Yasmin Qureshi was born in Gujrat, Pakistan and moved to Britain in 1972 when she was nine. She has been the Member of British Parliament for Bolton South East since the 2010 General Election. She obtained a BA (Hons) Law degree and completed her Barrister at laws examinations at the Council of Legal Education. She obtained a Master of Laws at University College London.
Yasmin began her legal career with the Crown Prosecution Service as an in-house Barrister. She prosecuted on behalf of the crown in numerous criminal cases. Later she became a specialist casework advocate dealing with complex and sensitive cases.
Yasmin was the co-ordinator of the Criminal Legal Unit from 2000-2001. This involved addressing the obstacles and problems, in matters of law and practical procedure, which hindered the effective investigation and prosecution of criminal offences. To ensure these methods were successful Yasmin and her team of lawyers put into place various mechanisms: such as a duty rota of Gynaecologist who would assess rape victims, team of forensics, pathologists and doctors to look at Murder cases.
She set up a training programme to support teams of International police officers who arrived in Kosovo to support the region, to ensure they were trained on the relevant law so evidence could be used in court.
In her role as Head of the Criminal Legal Unit between 2001-2002 she focused on analysing the legal system within Kosovo to identify shortcomings within laws and in particular to address problems such as the trafficking of persons, domestic violence etc. Yasmin assisted in drafting in the UNMIK regulations and provisions for safe houses for women who had been trafficked, access to legal free legal service, mental health regulations and children rights.
In addition to this she was involved in the drafting of the Kosovo Penal code and in particular the chapter on Humanitarian Law.
She liaised and worked with KFOR armies across the region. She then became the Director of Department of Judicial Administration. This department’s responsibility was to ensure the courts, prosecutors and investigation judges offices were administered and monitored properly.
In late 2002 Yasmin returned to the UK and rejoined the Crown Prosecution Service at policy headquarters in the role of policy adviser. She was then selected to be the Prospective Parliamentary candidate for Brent East and left the CPS.
She joined 2 Kings Bench Walk, Temple where she practiced in the area of general common law.
In 2007, Yasmin was selected to be the PPC for Bolton SE from an open shortlist. She left chambers in London and moved to Bolton and practiced law from Kenworthy Chambers, Manchester. At the General Election in 2010 Yasmin won with a majority of 8,634 on 6th May 2010.
Since becoming a Member of Parliament Yasmin has been elected as a member of the Justice Select Committee and a member of the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee.
Yasmin is the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on International Justice and the Secretary of the all party Parliamentary Group on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.
As a law student Yasmin volunteered for the Free Representation Unit. Representing individuals in Tribunals from 1993-2000 she volunteered as a legal adviser for South Law Centre one evening a week and also helped raise funding for the centre. From 2004-2008 she was a Human Rights Adviser to Mayor of London Ken Livingstone. She worked on issues relating to economic and civil rights. She also campaigned against the Anti-terrorism legislation with London Authority.
Yasmin was governor of Laurence Hains school from 1984-1987 where she helped to set up a unit for children with general and specific learning difficulties, She was then governor of West Herts College, 10th Largest Further Education Institution, from 1990-2000 and she was a member of the personnel committee and the Finance and general purpose committee. She was also involved in the top to bottom restructuring of the college. She was the Governor of Park Avenue School and Kensal Rise Primary School in Brent.