International Law

Practice Summary

Doughty Street barristers have played a leading role in developing this area of the law.

 

Members have been involved in most major cases on national security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (e.g. A and others v SSHD, Al Skeini, Al Jedda, Binyam Mohamed v FCO, Al Rawi and others v Security Services, Serdar Mohammed v SSD), in leading cases such as the “Mau Mau litigation” (Mutua and others v FCO) on historical abuses in Kenya or Jones and others v Saudi Arabia on state responsibility and torture, in cases regarding compulsory purchase (e.g. HMB Holdings v Antigua), and in large private international law group litigation claims against multinational companies (e.g. Moto v Trafigura and Guerrero v Montericco).

 

Public International Law  

Chambers international law team has a wide range of expertise including issues relating to jurisdiction, sovereignty, state responsibility, the use of force and international humanitarian law, the law of the sea, boundary disputes, diplomatic and consular law including immunities, the return of cultural property and environmental protection.

 

Members of the team appear in courts within the UN system, including the International Court of Justice on international cases such as the Temple of Preah Vihear territorial dispute between Cambodia and Thailand. Doughty Street barristers have been involved in several high-profile inter-state arbitrations (e.g. the Chagos Islands arbitration between the UK and Mauritius at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague).

 

Chambers has a number of barristers who have previously held positions within the United Nations system. Members of the international law team frequently serve in high-level advisory roles, for instance as advisor to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General dealing with the political transition process in Yemen, to Kofi Annan in his capacity as the Joint Special Envoy of the UN and Arab League on Syria, to the African Union, and to a range of mediation, conflict-resolution and reconciliation initiatives. Mediation work is also done in conjunction with the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue based in Geneva. Individual members have been appointed as the UK representative to the UN Human Rights Committee, to the UN Justice Council, and as the UN Special Rapporteur for Torture.

 

Private International Law  

Members of Chambers have significant expertise in complex domestic cases involving private international law and conflict of laws issues. For instance, members of Chambers have been instructed in major litigation relating to issues such as toxic dumping in the Ivory Coast (Moto v Trafigura), complicity in the torture of environmental protestors in Peru (Guerrero v Montericco), or oil spills in Nigeria. Doughty Street barristers have also acted in high-profile damages claims against the UK government relating to the abuse of detainees held in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.

 

Doughty Street barristers have also been involved in several high-profile arbitrations under ICSID, UNCITRAL and other rules.

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