A versatile practitioner with particular expertise in immigration, extradition, death penalty litigation and other human rights challenges.
Joe has been a member of chambers since 1998. His main areas of work are immigration and nationality law, extradition, death penalty litigation and other constitutional and human rights challenges. Many of his cases draw on crossover expertise between his different practice areas, often involving issues of international and/or human rights law (see e.g. Young v Young  3 WLR 266, Fam. - human rights implications of impounding a litigant’s passport in family proceedings). He has appeared in the UK’s domestic courts at all levels. He has also taken cases in the ECtHR, the Privy Council, the UN Human Rights Committee and, in collaboration with local counsel, in various jurisdictions in Africa and the Caribbean. He has recently acted as pro bono counsel for British citizens sentenced to death in the DRC, Ghana and Kenya.
Joe is described in Chambers and Partners as a popular choice as a result of his broad knowledge of immigration law; he is "really excellent at everything, being fully apprised of corporate immigration issues and particularly good on EU and nationality issues" (Read More). He is also noted for his “impressive solicitor recommendations” in the Legal 500, where he is listed as a leading junior in immigration (Read More).
Joe is an established practitioner in all areas of asylum, personal immigration, EU migration and nationality law. Previous clients include victims of political persecution in Russia (political activists, former Yukos executives and others) and a deposed former prime minister from SE Asia. He recently advised on asylum and diplomatic law issues arising from the decision by Julian Assange to seek refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador. He also frequently advises high net worth individuals on migration solutions (investor, entrepreneur etc.). Recent cases include: Young v Young
 3 WLR 266, Fam. (human rights implications of impounding a litigant’s passport in family proceedings); IT (Sierra Leone) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 787, CA (scope of directions in successful immigration appeals); JN (Afghanistan) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 723, CA (issues at large in reconsideration appeals); Hussein v SSHD  Imm AR 320, QBD (scope of automatic deportation).
Joe has been closely connected with the Points Based System since its launch in 2008. He co-authors the PBS chapters of Immigration Law and Practice and very frequently advises individual and corporate clients on employee migration and settlement, PBS applications (including investors and entrepreneurs), compliance issues/illegal working and PBS sponsorship. He has acted for numerous Tier 4 colleges in judicial reviews of decisions to suspend or revoke their sponsor licences.
Joe acts for defendants in extradition proceedings at all levels. He has particular experience of dealing with individuals who are dealing simultaneously with asylum claims and extradition proceedings. He has acted in several successful cases resisting extradition to Russia on grounds of political motivation. He acted with local counsel for Simon Mann in his attempts to resist extradition from Zimbabwe to Equatorial Guinea and was instructed by Liberty in their intervention in USA v McKinnon
 1 WLR 1739, HL. Recent cases include R (Aldhouse) v SSHD  ACD 53, QBD) (appellate jurisdiction; appeal on prison conditions in Thailand pending); Norris v USA  2 AC 487, SC (scope of article 8 in extradition proceedings); Srama v Poland  EWHC 3320 (Admin), QBD (EAW vitiated by error); Benko v Hungary  EWHC 3530 (Admin), QBD (entitlement to retrial).
Much of Joe’s work, both domestic and international, has a public law or constitutional dimension. This includes many of his immigration cases involving judicial review of immigration decisions with no right of appeal. He has acted for numerous Tier 4 colleges in judicial reviews of decisions to suspend or revoke their sponsor licences. He was recently instructed by NUS, intervening on behalf of the students who were affected by the revocation of London Metropolitan’s Tier 4 licence. In the criminal context, he dealt with fundamental constitutional issues in R v Chaytor & Ors
 1 AC 684, SC (whether Parliament has exclusive jurisdiction over allegations of expenses fraud).
Joe has worked for many years on capital cases in the Caribbean and Africa. The mandatory death penalty has been ruled unlawful by the highest courts in Kenya and Malawi as a result of litigation Joe has pursued with the Death Penalty Project (of which he is a director) and local counsel. Following the failure of a similar challenge in the Supreme Court of Ghana, he is now acting in a consequential application to the UN Human Rights Committee.
Joe has advised on international election standards and amendments to election legislation in most of the transition countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. He has conducted human rights missions on behalf of Amnesty International, the International Bar Association, the International Commission of Jurists and the Interparliamentary Union. He has an interest in private international law and advised on immigration issues arising from the Ivory Coast/Trafigura compensation claim.
Joe has acted in a number of cases in the ECtHR. These include a successful complaint of unlawful killing by Russian troops in Chechnya (Betayev v Russia,
App. No. 37315/03) and a pending complaint by the family of the former President of Chechnya, allegedly killed by FSB troops. He is also acting pro bono for journalists complaining of ill treatment by the authorities in Azerbaijan.
Administrative Law Bar Association
Death Penalty Project (director)
Extradition Lawyers’ Association
Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association
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