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Alex specialises in international human rights law, INTERPOL and extradition.

What the directories say

“a mega-brain (…) He is completely tuned in to the international law side of things.” – Chambers & Partners (2024)

“An absolute expert in issues relating to Interpol, extradition and human rights” – Chambers & Partners (2023)

“He is a fiercely clever extradition lawyer” – Legal 500 (2023)

“His advocacy and ability to persuade judges is excellent. He has a really comprehensive knowledge of complexities within the law and his understanding of red notices is among the best.” – Chambers & Partners (2023)

“Alex brings a depth of insight into extradition cases which is rarely seen. His arguments are thorough, well researched and novel – an incredibly bright advocate.” Legal 500 (2024)


Alex works on international human rights litigation against the UK and foreign states, with a particular focus on arbitrary detention and recently the law of the sea. He is an expert in INTERPOL questions. He maintains a UK extradition practice including cases dealing with novel legal points. He also acts as a consultant for United Nations agencies in the area of criminal justice and human rights.

Alex has worked in many countries in Europe and beyond, both in previous employment at Fair Trials and as a barrister and UN consultant. He speaks French, Spanish, Italian and some Russian and works regularly in international legal teams using these languages, including drafting in French.

International human rights

Alex is able to partner with clients’ local lawyers in countries worldwide to build human rights arguments for use in foreign courts and to work with them (or alone) to challenge rights abuses before the United Nations bodies and European and other regional courts.

Alex’s recent work involves a specific focus on the intersection of human rights and the law of the sea. Alex is able to assist seafarers unfairly caught up in shipping disputes with governments.

Drawing on a broad skill set, Alex is able to build support coalitions and engage action from international organisations to assist in cases lying outside the reach of complaints mechanisms.

Recent examples include:

  • Salam v Indonesia – Case of the MT Aashi, a tanker which ran aground offshore Nias Island, Indonesia causing a bitumen spill. Representing the Chief Officer, held in Indonesia for many months without charge pending receipt of clean-up and compensation guarantees from the vessel’s owner (see reporting in the Indian media here). Submissions made to the United Nations (Special Rapporteur on Toxics and Human Rights / Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants) and International Maritime Organisation (Legal Committee) alleging restriction of movement contrary to Article 12 ICCPR and breach of the IMO Fair Treatment Guidelines.

  • Kokorev v Spain (3954/2021) (UN Human Rights Committee) – Ongoing challenge a two-year period of pre-trial detention in Spain under Article 9 ICCPR. It is alleged that the decision-making was unfair due to withholding of the case-file under ‘secrecy’ rules, and that the detention was arbitrary by reason of breach of the extradition ‘specialty’ rule. The complaint also challenges the duration of proceedings, ongoing for many years, under Article 14 ICCPR. Spanish media reporting here. European Criminal Bar Association amicus intervention request here.

  • Stroykompleks v Russia (European Court of Human Rights) – Assisted Russian lawyer with arguments under Article 1, First Protocol to the ECHR (right to property) in a successful challenge to the Russian authorities’ disproportionate retention of the applicant companies’ physical assets in the context of criminal proceedings, and ineffective judicial review by the Russian courts.

  • Beuze v Belgium (European Court of Human Rights) – Instructed by Fair Trials as amicus in this case revisiting Article 6 principles on access to a lawyer. Intervention here. This followed numerous amicus submissions when employed at Fair Trials: A.T. Luxembourg (the first Article 6 judgment to draw on an EU defence rights directive) (intervention and judgment discussed on EU Law Analysis here); Candido Gonzalez Martin v Spain (pre-trial access to the case file) (intervention here); Vizgirda v Slovenia Ibrahim & Others v UK (interpretation & translation); Ibrahim & Other v UK (recasting Article 6 principles on access to a lawyer) (intervention here); and Magyar Helsinki Bizottsag v Hungary (intervention here) (public access to legal aid information under Article 10 ECHR).


Alex has worked on INTERPOL cases for over a decade. He was closely involved with key reforms of INTERPOL in the context of prior work for the non-governmental organisation Fair Trials. He has published and lectured widely in this area and is a recognised expert on the topic.

Recent examples include:

  • Crew of a Vessel v NCB of country X – Ongoing challenge before the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files in relation to a group of INTERPOL red notices raising legal questions at the intersection of human rights, the law of the sea and INTERPOL’s rules.

  • Sayed Abdellatif v NCB Egypt – Successful challenge to Egyptian red notice based on a conviction arising out of a mass trial relying on evidence obtained by torture, one of the early encouraging Article 2 (human rights) decisions rulings after reforms of the CCF. The Guardian reporting here.

  • CW v NCB Sri Lanka – Successful challenge to Sri Lankan red notice against a well-known refugee human rights lawyer and editor of a website reporting on corruption issues in Sri Lanka.


Alex maintains a domestic extradition practice and has been involved in significant cases involving the interpretation of European Union law, prison conditions and the judicial review.

Recent examples include:

  • R (Chappell & Others) v SSHD [2023] WLR(D) 25 – Led by Jonathan Hall KC in a rare judicial review of certification a Part 2 extradition request, raising question as to the status of notes verbales in the international law of diplomatic practice. Evening Standard reporting here.

  • Marinescu & Others v Romania [2022] EWHC 2317 (Admin) – Led by Ben Cooper KC in lead Romanian prison conditions case, resulting in new form of assurance which has been decisive for other cases. Crime Line reporting here.

  • Marosan v Romania [2022] 1 WLR 1759 – Junior alone in case interpreting Article 26 of the European arrest warrant Framework decision (EAW FD) with regard to deduction of ‘dual remand’. Crime Line reporting here.

  • Szatkowski v Poland [2019] 1 WLR 4528 – Junior alone in case applying EU law principle of conforming interpretation to read words into s 20 of the Extradition Act 2003.

  • Japan v Chappell & Others (ongoing) – Led by Jonathan Hall KC in one of three cases which are the subject of the first ever extradition request from Japan, under rare ad-hoc ‘special extradition arrangements’, exploring unusual police interrogation and prison regime issues. The Times reporting here

United Nations consultancy

In addition to work for individual clients, Alex is regularly engaged as an international consultant by United Nations agencies’ offices around the world to advise the UN and national bodies on rule of law, human rights, penal policy and criminal justice. He focuses particularly on giving effect to key international standards relating to fair trials, alternatives to imprisonment, and prisons (the ICCPR, Tokyo Rules, Bangkok Rules, Nelson Mandela Rules etc).

Recent examples include:

  • United Nations Development Programme, Lao PDR (2023) – Assistance to the Lao Bar Association in developing a strategic vision to strengthen the legal profession in Lao PDR.

  • United Nations Development Programme, Lao PDR (2022) – Review of Lao criminal procedure against international standards to identify reform priorities (presented in Vientiane, Lao PDR in 2023).

  • United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, Afghanistan (2021) – Development and delivery training to lawyers, prosecutors and judges on alternatives to imprisonment, prior to the Taliban takeover in summer 2021.

  • United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, HQ Vienna (2020) – Assessment of criminal justice and prison management responses to the COVID-19 pandemic to identify and exchange best practices, with a focus on Latin America and Africa (using Spanish and French).

Publications and Seminars

Alex is committed to dialogue and mutual learning on human rights issues between legal professionals, academia and civil society organisations. He publishes regularly on emerging legal issues.

Recent speaking:

  • ‘Challenging persecution of human rights defenders and intellectuals (and their lawyers)’ – Chair of expert roundtable (July 2023)

  • ‘Comparative bar association practice’, Presentation to UNDP roundtable on the legal profession (June 2023)

  • ‘INTERPOL implications of the war in Ukraine’, Kingsley Napley International Protection Summit (November 2022)

  • 'Implications of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement for the legal profession and the representation of clients, human rights implications’ (published video/slides) Academy of European Law (January 2021)

Selected publications:

  • ‘Specialty: Arresting an elusive ‘right’ in European extradition law’ New Journal of European Criminal Law Vol 12 issue 1 (special edition in memoriam of Scott Crosby) (March 2021)

  • 'Double Jeopardy: Which principles apply in EAW cases?’ Crime Line Extradition Hub (13 October 2020)

  • ‘Echoes of Kadi: Reforms to Internal Remedies at INTERPOL’, EJILTalk! (20 January 2017)

  • ‘Protecting Criminal Defence Rights through EU Law: Opportunities and Challenges’ New Journal of European Criminal Law Vol 4 issue 4 (December 2013)