The Secretary of State has appointed Raj Desai as a Member of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Rt Hon. Dominic Raab MP, has announced the appointment of Raj Desai as a Member of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody for a tenure of 3 years. His appointment will commence on 13 March 2023 and will run until 12 March 2026.

The Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody (IAPDC) is part of the Ministerial Council on Deaths in Custody in England and Wales. The IAPDC is a source of expert advice to Ministers and departments/agencies with the central aim of preventing deaths in custodial settings. The IAPDC is co-sponsored and funded by the MoJ, Department of Health and Social Care, and the Home Office.

The Secretary of State for Justice appoints IAPDC members in consultation with co-sponsoring ministers. The roles are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments and recruitment processes comply with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.


Mr Desai is a barrister at Matrix Chambers specialising in human rights and public law. He has significant experience representing bereaved family members following deaths in custody, including in prison, police detention and mental health settings. He has conducted research in his fields of specialism, is a co-author of textbooks on human rights law, public law and prison law, and has taught as a college lecturer at the University of Oxford.

Mr Desai advises the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and other public bodies, and is on both the EHRC Panel of Preferred Counsel and the Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel.

Published 13 March 2023