Pippa Woodrow

p.woodrow@doughtystreet.co.uk

Year of Call

2014
Pippa Woodrow
Profile

Pippa practises in the areas of criminal justice, immigration and human rights. She maintains a particular interest in defending the rights of vulnerable, marginalised or disadvantaged individuals.

 

Alongside her core practice defending serious allegations in the criminal courts, Pippa has a keen interest in related areas, including international criminal law and death penalty cases, actions against the police, extradition, prison law and crime-related public law, She practises in all areas of immigration and asylum law and also acts for professionals before their regulatory bodies. 

 

Recent instructions range from defending serious terrorism charges and large-scale conspiracy to defraud, representing appellants challenging convictions for murder, acting for children accused of serious sexual offences and child trafficking victims seeking asylum, and assisting appellants in capital cases before the Ugandan Supreme Court. 

 

Pippa never gives up on a case and is fast developing a reputation for first-rate client care, clinical preparation, and fearless advocacy.

 

Background

Before coming to the Bar, Pippa worked for the Centre for Capital Punishment Studies in Uganda where she acted for individuals facing the death penalty, and advised the judiciary, domestic legal professionals and international bodies on international obligations, human rights, and criminal justice reform.

 

Pippa has also worked for a broad array of domestic and international organisations including the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia; the UN SRCT Drones Inquiry; Barnet Law Centre’s immigration department; Reprieve; the London Innocence Project, and the National Centre for Domestic violence.

 

Pippa has experience teaching at primary, secondary and undergraduate levels and has delivered training to students, practitioners and the judiciary both in the UK and internationally.

 

Outside of the law, Pippa has played hockey at international level and was an opera singer, performing on stages including the Royal Opera Houses in London and Vienna. She continues to sing to support organisations promoting civil liberties including Advocates for Human Dignity - a small Human Rights NGO that Pippa founded with fellow students whilst completing her law degree.

 

Crime

Pippa is a fearless defender, often achieving successful outcomes against the odds. She regularly represents defendants and appellants in domestic proceedings at all levels and is consistently instructed to defend in serious and complex cases covering a wide range of offending including violence, human trafficking, fraud, sexual offences and drugs. Pippa has further assisted Andrew Hall QC in terrorism and murder cases.

Pippa continues to assist a number of prisoners in Uganda (see international law below) and undertakes cases on a pro bono basis for the London Innocence project, examining potential miscarriages of justice. 

Given her experience of immigration law (including cases involving national security) Pippa is well placed to deal with cases involving breaches of immigration laws, human trafficking, deportation on sentencing, and terrorism offences.

Alongside her casework. Pippa has also delivered training to students, practitioners and judges in criminal advocacy and mitigation.

Examples of recent instructions include: 

  • R v Hussain (Central Criminal Court) Defence of a young man charged with encouraging terrorism and disseminating terrorist publications.

  • R v Bashrit (Birmingham Crown Court) On-going defence of a young woman charged with conspiracy to defraud. 

  • R v Smithers (Snaresbrook Crown Court). Successfully defended in the first ever trial concerning the new domestic offence of coercion and control. The case raised complex issues concerning the relationship between an offence seeking to criminalise psychological manipulation and allegations of physical violence;

  • R v Cristea & 10 ors (Southwark Crown Court, led by James Martin). Romanian national charged with large-scale conspiracies in human trafficking, controlling prostitution and money laundering. The prosecution case collapsed following argument regarding disclosure, anonymous hearsay and evidence of police manufacturing evidence;

  • R v Khan (Kingston Crown Court) Assisted Andrew Hall QC in preparation of legal submissions concerning what acts should constitute ‘acts in preparation’ for terrorism under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006;

  • R v Hussein (Snaresbrook Crown Court). S.20 GBH. The Judge commented that whilst he had previously considered the crown’s case very strong, the “well measured” cross-examination of the complainant had “turned the case around completely”. He was persuaded to leave the case to the jury on the basis of excessive self-defence and the Defendant was acquitted.

  • R v Elderfield (Oxford Crown Court) Assisted Andrew Hall QC defending a vulnerable woman with mental disorders and a history of abuse charged with the murder of her violent partner.

Pippa is passionate about protecting the rights of vulnerable individuals, including young people. Alongside her legal knowledge, she uses her extensive experience working with young people in schools, sports clubs and children’s homes to make sure young defendants feel included and are given agency in what can otherwise be an overwhelming and confusing process.

Recent examples of youth cases include: 

  • CPS v C (St Albans Youth Court). Trial of a 15 year old charged with sexual assaults of multiple children over a 2-year period. He was acquitted on all charges;
  • CPS v A & another (Uxbridge Youth Court). Trial of a 17 year-old charged as the principal in a Section 18 stabbing. A successful Section 78 application was made to exclude the complainant’s hearsay evidence, leading the crown to offer no evidence against either Defendant; 
  • CPS v K & 6 others (Stratford Youth Court) 15 year old charged with joint enterprise ABH. KLA was acquitted following submissions that no joint enterprise could be proven;
  • CPS v Y & another (Bromley Youth Court). Represented the second Defendant in a joint enterprise robbery of another youth using a knife. He was acquitted on the basis of inadequate identification. The first defendant was convicted;
  • CPS v W (Skegness Youth Court). Secured an absolute discharge for a youth following a guilty plea to s.20 GBH.

Extradition

Pippa is regularly instructed to defend in Part I cases including requests from Greece, Romania, Italy and Poland.

She has secured discharges both on technical grounds relating to the validity of the EAW as well as on human rights grounds. She frequently argues cases involving the rights of children under article 8, as well as cases involving potentially inhumane and degrading prison conditions (both on the basis of generally prevailing conditions, and on the basis of a requested person’s particular vulnerabilities).

Pippa has acted in numerous cases involving expert evidence and has experience representing vulnerable requested persons with mental health issues.  

International Criminal Law and Death Penalty

Pippa has considerable experience in capital cases having run the Uganda Capital Mitigation Project for the Centre for Capital Punishment Studies. Prior to that she also volunteered for Reprieve’s death penalty team. Whilst working in Uganda, Pippa acted for over 400 ‘condemned’ men and women, of whom 225 have been released from death row so far. In addition to assisting in capital appeals before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, Pippa acted for those whose death sentences had been vacated as unconstitutional following the 2009 Supreme Court 2009 ruling in Kigula & 417 others but who had subsequently remained on death row indefinitely without lawful sentence or further access to the courts.

Ugandan cases of particular note include: 

  • Ibrahaim v Uganda - Successful application to the Supreme Court to overturn its previous judgment confirming the death sentence on the basis that the court had lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. The case set a new East African precedent.
  • Uganda v Kigolo - Secured re-sentencing before the High Court for a youth who had been sentenced to death as an adult. He was released from death row following representations in mitigation and has now been freed from custody. 

Pippa has advised the judiciary and international bodies including UNDP, International Committee of the Red Cross and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on international practice and procedure in capital cases as well as human rights and proposed areas of reform including introducing mental health and pre-sentence reports into the mitigation process.

Pippa’s experience in cases before international criminal tribunals involving accusations of war crimes and crimes against humanity includes: 

  • Case 004 – Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia working as part of the team defending an individual in Case-004, led by Goran Sluiter and Richard Rogers;
  • Assisting Richard Rogers in preparation of a supplementary communication to the Prosecutor of the ICC under Article 15 of the Rome Statute inviting her to initiate investigations into widespread and systematic land grabbing by the Cambodian elite since 2002 as a crime against humanity. 

As a volunteer analyst working for the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Counter Terrorism and Human Rights (Ben Emmerson QC) inquiry into the use and legality of lethal Drone strikes in global counter-terrorism operations, Pippa was responsible for collecting and analysing evidence in relation to drone strikes causing civilian casualties in Pakistan.

Pippa has also lectured in international human rights law and international criminal law at Panastra University, Pnom Penh and Makarere University, Kampala. 

Immigration, Asylum and Statelessness

Prior to coming to the Bar, Pippa volunteered, and later worked as a part-time caseworker at Barnet Law Service in the immigration and social services department before completing her first six months of pupillage in immigration law under the supervision of Alex Burrett.

Pippa has experience dealing with appeals at all levels and judicial review matters. She has undertaken cases involving human rights, asylum, domestic violence, family re-union, nexus deportation, unlawful detention, nationality, EU treaty rights, trafficking and statelessness.

Given her experience in criminal law, Pippa is well placed to act in cases where issues of criminal conduct are raised.

Pippa undertakes pro-bono cases for Bail for Immigration Detainees and the Bar Pro Bono Unit.

Recent cases include: 

  • GA & 4 others (DRC nationals) v SSHD - Successfully represented 3 children and 2 adults who had been waiting for 3 years for family reunion with their grandfather, a political refugee.
  • N v SSHD (Vietnamese national) - On-going representation of a 17 year old trafficking victim seeking asylum whose age is disputed;
  • E v SSHD (French national) - Secured bail for an individual whose claimed nationality could not be verified and who had convictions for possessing class A drugs with intent to supply. He had been in administrative detention for almost 3 years and his previous 6 bail applications had been denied;
  • M (Ethopian national) - On-going representation of a woman granted limited leave under the family reunion provisions whose marriage has collapsed as a result of domestic violence;
  • D v SSHD (Turkish national) - Assisted Alex Burrett in successfully resisting the attempted deportation of a Turkish ‘foreign criminal’ who had previously been found not guilty of a number of serious violent offences by reason of insanity and treated in a psychiatric hospital.
  • A v SSHD (Stateless) – Judicial review of refusal of a statelessness application, including a challenge to standard of proof in statelessness cases.

During pupillage Pippa assisted in the case of Pham v SSHD [2015] UKSC 19 before the Supreme Court, concerning deprivation of the appellant’s British citizenship on national security grounds, statelessness and EU citizenship. The Appellant has now been extradited to the USA on terrorism charges. SIAC proceedings remain on-going. 

Actions Against the Police

Pippa has a growing practice advising and representing claimants who wish to bring civil actions against the police.

She has been instructed in cases involving unlawful violence, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution, as well as those challenging investigative failures under the Human Rights Act. Her experience representing vulnerable defendants in the criminal courts also makes her well placed to advise in relation to claims of ill-treatment of vulnerable or child detainees in police custody. 

Regulatory Law

Pippa undertakes advisory work and representation for practitioners brought before their professional disciplinary tribunals, including the NMC and HCPC. She currently acts for a mental health nurse before the fitness to practice committee of the NMC charged with administration of un-prescribed medication and failure to properly assess a patient who was later hospitalised with broken ribs and a punctured lung. After a contested week-long fact-finding hearing, the NMC found no impairment. 

Publications

  • “Statelessness, deprivation of nationality and EU citizenship […]” Free Movement, 26 Nov 2014
  • “Access to Justice Denied: Paper Concerning Delays and Blockages in the Ugandan Criminal Justice System”, The Centre for Capital Punishment Studies, May 2014. 

 

Memberships

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Human Rights Lawyers Association
  • Immigration Law Practitioners Association
  • Young Legal Aid Lawyers 

 

Education

  • BPTC, City University, Outstanding
  • Graduate Entry LLB, City Law School, 1st Class (top in year)
  • BA Hons, History, Cambridge

 

Scholarships and Awards

  • Honourable Society of the Inner Temple Internship Award, 2013
  • Kalisher Trust CCPS Scholarship, 2013
  • Struben Bequest Prize and Exhibition, Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, 2012
  • Everard Ver Heyden Foundation Prize for outstanding result on BPTC (6th in year), City Law School 2012
  • British Academy of Forensic Sciences Prize for top BPTC mark in advanced criminal litigation, 2012
  • Martin Dockray Memorial Fund Prize and BPTC Scholarship for best GELLB finals results, City Law School, 2012
  • GELLB Scholarship for best year 1 results, City Law School, 2011
  • CPE Exhibition, Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, 2010

Publications

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