John R.W.D Jones QC

Year of Silk


Year of Call

John R.W.D Jones QC

John Jones QC is head of Doughty Street International in The Hague, and head of Doughty Street’s international criminal law team.

John specialises in international law, extradition, sanctions (UN, EU and US), and removing Interpol red notices.  


Among his current cases, John is representing and/or advising:


  • more than a dozen persons challenging red notices issued against them by INTERPOL;
  • two daughters of heads of State in challenges to UN and EU sanctions, including in actions before the European Court of Justice;
  • Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, before the International Criminal Court("ICC")
  • a State in relation to all of its issues before the ICC;
  • a defendant before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon;
  • a suspect at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (ECCC);
  • an Ambassador-at-large detained in prison in Panama, and another US/UK national formerly imprisoned in Panama, before the UN SR on torture, the IACHR and the UN Working Group on arbitrary detention;
  • a former Head of State imprisoned in the UK;
  • Julian Assange; and
  • two Governments in complex extradition proceedings.


John also sits, part-time, as a Judge of the First-Tier Tribunal.



In extradition, John has acted in many of the leading cases, having represented, among others, Julian Assange, former Bosnian President Ejup GanicPhillip HarkinsAndrew SymeouDeborah Dark, HH and Al-Fawaaz (joined with the cases of Abu Hamza and Babar Ahmed).


For more details of John's extradition practice, please see the drop down bar below.


Interpol and sanctions

John has also acted in a large number of cases to remove abusive red notices issued by INTERPOL, recently succeeding in the case of a Libyan national whose red notice was removed by INTERPOL as being politically motivated, and succeeding in several more cases in having "addenda" issued in respect of the red notices.


In the field of financial sanctions, John has been successful in several high-profile cases in having his clients removed from UN and/or UK Treasury lists, for example Agnes Reeves-Taylor (the ex-wife of the former President of Liberia, Charles Taylor), Saad Al-Fagih (a Saudi Arabian opposition figure) and Ismail Bhuta (subject to HM Treasury sanctions). He has also appeared in the Irfan case in the Court of Appeal, challenging the compatibility of the notification requirements under the Counter-Terrorism Act with Article 8 ECHR.


For more details of John's Interpol and Sanctions practice, please see the drop down bar below.


International criminal law

John has acted as Counsel in 5 cases before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ("ICTY") - in two cases (Naser Oric and Ante Gotovina/ Mladen Markac), his clients were acquitted of all charges on appeal.  Two of his other ICTY cases were not completed due to the death of the acused (Mehmed Alagic and Rasim Delic). In the fifth case, he appeared as Counsel as part of the amicus curiae team (Krajisnik). John was also the first head of the Defence Office of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) and legal officer at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), contributing to  the first Judgment on genocide. He is currently one of only 8 counsel assigned as defence counsel at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), established to try those allegedly responsible for the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in an explosion on 14 February 2005.


John also publishes the leading practitioner's work on international criminal law, "International Criminal Practice".


For more details of John's International crime practice please see the drop down bar below.


Public law and judicial review

John has been involved in several, complex judicial review applications, and represented the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Gibraltar in her successful judicial review application to have disciplinary proceedings against her quashed. His human rights practice also encompasses a range of public law issues.


For more details of John's public law practice, please see the drop down bar below.

International commercial arbitration

John previously worked for White and Case in Paris, practicing in international commercial arbitration and also lecturing, in French, at the Law Clinic of Paris (Université de Paris-I). He is currently involved in setting up Doughty Street International's international arbitration practice.



John read Philosophy, Politics and Economics as an open exhibitioner at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University where he gained an M.A.. He also has an M.A. in Law from City University in London and an LL.M. from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.


In addition to the English Bar, John is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia, USA, and the Kingdom of Cambodia. He has been admitted to the Bars of Gibraltar, Kosovo and Rwanda to argue individual cases.


He has argued cases before the European Court of Justice and, recently, the African Court on Human Rights (Konate v Burkina Faso).


What the Directories say

John Jones is consistently recommended within Chambers and Partners. He is listed in the Spotlight Table for Crime: International Criminal Law and New Silk in Extradition for the 2014 edition:

John Jones QC Acknowledged expert in war crimes, who heads the set's international team and has recently taken silk. Expertise: "He has very good academic understanding of the law." "He is a very hard-working guy, who is regarded as one of the leading lights in this area." Chambers and Partners 2014


John Jones QC Recently took silk, and is a popular choice for client representation in extradition cases requiring novel human rights arguments. "Fearless and tenacious, he knows what he's doing." Chambers and Partners 2014 


He is also consistently listed in the Legal 500 directory in the field of Civil liberties and human rights.



Among his publications, John has published the following books:

  • Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Handbook (Oxford University Press, 2010);
  • International Criminal Practice (3rd edition, Transnational Publishers-Oxford University Press: 2003) by John R.W.D. Jones and Steven Powles;
  • The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: A Commentary (edited by Antonio Cassese, Paola Gaeta and John R.W.D. Jones) (Oxford University Press, 2002, 3 volumes);
  • The Practice of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (Transnational Publishers: Irvington-on-Hudson, NY, USA. 1st edition: 1998, 2nd edition: 2000).
  • Consultant on the International Bar Association's (IBA) International Criminal Law Manual. Please click here to view the Manual.



John is a director of the Orangutan Protection Foundation (

Interpol and Sanctions

John is involved in a number of judicial review challenges, including to asset-freezing under counter-terrorist legislation notification requirements under the Counter-terrorism Act 2008, repatriation arrangements (see below) and disciplinary proceedings against a Judge in Gibraltar.

John is acting in several cases involving United Nations Security Council counter-terrorism sanctions imposed against individuals and entities allegedly associated with Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban network. He is advising four individuals and one entity placed on the United Nations Consolidated List about the de-listing procedures and avenues for legal redress both in domestic courts and before the Court of Justice of the European Communities (ECJ), which have so far engaged two separate proceedings before the ECJ and one set of domestic proceedings involving asset-freezing against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. John has also acted in control order cases under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 and has acted in extradition cases relating to terrorism. He is co-author (with Dr Miša Zgonec-Rožej) of an article which appeared in the Law Society Gazette in September 2009 entitled "Freezing assets of 'terrorists' - how fair is the UN sanctions committee?" - click here to read the article.

Recent cases include:

  • The Queen on the application of Bhuta v HM Treasury [2011] EWHC1789 (Admin) Terrorism - financial restrictions - whether Article 6 ECHR applies to disclosure in challenges to asset freezing directions made by HM Treasury. Permission to appeal has been granted by the Court of Appeal.
  • Khaled (R on the application of) v. Foreign & Commonwealth Office [2010] EWHC 3789 (Admin) United Nations Security Council sanctions regime - freezing financial assets of alleged terrorists - Al-Qa'ida and Taliban (United Nations Measures) Orders 2002 and 2006
  • Secretary of State for the Home Department v. Faraj Faraj Hassan Al Saadi [2009] EWHC 3390 (QB) Revocation of Control Order
  • Faraj Hassan (C-399/06 P) v Council of the European Union and the European Commission, 3/12/2009 (Court of Justice of the European Union (Second Chamber)) EU law - restrictive measures taken against persons and entities associated with Usama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda network and the Taliban - Regulation (EC) No 881/2002 - Freezing of funds and economic resources of a person following his inclusion in a list drawn up by a body of the United Nations - Action for annulment - Fundamental rights - right to respect for property, right to be heard and right to effective judicial review
  • Secretary of State v AS [2009] EWHC 2564 (Admin) Control orders - disclosure - Article 6 of the ECHR


John is a specialist extradition practitioner and author. He is the General Editor of the Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Handbook (Oxford University Press, 2010 (second edition)) and publishes the Extradition Law Reports (Southside Legal Publishing, 2007). He has appeared on behalf of requested persons, foreign governments and judicial authorities in a large number of extradition proceedings. He has represented, among others, governments and judicial authorities of the Czech Republic, France, Germany, HKSAR, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States. In 2007, he was seconded to the Extradition Unit of the Crown Prosecution Service's Serious Crimes Division, where he was responsible for preparing extradition requests on behalf of the CPS and representing foreign states and judicial authorities in extradition proceedings in the English courts.

Among his other extradition cases, John has recently represented Julian Assange (editor in chief of Wikileaks), in the proceedings in the magistrates’ court, in relation to Sweden's request for his extradition (Swedish Judicial Authority v Assange [2010] EWHC 3473 (Admin.)). He has also represented Deborah Dark, Wolfgang Hertel and Ejub Ganic in their successful challenges to their extradition, as well as Andrew Symeou in relation to his extradition to Greece. He currently represents Rafik Khalifa (founder of Khalifa Bank and Khalifa Airways) in relation to Algeria's request for his extradition and is also presently involved in extradition requests from the USA (O’Dwyer), the UAE (Tudor), Thailand, Albania, the Russian Federation and Croatia (in the war crimes case of Zdinjak). He has also advised in extradition matters in foreign jurisdictions.

Recent High Court and Supreme Court/ House of Lords cases include:

  • Kandola and Droma v 2 German judicial authorities [2015] EWHC 619 (Admin). Extradition request from Germany – interpretation of new section 12A of the Extradition Act 2003
  • Pesut v Croatia [2015] EWHC 46 (Admin). Extradition request from Croatia on war crimes charges – suicide risk and whether extradition unjust or oppressive due to the requested person’s physical and mental condition
  • Bardoshi and Sadushi v Government of Albania [2014] EWHC 2756 (Admin). Extradition request from Albania – systemic corruption in Albania  - whether effective right to retrial in Albania
  • Lithuania v Vladimir Antonov and Raimondas Baranauskas [2013] Extradition request from Lithuania - alleged offences arising from the collapse of Snoras Bank in Lithuania - whether the request politically motivated and/or an abuse of process
  • United States of America v Shlesinger [2013] EWHC 2671 (Admin) Extradition request from the United States - whether the requirements of dual criminality met in relation to an alleged offence of escaping from prison - Article 8 ECHR
  • Musikyavichius v Government Of The Russian Federation [2011] EWHC 1549 (Admin) Extradition to Russia - failure by district judge to make adequate findings relating to prison conditions in Russia - remitted to District Judge
  • HH and PH v Deputy Prosecutor of the Italian Republic, Genoa [2011] EWHC 1145 (Admin) Extradition to Italy - Article 8 ECHR and the rights of young children in light of ZH (Tanzania) - mental condition bar to extradition. Leave to appeal to the Supreme Court has been granted and the appeal will be heard in March 2012
  • Harkins v SSHD/Government of the USA [2011] EWHC 920 (Admin) Extradition and human rights - whether extradition to the USA to serve sentence of mandatory life imprisonment without parole for "felony murder" would be compatible with Article 3 ECHR. This case is currently before the ECHR
  • Public Prosecutor Of Hamburg v Altun [2011] EWHC 397 (Admin) Extradition to Germany -double jeopardy - offences committed in Germany and requested person convicted in Turkey - relationship of double jeopardy and amnesty provisions - whether "in jeopardy" when the requested person was un-returnable from the UK as a refugee at the time of his conviction
  • Bulla v Albania [2010] EWHC 3506 (Admin) Extradition to Albania - right of re-trial where tried in absence under Albanian law
  • Hertel v Government Of Canada [2010] EWHC 2305 (Admin) Extradition - double criminality - tax offences - conduct not criminal if transposed to the UK
  • Regional Court in Konin, Poland v Pawel Walerianczyk [2010] EWHC 2149 (Admin) Extradition - Validity of filing and serving unstamped notice of appeal
  • The Government of Lithuania v Al [2010] EWHC 2299 (Admin) Extradition to Lithuania - extradition held to be incompatible with Article 8 of the ECHR
  • Republic of Serbia v Ejup Ganic CWMC, 27 July 2010, also: [2010] EWHC 878 (Admin) Extradition request from Serbia for alleged war crimes found to be politically motivated and an abuse of process - whether crimes extradition crimes - extraneous considerations - for further details, click here
  • Louca v A German Judicial Authority (Supreme Court) [2009] UKSC 4 Extradition to Germany - whether an EAW needs to refer to other EAWs issued for the same offence
  • Romanowski v Regional Court of Lublin, Poland [2009] EWHC 2878 (Admin) Extradition to Poland - reference in EAW to fact of breach of bail - whether EAW sought extradition for offence of breach of bail
  • Sciezka (No. 2) v Sad Okregowy, Kielce, Poland [2009] EWHC 2748 (Admin) Extradition to Poland - Passage of time - trial in absence - respect for first instance findings of fact
  • Sciezka v Sad Okregowy, Kielce, Poland [2009] EWHC 2259 (Admin) Extradition to Poland - Validity of filing and serving unstamped notice of appeal
  • R (Bary and Al Fawwaz) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWHC 2068 (Admin) Extradition to the USA for alleged participation in a conspiracy to murder US citizens, US diplomats and other internationally protected persons in relation to 1998 bombings US embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam - whether conditions in "Supermax" federal prison constitute inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment - whether fair trial possible where defendant designated by US President as a global terrorist. This case is currently pending before the ECHR
  • Navadunskis v Serious Organised Crime Agency [2009] EWHC 1292 (Admin) Extradition to Lithuania - Judicial Review of SOCA's "decision" to remove extraditee after withdrawn appeal - Interaction of extradition and asylum law - remedies available where statutory appeal cannot be re-opened under CPR 52.17
  • Farnesi and Fawaz v Court of Livorno [2009] EWHC 1199 (Admin) Extradition to Italy - whether EAWs sufficiently particularised and whether extradition compatible with human rights
  • Trenk v District Court in Plzen-Mesto [2009] EWHC 1132 (Admin) Extradition to Czech Republic - appellant discharged on basis that it was unclear whether his extradition was sought as an accused person or merely for questioning
  • Moulai v Director of Public Prosecutions of Creteil France [2009] EWHC 1030 (Admin) Extradition to France - Conviction in absence - whether EAW a conviction or accusation EAW - whether EAW sufficiently particularised
  • Spanovic v Government of Croatia [2009] EWHC 723 (Admin) Extradition to Croatia for war crimes - passage of time, psychiatric condition and extraneous circumstances - Articles 5, 6 , 8 and 14 of the ECHR
  • Symeou v Public Prosecutor's Office at the Court of Appeals, Patras, Greece [2009] 1 WLR 2384 Extradition to Greece - abuse of process based on misconduct by Greek police.
  • Hutton v Government of Australia [2009] EWHC 564 (Admin) Extradition to Australia - psychiatric condition
  • Kalniets v District Court of Ogre [2009] EWHC 534 (Admin) Extradition to Latvia - admissibility of fresh evidence in statutory appeal to High Court
  • Mucelli v Government of Albania/ Moulai v Deputy Public Prosecutor in Creteil, France (House of Lords) [2009] 1 WLR 276, [2009] UKHL 2 Extradition to Albania and France - Court's jurisdiction to vary time-limits for serving notices of appeal
  • Kwietniewski v Circuit Court in Tarnobrzeg Poland [2008] EWHC 3121 (Admin) Extradition to Poland - psychiatric condition and suicide risk
  • Louca v The Office of Public Prosecutor in Bielefeld, Germany [2008] EWHC 2907 (Admin), The Times, 10 December 2008) Extradition to Germany - whether an EAW needs to refer to other EAWs issued for the same offence
  • Olah v Regional Court In Plzen Czech Republic [2008] EWHC 2701 (Admin) Extradition to the Czech Republic - District Judge refusing an adjournment - availability of judicial review in extradition proceedings
  • Bogdani v Albanian Government [2008] EWHC 2065 (Admin) Extradition to Albania - rights of re-trial where conviction in absence
  • Moulai v Director of Public Prosecutions of Creteil France [2008] 1 WLR 2460, [2008] 3 All ER 226, [2008] EWHC 1024 (Admin) Extradition to France - Court's jurisdiction to vary time-limits for serving notices of appeal
  • R (on the application of Hilali) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2008] EWHC 905 (Admin) Extradition to Spain - whether undetermined asylum claim is a bar to extradition to a third state
  • Wiercinski v The 2nd Division of the Criminal Circuit in Olsztyn, Poland [2008] EWHC 200 (Admin); Extradition to Poland - whether extradition may be ordered where aggregate sentence imposed for offences which include a non-extradition offence.

International Crime

John has worked as an international criminal lawyer for more than twenty years, practicing at the war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. He has recently been involved as counsel in five separate war crimes cases (Mehmed Alagic, Naser Oric, Momcilo Krajisnik (as part of the amicus team), Rasim Delic and Mladen Markac).

Between 1995 and 1999, he worked for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, as a law clerk and then associate legal officer to Judge Antonio Cassese, the first President of the ICTY. In 1998, John worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, in Arusha, Tanzania, as an associate legal officer, where he helped draft the first judgment on genocide.

In 2003, John was the first acting Principal Defender of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), in Freetown, Sierra Leone. In that capacity, he helped to set up the SCSL Defence Office and represented suspects and accused appearing before the SCSL - including a former Government minister, rebel (RUF) leaders and members of the AFRC junta - and assigned defence teams. He filed briefs and appeared in court on behalf of suspects, devised a legal aid system for the SCSL, and appeared on Sierra Leonean radio and television to explain the role of the Defence in international criminal trials.

Since 2001, John has been involved in international criminal defence work. He represented Naser Orić - the wartime commander of Srebrenica in Bosnia & Herzegovina - in his trial and appeal before the ICTY from 2003-2008. Orić was fully acquitted of all charges on appeal. See Trial Judgement, 30/06/06 ( partial acquittal after trial). Appeals Judgement, 03/07/08 (full acquittal on appeal)

War crimes - command responsibility in relation to events in Srebrenica in 1992-1993. Read more and more

John has appeared before the ICTY in five cases:

  • co-counsel in the case of Prosecutor of the ICTY v Mehmed Alagić, a Bosnian Army General;
  • co-counsel in the trial and appeal of Prosecutor of the ICTY v Naser Oric (IT-03-68-T & A), Bosnian commander in Srebrenica;
  • co-counsel in the appeal of Prosecutor of the ICTY v Rasim Delic, the highest-ranking officer in the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who was convicted on the basis of superior responsibility for crimes committed by mujahedin in Bosnia. Issue of whether appeal could be continued notwithstanding death of the appellant. Read more;
  • co-counsel in the amicus curiae team in the appeal of Prosecutor of the ICTY v Momcilo Krajisnik, speaker of the Bosnian Serb Parliament;
  • co-counsel in the appeal of Prosecutor of the ICTY v. Mladen Markac, convicted in relation to the events surrounding Croatia's Operation Storm.

He is also currently instructed as duty counsel in a matter before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, only one of two Counsel from the UK, and only one of eight counsel worldwide, to be so instructed.

John has published and lectured extensively in the field of war crimes law. He has advised governments and international organisations on war crimes issues.

John has also taught international criminal law at the London School of Economics.

In 2009, John submitted written evidence to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights in relation to amending the law on genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes to allow retrospective prosecutions under the ICC Act 2001 (Parliamentary Joint Committee's 24th Report of Session 2008-09 ("Closing the Impunity Gap: UK law on genocide (and related crimes) and redress for torture victims")). John also acted as principal legal consultant for the Aegis Trust, the UK's Genocide trust, which successfully campaigned for a change in the law, resulting in section 70 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, enabling genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed since 1 January 1991 anywhere in the world to be prosecuted in the UK, where the perpetrator is British or a British resident.

Other Serious Criminal Offences

John's criminal practice includes Crown Court trials for serious offences, including robbery and aggravated arson, as well as District and General Courts-Martial.

Recent cases include:

  • R v Morton (William James) [2009] EWCA Crim 704 Appeal to Court of Appeal from General Court-Martial - Court-Martial ordering Newton hearing despite signed Basis of Plea, Goodyear indications
  • Cleeland (R on the application of) v Criminal Cases Review Commission [2009] EWHC 474 (Admin) Judicial Review - alleged historical miscarriage of justice - status of lead tests for firearms discharge residue

Public Law

John's practice encompasses human rights and civil liberties generally. He has an extensive pro bono practice, working with, among others, Fair Trials Abroad and the FCO's Pro Bono Panel, on cases involving the death penalty, prisoners abroad and/or extradition. For the past 4 years he has been listed in the "Legal Experts" directory in the field of Civil Liberties.

John specialises in prisoner repatriation cases.

Recent cases include:

  • Norman Hull v R [2011] EWCA Crim 1261 Repatriation of British Prisoner from Ireland - Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons 1983 - correspondence of sentencing provisions between Ireland and the UK. Appeared as Advocate to the Court, instructed by the Attorney-General
  • Samantha O. v Governor of HMP Holloway and Secretary of State for Justice [2010] EWHC 58 (Admin)
  • Repatriation of British prisoner from Laos - Repatriation of Prisoners Act 1984 and Prisoner Transfer Agreement with Laos - whether trial in Laos was a flagrant denial of justice - whether enforcement in the UK would breach Art 5 ECHR - setting a determinate sentence for a "transferred life prisoner" under section 273(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003
  • Willcox (R on the application) v Ministry of Justice [2009] EWHC 1483 (Admin) Repatriation of British prisoner from Thailand - Repatriation of Prisoners Act 1984 and Prisoner Transfer Agreement with Thailand - whether enforcement of sentence for drugs offences violated the ECHR because of its disproportionate length and/or breach of the right to a fair trial in Thailand
  • El Farargy v El Farargy & Ors [2008] EWCA Civ 884 Matrimonial finance - Article 6 of the ECHR

Immigration Asylum and Personal

John sits, part-time, as an Immigration Judge of the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). As an advocate, he has appeared for appellants in asylum applications.


Fluent French speaker

Proficient in Bosnian/ Croatian/ Serbian.


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