THE WOMAN spearheading opposition to the Government's plans to hold terror suspects for up to 42 days is to become the new chancellor of Oxford Brookes University.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, was named today as the woman who will succeed broadcaster Jon Snow.

Ms Chakrabarti is recognised as the UK's foremost advocate for human rights and civil liberties.

In recent months she emerged as the most high-profile opponent of extending the time terror suspects can be held without charge. She addressed Labour MPs in the run-up to Wednesday's vote on the Counter Terrorism Bill.

And a number of MPs said her arguments had been pivotal in persuading them to vote against the Government.

As chancellor, she will deliver an annual lecture, preside over graduation ceremonies and act as an ambassador for the university.

Ms Chakrabarti said: "Oxford Brookes is a university with a growing reputation for engagement with the most important issues of our time.

"I've been especially impressed with its deepening links with the non-governmental charity sector, with the award-winning MA in humanitarian development, and with Brookes students, who run an annual human rights film festival.

"Jon Snow will be an impossible act to follow, but I am delighted to have been asked to join Oxford Brookes, and to be a part of a place where ideas - and idealism - flourish."

Mr Snow will officially relinquish the post at a ceremony at Oxford Brookes on July 11.

Whereas the chancellors of Oxford University serve for life, Oxford Brookes chancellors relinquish the position after seven years.

Brookes vice-chancellor Prof Janet Beer said: "She exemplifies what we stand for as an institution and our ambitions. We are determined to build upon our reputation as a leading centre for liberal and progressive education with a strong ethical commitment."

Lina Mughal, Oxford Brookes University Student Union president-elect, said: "Shami Chakrabarti is a strong and principled campaigner and I know students at Brookes will be able to take inspiration from the passion and tenacity she brings to everything she does."