Helen Mountfield KC

Helen Mountfield KC

Principal of Mansfield College

Helen Mountfield KC joined Mansfield College as Principal in 2018. Helen is a barrister, specialising constitutional law, human rights and equality law, with particular experience in the education sector. Helen is a founder member of Matrix Chambers, an accredited mediator, a Master of the Bench of Gray’s Inn and is a past and present part-time judge in several jurisdictions including the High Court of England and Wales and the Channel Islands Courts of Appeal. She has appeared over 25 times in the Supreme Court and Privy Council, on hundreds of occasions in the Court of Appeal, European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights, and won many legal awards (including Legal 500 KC of the Year for Public Law in 2022). She features on the ‘First Hundred Years’ website, which celebrates the history of women in law. Helen has also written and broadcast frequently on legal topics, including contributing to all eight editions of the Blackstone Guide to the Human Rights Act. She edited the White Book on human rights for many years, and is a member of the editorial board of Public Law. Within Oxford University, she served on the Race Equality Task Force 2020-2021, and is co-Chair of the Joint Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. At Mansfield College, she is Tutor for Racial Inclusion alongside her role as Principal. Helen also plays an active role in public policy. She has given evidence to Parliamentary committees on human rights, free speech and election and constitutional law issues on a number of occasions, and in 2016-2017 was co-chair, with Lord Watson, of the Independent Commission on the Future of Work in the Digital Economy, and a member of the Royal Society of Arts’ Commission on Drugs Policy. She is currently at trustee of Index on Censorship and has also served as a trustee, director and advisory board member of many other NGOs and charities, in the fields of the arts, human rights and justice, and equality. She was educated at Crown Woods School (now Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy) in south-east London – by coincidence, one of Mansfield’s partner schools. From there she read Modern History at Magdalen College Oxford, where she obtained a first-class degree, directed plays and was one of the first ‘Target Schools’ officers. In 2023, she became an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen.

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