to facilitate a national political dialogue.

Additionally, he provided legal advice to the Secretariat in relation to proceedings before the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal, the Secretariat’s own dispute resolution mechanism. He has undertaken investigations into disciplinary matters.

Over a number of years he has served as legal analyst in Commonwealth election observation missions in Kenya, Lesotho, Pakistan and Zambia.