John Barker is a Fellow of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge, and a recently retired Chairman of the Foreign Compensation Commission, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. His principal areas of interest and engagement are international claims practice and diplomatic protection, as well as promotion of administrative justice, human rights and good governance in the context of development.
With professional experience in Africa spanning more than 30 years, he has worked with governments, international development agencies and non-governmental organisations on the promotion of the rule of law. John has worked in public, private, charity and educational sectors, and advised the UNDP, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Commission, CIDA and DFID on human rights and transitional justice. He is also a member of the Strategic Advisory Panel of the UK Chief of Defence Staff, has served on the board of several charities and is Associate of the Centre for Governance and Human Rights.
With a background in the physical sciences as well as social sciences, John has a particular interest in the use of emerging technologies to map direct human experience and redirect international inquiry and investment of development resources. He is establishing Cambridge Governance Labs, a new multi-disciplinary initiative based at Hughes Hall, to promote a more complete understanding of decision-making that impacts the lives of citizens, especially in developing countries.