One of the country’s top legal brains has been asked to advise on the proposed merger of the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council.
Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC, who was knighted three years ago, is an expert on democracy and constitutional matters.
The South African-born lawyer, who is the son-in-law of the late anti-apartheid politician Helen Suzman, is a member of Blackstone Chambers in London and emeritus professor of public law at University College London.
His experience includes 11 years as the UK’s representative on the Council of Europe’s Commission for Democracy through Law.
A spokesman for the liaison committee overseeing talks between the Board and JLC described Sir Jeffrey as the UK’s foremost constitutional barrister, and said the committee was delighted he had agreed to provide advice.
Plans for unification of the two bodies, which were first presented to deputies nine months ago, envisage a two-chamber house, one loosely resembling the JLC, the other the Board. The two houses would jointly elect a president.
The JLC consists of representatives from 25 affiliated organisations plus 10 non-voting vice-presidents.
The Board has around 290 deputies, who are mostly elected and who represent 140 synagogues and 30 communal organisations.