Sharmishta Chakrabarti, Baroness Chakrabarti, commonly known as Shami Chakrabarti, is a British Labour Party politician and member of the House of Lords. She is a barrister, and was the director of Liberty, an advocacy group which promotes civil liberties and human rights, from 2003 to 2016.
Chakrabarti was born in the London Borough of Harrow, and studied Law at the London School of Economics. After graduating, she was called to the Bar and then worked as an in-house legal counsel for the Home Office.
When she was the director of Liberty, she campaigned against "excessive" anti-terror legislation. In this role she frequently contributed to BBC Radio 4 and various newspapers, and was described in The Times as "probably the most effective public affairs lobbyist of the past 20 years". Between 2014 and 2017 she served as Chancellor of the University of Essex.
Chakrabarti was one of the panel members of the Leveson Inquiry into press standards throughout 2011 and 2012. In April 2016, she was invited by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to chair an inquiry into alleged anti-semitism in the Labour Party, and she presented its findings in June. In August 2016, she was made a life peer in the Prime Minister's Resignation Honours.
She is a governor of the British Film Institute.
She was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2007 Queen's Birthday Honours.
In 2011, she was awarded the President's Medal by the British Academy.
She was one of eight Olympic Flag carriers at the London 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony (the announcer incorrectly described her as "the founder of Liberty"). She was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom in 2013 by Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4, and in 2014 she was included in The Sunday Times's "100 Makers of the 21st Century" list.
In May 2018, it was announced that she was to be sworn of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom. This usually allows the style ‘The Right Honourable’, however, as a peer, she is already styled as such and therefore uses the post-nominal ‘PC’.