Irene Petras

Legal Advisor-Africa
Washington, D.C. (ICNL Headquarters)

Irene Petras is a Legal Advisor for the Africa program at the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL). She implements and provides technical legal assistance and capacity building to civil society organizations and governments in Africa seeking to improve the legislative framework for strengthened civil society participation.

Before joining ICNL, Irene worked at the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights for 14 years – the last 8 during which she served as the organization’s Executive Director. Her practice focused on the national and regional protection and strengthening of civil society and human rights defenders, including their freedoms of association, assembly and expression, through various strategies including litigation, education, advocacy and institutional engagement for strengthening and reform.

Irene graduated cum laude with a Masters degree in Law, specializing in International Human Rights Law from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies; and cum laude with a Bachelors degree in Law and a Bachelor of Arts, both from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

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