Nora Mbagathi

Nora Mbagathi | UK

Stream D

Nora Mbagathi is the Africa Caseworker at Reprieve and works on issues relating to the death penalty and counter terrorism across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Holding a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School in DC and an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Nora has published academic research on the right to self-determination under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Arab Charter.

Nora leads Reprieve’s work on a number of death penalty cases from Tanzania before the African Court of Human and People’s Rights. As part of this work, Nora has organized multiple trainings for lawyers on capital defense issues in Tanzania. Nora also leads Reprieve’s work on a number of cases before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. At the sessions of the African Commission, Nora has moderated panels and organized roundtables and side events with partner organizations from across Africa. In Malawi, following the abolition of the mandatory death penalty, over 150 prisoners became entitled to a new sentencing hearing. These sentence rehearings took place in 2015-2017 in a project involving stakeholders from across the Malawian criminal justice system, Reprieve and Cornell Law School. By the end of this process, the High Court of Malawi had conducted rehearings and given judgment in relation to 156 prisoners, of these 133 prisoners were immediately released. No prisoners were sentenced to death.  Death row was halved from 30 to 15 prisoners. Nora works with Reprieve’s fellow in Malawi, Ian Twea, on the cases of all those prisoners remaining on death row.

Following the 2017 ruling by the Kenyan Supreme Court abolishing the mandatory death penalty in Kenya, Attorney-General Githu Muigai appointed the Taskforce on the Review of the Mandatory Nature of the Death Penalty to complete the work, led by Maryann Njau-Kimani. Nora has been working closely with the Taskforce and Professor Babcock of Cornell Law School to share expertise from Malawian stakeholders involved in the Resentencing Project and international and regional best practice.