Edward Fitzgerald QC has been named Human Rights and Public Law Silk of the Year (Chambers Bar Awards 2013). Previous commendations include Legal Aid Lawyer of the year 2009, winner of the Silk of the Year award 2005 and Times Justice Human Rights Award 1998. He specialises in criminal law, public law, judicial review and international human rights law. In June 2008 he was awarded the CBE for services to human rights.
Edward is ranked 1st in Extradition in Chambers and Partners 2017, as a ‘starred individual’ in the area of Crime in 2018, and has been described as “a true intellectual giant – a top-class extradition and appellate lawyer”, a “king of the field” and “a Rolls Royce in the cab-rank of barristers”.
In the last year, Edward has represented former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in the European Court, Lauri Love in his successful fight against extradition to the United States, and the mother of El Shafee El Sheikh in her attempt to get death penalty assurances from the United States for her son. He is currently representing the Chagos Islanders, is involved in a major extradition case involving Romania, and acts for the former President of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan. He also represented Earl Hodge In his successful challenge to extradition from the BVI to the US on the basis that his previous order for habeas corpus was final and that he would face racial discrimination in sentencing in the US.
Edward represented Philip Harkins in the Grand Chamber in January 2017, contending that Florida’s system of Life Without Parole violates Article 3 and that extradition to face it is therefore prohibited by the ECHR. Edward also represented Lauri Love in the High Court in November 2017 in challenging the extradition to the USA on federal charges of cyber crime and in particular hacking. Love was vulnerable and had serious mental health issues which would put him at high risk of suicide if he had been extradited.
As a criminal practitioner Edward has featured in many of the leading cases involving high profile defendants, extradition, appeals against miscarriages of justice, and international law. Amongst others, he has defended Boris Berezovsky, Akhmed Zakayev (Deputy Prime Minister of Chechnya), Michael Missick (Chief Minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands) and Derek Schofield (Chief Justice of Gibraltar).
Edward has been called to the Bar in numerous jurisdictions including Belize, Grenada and St Vincent and has been granted rights of audience to appear in cases in Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia, Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands.
Edward has extensive experience of jury trials including the defence of the Winchester Three, the Canary Wharf Bomber, Abu Hamza, Chetan Popat, Sara Thornton (in her retrial). He has been involved in a number of high profile inquests and inquiries.
He frequently appears in the Privy Council in cases involving the constitutions of the Commonwealth Caribbean, death penalty appeals, extradition, and criminal appeals and constitutional challenges, including the cases of R v Reyes, R v Hughes and R v Fox, which struck down the mandatory death penalty in the Eastern Caribbean and Belize.
In the field of public law he has argued many of the leading cases on inquest law, prisoners' rights, mental health law and refugee law. He has appeared before the European Court, House of Lords and Supreme Court in some of the leading prisoner’s rights cases including in the cases of R (on the application of Noye) v Secretary of State for Justice , Nancy Kissel v Secretary of State for Justice  and Venables and Thompson v UK .
Edward’s clients have included Gary McKinnon in his fight against extradition, the Gurkhas in their fight for residence, the Hillsborough victims' families, the family of Derek Bentley in his successful posthumous appeal, and the family of Private Farr in his battle for a posthumous pardon. He represented Janan Harb (former wife of the King of Saudi Arabia), in her claim against the Saudi Royal Family, and has successfully defeated the claim of sovereign immunity in the High Court.
Edward has a wide ranging practice in international law. He has won many leading cases in the European Court against the United Kingdom, Greece and Spain, including, Abu Qatada v UK, Venables v UK, Steele and Others v UK, Stafford v UK, Scott v Spain and Portington v Greece.
His practice extends to Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. He successfully led the campaign to save the life of Yong Vi Kong, who had been sentenced to death in Singapore. He conducted the defence of Michael Wong in Hong Kong at first instance and successfully represented him and Shum Chiu in their successive appeals against their convictions in the Hong Kong Court of Appeal. He successfully represented Lai Kan Lai in her appeal to the Hong Kong Court of Appeal. He won the appeal of Sam Tak Leein the Final Court of Appeal on a point of law concerning legal professional privilege. Finally, he represented Nancy Kissel in her review against the Long Term Prison Sentences Review Board in Hong Kong.
Edward is currently working on a case in the Caymans in which the US are seeking the extradition of a defendant on the basis that goods he sold were alleged to be counterfeit.
In Youssef & N2 v SSHD, Edward and Alasdair Mackenzie represented Mr Youssef, an Egyptian former lawyer at risk of torture there on account of his political views. The Upper Tribunal had found that he was excluded from protection under Article 1F(c) of the Refugee Convention, because of his sermons and other published materials which were said to have praised Al Qaeda and its leaders and to have encouraged others to emulate them. In this case, the court held that the Tribunal had not properly addressed itself to the gravity or seriousness of Mr Youssef's individual conduct, including questions such as the reach and the audience of his published material. It therefore allowed the appeal, remitting it to the Tribunal to be reconsidered.
Edward has appeared for the Fortis Energy Inc. at the Caribbean Court of Justice and has appeared for Michael Ashcroft in the Belize Court of Appeal and the Caribbean Court of Justice. He represented Steve Ferguson in the Trinidadian Court of Appeal in a case vindicating the appellant’s right to be tried in Trinidad rather than extradited to the US and appeared for the Grenada 17 in the case of R v Coard and Others, both in the Privy Council and on their re-sentencing in Grenada. Edward will be representing Ewart Layne in the Privy Council in October 2018. He also argued the case of R v Bowe and Davis in the Bahamian Court of Appeal and the Privy Council, which led to the end of the mandatory death penalty in the Bahamas.
In July 2016, in the case of Marku v Nafplion; Murphy v Public Prosecutor’s Office, Edward won the appeal of two defendants against the extradition to Greece on the grounds that prison conditions were inhuman. This has effectively put extradition to Greece on hold.
In July 2016, Edward represented Shavargo McPhee in the Privy Council in a successful appeal against conviction on the grounds that he was subjected to prolonged periods of questioning without any legal advice or presence of a suitable adult and unexplained extended periods of time outside of his cell, rendering the confession unreliable.
In December 2015, Edward successfully defeated the Rwandan government’s request for extradition against the alleged genocidaire, Celestin Ugirashebuja on Article 6 grounds. The appeal by the government to the High Court was heard in December 2016.
In January 2018, Edward appeared in a ‘revenge porn’ case in Belfast in which naked photos of a minor were being shared on Facebook. The case settled on confidential terms with an order that Facebook pay the plaintiff’s costs.
In early 2018, Edward represented Peter Morgan in the Court of Appeal on the appeal of his life sentence for murder on the basis that the court adopted the incorrect starting point in determining the minimum term of his sentence.
Edward represented two appellants in the case of Maharaj (and others) v The State, where a case was referred back to the Trinidad Court of Appeal after fresh evidence came to light to the effect that the key prosecution witness had made a statutory declaration saying that he had lied in court.
Edward has given many lectures and seminars throughout the world, including Hungary, Poland, Russia, France, Hong Kong, Barbados and Belize. He is the author with Keir Starmer QC of “A Guide To Sentencing In Capital Cases”. He is also author of the chapter on sentencing in “Taylor on Appeals”. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Law in 2013.
Edward’s Practice Manager, Andrea Fraser, can be contacted on 020 7404 1313 or via e-mail: email@example.com.
Edward Fitzgerald QC has a specialist practice in criminal appeals. He has appeared in a number of high profile jury trials, including R v Sara Thornton, R v Popat, R v Abu Hamza and the “milkshake murder” case of HKSAR v Nancy Kissel in Hong Kong; and in a number of cases involving guilty pleas and mitigation such as R v Venables.
He has been involved in numerous important and difficult cases involving miscarriages of justice, issues of provocation and diminished responsibility (such as R v Sara Thornton), and difficult or complex points of law in the Court of Appeal, the House of Lords and the Supreme Court.
- Maharaj (and others) v The State 
- Lester Pitman & Neil Hernandez v The State  UKPC 6
- Shavargo McPhee (Appellant) v The Queen (Respondent) (Bahamas)  UKPC 29
- R v Erskine  1 WLR 183
- R v Coutts  1WLR 3154
- The Michael Stone appeal  EWCA Crim 105
- The Bridgewater Three appeal
- The Derek Bentley appeal  1 Cr.App.R. 21
- R v Cullen and Shanahan (The Winchester Three appeal)  92 Cr.App. R. 239
- R v Sara Thornton  96 Cr.App. R. 112
Privy Council Appeals
Edward has a special expertise in Privy Council appeals and has argued many of the leading appeals from Commonwealth Caribbean including a series of breakthrough cases involving the death penalty.
His criminal appeal cases before the Privy Council include:
- Stubbs 
- Lendore  UKPC 25
- Shavargo McPhee (Appellant) v The Queen (Respondent) (Bahamas)  UKPC 29
- Lester Pitman & Neil Hernandez v The State  UKPC 29
- Ramdeen v The State  3 WLR 1523
- Hamilton and Lewis v The Queen  UKPC 31
- R v Trimmingham  UKPC 25
- R v Pippesbourgh and Robateau  UKPC 11
- R v Trimmingham 
- Matthew  1 AC 433
- Stubbs  UKPC 2522
- R v Benedetto and Labrador  1 WLR 1545
- R v Matthew  1 AC 433
- Reyes v The Queen  2 AC 235
- R v Greene Browne  1 AC 45
- State v Sankar  1 WLR 194
Edward Fitzgerald has a special expertise in sentencing appeals and has conducted many of the leading sentencing appeals before the English Court of Appeal. These cases include some of the leading cases on discretionary life sentences, sentences of imprisonment for public protection and guideline cases involving minimum periods for mandatory lifers, drug importation and sexual offences.
Edward was involved in the case of R v Pedley and Martin, which was important in determining the level of risk required to justify a sentence of imprisonment for public protection.
Some of the important sentencing cases he has argued are:
- R v Coonan  EWCA Crim 5
- R v Erskine  1 WLR 183
- R v Orobator  EWHC 58 (Admin)
- R v Pedley and Martin  1WLR 2517. On the level of risk required to justify a sentence of imprisonment for public protection.
- R v Pyrah and Lichniak  1 AC 903
- R v Offen  1 WLR 253
- R v Mitchell  1 Cr.App.R. (S) 90.
- R v Richardson  15 Cr.App. R. (S) 876.
Edward Fitzgerald has extensive experience in sentencing at first instance. He has presented the mitigation in a number difficult and sensitive cases. These include:
- R v Venables  EWCA Crim 1653
- R v Reyes  2 AC 235
Edward Fitzgerald has been a leading extradition practitioner for the last twenty years. He is ranked 1st in Extradition in Chambers and Partners and has been described as “a true intellectual giant – a top-class extradition and appellate lawyer”.
He has represented many high profile defendants in successful extradition battles. These include Mr Akmed Zakayev in his contest of extradition to Russia; Boris Berezovsky; Stanley Tollman; Lotfi Raissi; Roisin McAliskey; Ejup Ganic and Gary McKinnon. He has won numerous extradition cases against the United States, in the UK (such as Lauri Love), Trinidad and the British Virgin Islands (such as Hodge and Harrigan). Edward is currently involved in a key Romanian extradition case.
In June 2018, Edward was involved in the case of Hodge and Harrigan, where he represented two appellants in a major drugs extradition case in the British Virgin Islands. The judge held that it would be unjust and oppressive to extradite the appellants to the United States because, inter alia, they could more appropriately be tried in the BVI; if extradited they were likely to receive long, disproportionate sentences; they were likely to suffer prejudice from the United States system of pleas at the sentencing stage by reason of their race; and their trial had been unnecessarily delayed by three extradition attempts.
He has also successfully acted for numerous Russian defendants, and particularly a number of defendants involved in the Yukos cases. Moreover, he has been at the forefront of the development of human rights challenges to extradition including a number of recent Supreme Court cases involving Article 6 (1); Article 5 (4) in Pomiechowski and Lukaszewski v Poland; and in the case of F-K v Poland establishing new protections under Article 8 for mothers and children facing separation as a result of extradition.
Some of his leading cases in the field of extradition include:
Lauri Love  Llyod’s Rep. F.C. 597. In October 2017, Edward represented Lauri Love in an extradition appeal. Mr Love faced extradition to the USA on cyber crime charges and would most likely have served a very long sentence in the Metropolitan Detention Centre or Metropolitan Correctional Centre. In 2016, the District Judge had ruled that Mr Love was at a real risk of suicide, both in pre-trial detention and in detention in the MDC or MCC. Mr Love suffered from Asperger’s syndrome, insomnia, clinical depression and extreme eczema. It was held that the extradition of Mr Love would not be in the interests of justice given that he could be tried in England and that there was a high risk that his mental and physical health would seriously deteriorate in custody in the United States.
Marku v Nafplion Court of Appeal Greece and Murphy v Public Prosecutor’s Office to the Athens Court  EWHC 1801 (Admin). Edward represented two appellants in an important extradition case against the Greek government. The court held that the extradition could not take place because of the dangerous conditions in Korydallos Men’s Prison and Nafplio Prison. This is an important decision because it is based on the risk of inter-prisoner violence and in that respect brings a new dimension to the directive of Article 3. This halted all extraditions to Greece.
Harkins v UK, Application no. 71537/14. Edward represented Philip Harkins in the Grand Chamber in January 2017 in challenging the decision ordering the Claimant’s extradition to USA where on conviction he would serve a sentence of life without parole (‘LWOP’). The Claimant contended that Florida’s system of LWOP violates Article 3 and that extradition to face it was therefore prohibited by the ECHR.
Gary McKinnon. Edward Fitzgerald represented Gary McKinnon over many years in his judicial review proceedings and drafted the representations to the Secretary of State which resulted in her withdrawing the order for extradition.
Poland v F-K  1 A.C. 338. This was a successful challenge to the decision to extradite Mrs F-K. It was a historic win and is one of the very few cases in which extradition has been halted on Article 8 grounds.
Poland v Lukaszewski and Pomiechowski  1 W.L.R. 1604. This was a Supreme Court case dealing with Article 8 issues. Edward successfully represented the Appellants in a decision which established the new approach to time limits for appeal in extradition cases. It was held that the appellants had complied with the time limits by faxing the front sheet of their application to the CPS.
USA v Ferguson CV2010- 04144. This was a successful challenge to the decision to extradite Mr Ferguson to face trial on charges of conspiracy to defraud. The judge accepted Mr Fitzgerald's arguments that the Forum Conveniens for the trial of Mr Ferguson was Trinidad, not the US.
Fuller v A-G of Belize  UKPC 23. One of the last appeals to the Privy Council from Belize, this case vindicated the right of persons sought for extradition to argue abuse of process in the courts.
Serbia v Ganic, DJ Workman, 27th July 2010. This was an extradition case of a former member of the Bosnian presidency, who successfully contested their extradition to Serbia.
Rwanda v Ugirashebuja and Ors  EWHC 770 (Admin). The successful appeal of Mr Ugirashebuja who was wanted in Rwanda for genocide. In 2017, Edward represented Celestin Ugirashebuja in revisiting the Rwandan government’s appeal to the High Court to secure extradition of the men. The case had centred around the political regime in Rwanda, the provisions of Rwanda's Transfer Law, and the ability of the Rwandan criminal justice system to provide fair trial rights in genocide cases. The government’s appeal was quashed.
United States of America v Stanley Tollman  EWHC 184 (Admin). This was a successful ruling against the extradition of Stanley Tollman on grounds of oppression before the District Judge following the remittal of the case from the High Court.
Federal Republic of Germany v Roisin McAliskey Recorder of Belfast, 27th November 2007. The successful appeal against extradition to Germany on terrorist charges of Roisin McAliskey, the daughter of Bernadette McAliskey.
R (On behalf of Lotfi Raissi) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 72. This was a successful challenge to the Secretary of State's decision to refuse compensation to Lotfi Raissi, the Algerian pilot wrongly accused of participation in 9/11 plot and sought by the United States of America for extradition.
Russian Federation v Chernysheva and Maruev, DJ Workman, 18th March 2005; Russian Federation v Temerko, DJ Workman, 23rd December 2005. In this series of cases, Edward successfully represented a number of defendants sought by the Russian Federation for their alleged involvement in the crimes of the Yukos company.
Russian Federation v Izmaylov, DJ Workman, 22nd December 2008. Edward also successfully represented Mr Izmaylov in his fight against extradition to Russia.
Edward Fitzgerald QC was named Human Rights and Public Law Silk of the year 2013. He has life long experience in a wide-ranging number of Public Law fields. He has particular expertise in areas of Public Law relating to the criminal justice system and prisoners’ rights; asylum and deportation; mental health; coroners’ law; and the review of the decisions of the disciplinary bodies - including the GMC and public service bodies in Commonwealth jurisdictions.
Some of Edward’s recent notable cases in public law include:
Edward recently represented the mother of El Shafee El Sheikh in an attempt to get death penalty assurances from the United States. Judgement is awaited.
R (on the application of Bancoult (No 2)) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Edward represented Louis O’ Bancoult in his fight to reopen his case against his removal from the Chagos Islands. In June 2016 the Supreme Court found (by a majority of 3 to 2) that the ruling by the House of Lords that upheld a UK Government ban on the islanders returning to their homeland should not be re-opened, despite a failure by the Government to disclose relevant material during the course of the original case. However, the Supreme Court sent a signal to the Government that, in light of current knowledge that the islands could be resettled, the ban needed to be reconsidered. An application for judicial review has been issued and Edward will be representing Bancoult in late 2018.
R (Gary Vinter and An Xiang Du) v Secretary of State for Justice. This case involved Applicants who were serving whole life sentences or very lengthy sentences for murder that would almost inevitably mean that such prisoners would die in prison before having any opportunity for their sentence to be reviewed.
Al-Sirri v SSHD  3 WLR 1263. In this case the Supreme Court ruled that individuals accused of involvement in acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the UN were disqualified from refugee status only if it could be shown that there were serious reasons for considering that actions for which they were responsible had a serious effect on international peace and security.
Othman v SSHD  EWCA Civ 277. The successful challenge of Mr Othman to the decision of the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to order his deportation to Jordan. SIAC announced its decision on 12th November 2012. The decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal.
R (on the application of Gujra) v CPS  3 WLR 1227. This case involved a challenge to the policy of the DPP to take over and discontinue any private prosecution where he would not himself have initiated a prosecution. The Supreme Court ruled against the Appellant by three votes to two and upheld the DPP’s policy.
Ashcroft and Others v Attorney General of Belize  CCJ 2 (AJ). This case involved a successful challenge to the constitutionality of legislation passed by the Belize government that targeted Mr Ashcroft and his companies and sought to mandate disproportionate penalties if they sought international arbitration in breach of anti arbitration injunctions imposed by Belize courts. The Court of Appeal ruled that the legislation was unconstitutional and violated the principle of separation of powers.
Nancy Kissel v Secretary of Justice, HKSAR . Edward represented the ‘milkshake murderess’ in her judicial review against the Long-Term Prison Sentences Review Board in Hong Kong. The Applicant sought to establish that the right of life sentence prisoners to be informed of a finite ‘tariff’ period. At present there is Appellate authority in Hong Kong against that proposition.
R (Noye) v The Secretary of State for Justice  EWHC 267 (Admin). This was a successful judicial review challenge to the Home Secretary’s refusal to move Kenneth Noye to an open prison despite a positive recommendation by the parole board.
Edward Fitzgerald has an extensive International Law practice, involving public international law and international human rights law. He has represented the Belize government in its case against Guatemala; and advised governments of Kazakhstan, Ecuador and Qatar on matters of international law and human rights law. He has challenged governmental decisions in numerous cases before the European Court of Human Rights, the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and the African Commission of Human Rights. He has also appeared for individuals challenging conduct of states in the European Court of Human Rights, the Privy Council and the domestic courts of the Eastern Caribbean, Belize, Bahamas and Trinidad.
Edward is currently acting for the former President of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan.
He has also represented the applicants Mitchell and Jones in the case of Jones and Others v Saudi Arabia in the House of Lords and conducted their appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
Edward's cases have included:
- Day and Bush v Governor of the Cayman Islands – Gay marriage case. Ongoing.
- Ewart Layne v Attorney General of Grenada – Judgement awaited.
- Stephen Stubbs v The Queen – Ongoing.
- Lendore  UKPC 25
- Harkins v UK, Application no. 71537/14
- Marku v Nafplion Court of Appeal Greece and Murphy v Public Prosecutor’s Office to the Athens Court  EWHC 1801 (Admin)
- Steve Ferguson v The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago  UKPC 2
- R (on the application of Bancoult (No 2)) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs  UKSC 35
- Government of Rwanda v Celestin Ugirashebuja & others
- Abu Qatada v UK  55 EHRR 1
- Venables and Thompson v UK  EHRR 12
- Stafford v UK  35 EHRR 32
- Johnson v UK  27 EHRR 296
- Singh & Hussain v UK  22 EHRR 1
- Scott v Spain  24 EHRR 391
- Portington v Greece App. No. 28523/95
- Steel and Others v UK  28 EHRR 603
- Mangouras v Spain  54 EHRR 25
- A-G of Belize v Zuniga and Others – Civil appeal Nos 7, 9 and 10 of 2011 in Belize Court of Appeal
- Young Vui Kong v DPP
Edward Fitzgerald has thirty years of experience in the field of prisoners’ rights. Since the 1980s he has argued many of the landmark cases in the House of Lords and the Court of Appeal which established prisoners’ rights of access to the courts; access to lawyers and access to journalists. He also argued the leading cases that established the right to judicial review of disciplinary adjudications, including the case of ex parte Leach. Finally, he has taken many of the leading cases that established the rights of prisoners to parole review, and to fairness at parole reviews.
Edward's cases have included:
- R. (on the application of Noye) v Secretary of State for Justice  EWHC 267 (Admin) – this was a successful challenge to a refusal to move to an open prison.
- Nancy Kissel v Secretary of Justice, HKSAR 
- R. (on the application of Harkins) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 3609 (Admin) – this was a challenge to extradition to face life without parole.
- ex parte Smith  1 AC 159
- Benjamin and Wilson v UK  36 EHRR 1
- SSHD ex p Anderson  AC 837
- Stafford v UK  35 EHRR 32
- ex parte Hindley  1 AC 410
- Venables and Thompson v UK  EHRR 121
- Johnson v UK  27 EHRR 296
- ex parte Pierson  AC 539
- ex parte Venables and Thompson  AC
- Singh & Hussain v UK  22 EHRR 1
- ex parte Leech  QB 201
- ex parte Wilson  QB 740
- Thynne, Gunnel and Wilson v UK  13 EHRR 666
- ex parte Findlay  AC 318
Edward Fitzgerald QC has wide experience in representing professionals in disciplinary proceedings. He has frequently represented doctors before the GMC, pharmacists before the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and lawyers before the Bar Disciplinary Committee and the Legal Executive Appeals Tribunal.
He has appeared for judges and public servants in constitutional proceedings in the Caribbean and Gibraltar, including the Chief Justice of Gibraltar, the Director of Audit in Grenada and he has taken a number of challenges to dismissal of public servants in constitutional appeals from Trinidad in the Privy Council.
In the field of sports he has successfully represented the Olympic Athlete Arthur Lanegan O’Keefe and the Irish Pentathlon Association before the Court of Arbitration for sport to vindicate his selection for the 2012 Olympic Games; and has represented Willy Mullens before the Appeals Board of the Jockey Club in England.
In 2018, Edward successfully represented Timothy Brenan before the British Horseracing Authority. Brennan, a self-employed vet, was alleged to have passed insider information about a horse he had been working with to his brother. The decision was important in establishing the limits of the British Horseracing Authority.
His cases include:
- Colman v GMC  EWHC 1608 (QB)
- GMC v Quinn ; NT v GMC 
- Lawrence v AG for Grenada  UKPC 18
- Jhagroo v Teaching Service Commission Privy Council (Trinidad and Tobago) 4/12/2002
- The case of Chief Justice Schofield from Gibraltar in 2008
- Mullens v Appeals Board of Jockey Club
- Henry Gow before the Bar Disciplinary Tribunal in July 2013