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 extradition, war crimes, removing Interpol red notices and sanctions.
Among his current cases, John represents Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, before the International Criminal Court("ICC"), Mustafa Badreddine, before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Julian Assange, Ayesha Gaddafi, the former President of Liberia, Charles Taylor, and a suspect before the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (ECCC).
In extradition, John has acted in many of the leading cases, having represented, among others, Julian Assange, former Bosnian President Ejup Ganic, Phillip Harkins, Andrew Symeou, Deborah Dark,HH and Al-Fawaaz (joined with the cases of Abu Hamza and Babar Ahmed).
John has also acted in a 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.
He 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".
In the field of counter-terrorism, in particular 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 recently 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.
In judicial review, John represented the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Gibraltar in her successful application to have disciplinary proceedings against her quashed.
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 also argued cases before the European Court of Justice and, recently, the African Court on Human Rights (Konate v Burkina Faso).
From 1999 to 2001, John 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).
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:
John is a director of the Orangutan Protection Foundation (http://www.opf.org/).
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:
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
 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:
Since 1995, John has worked as an international criminal lawyer, 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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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