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“Jessie has excellent client care skills and, importantly from a solicitor point of view, is thorough and responsive in communicating with the instructing solicitor.”

Career Summary

Jessie specialises in domestic and international criminal law, extradition, inquests, and crime-related public law. She also undertakes cases on appeal, including to the Privy Council. Jessie has a decade of experience working with vulnerable people from diverse cultural backgrounds and understands the acute work pressures on her instructing solicitors.

Before being Called to the Bar in the UK, Jessie was a solicitor advocate in Australia with a national security focus. She maintained joint conduct of Australia’s largest terrorism law practice for seven years. In this context, she prepared numerous terrorism and foreign incursion trials and was briefed to argue for the de-proscription of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as a terrorist organisation before the federal Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. She also had conduct of a broad range of general criminal matters, including murder, serious violence, protest, firearms offences, drug offences, and fraud. 

Jessie recently led a team at the Cambridge Pro Bono Project to draft writs of habeas corpus to release women and children from detention camps in Syria. These writs have now been filed in Canada, the UK, and Australia. She continues her involvement with the Australian legal team, instructed by Save the Children. 

Alongside legal practice, Jessie teaches the national security component of advanced criminal law at the University of Oxford with Andrew Hall KC. She has previously taught criminal law on the LLM programme at the University of Cambridge and was a Managing Editor of the Cambridge International Law Journal

What people are saying about Jessie

“She has made wholesale improvements to cases we have instructed her on. She single-handedly transformed one of my cases from a moribund state inching its way to an inevitable conviction to a position where the Crown Prosecution Service has just conceded defeat and issued a notice of discontinuance.”

“She is friendly, diligent, and easy to work with.” 

“As a practitioner in Melbourne, Victoria, Jessie was held in the highest regard. Ever since she left the jurisdiction some four years ago, her reputation as an exceptional lawyer and leader in terrorism legal practice lingers.”

Criminal law
  • R v T:  Currently instructed as trial counsel, led by Ben Newton KC, for a man charged with murder.

  • Met Police v G: counsel in an application to vary pre-charge police bail. G was prohibited from attending protests connected with Palestine and Israel in Westminster for 3 months. He had previously held up banners condemning Hamas. Condition removed following article 10 argument. As reported in The Telegraph.

  • R v L: Currently instructed as defence counsel (unled) in a trial for breach of a Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Notice (TPIM). 

  • R v P: Instructed as counsel, led by Sarah Vine KC, to prepare the sentencing submissions for a man convicted of encouraging the commission of acts of terrorism, contrary to s1 of the Terrorism Act 2006. The case concerned the assessment of terrorist risk by the Probation service. 

  • R v C: Trial counsel (unled) for a protestor charged terrorism uniform offences, contrary to s13 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Concerned the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). 

  • R v D: Trial counsel, led by Icah Peart KC, for a woman charged with perverting the course of justice following a murder in Kent. Secured unanimous acquittal in under 30 minutes. 

  • R v H: Trial counsel (unled) in a matter concerning GBH and sexual assault in relation to three complainants. Secured unanimous acquittal in 35 minutes. 

  • R v S: Trial counsel (unled) in a matter concerning sexual assault and malicious communications. The case was tried at the Old Bailey. Secured unanimous acquittal. 

  • R v J: Assisted Andrew Hall KC in the defence of a British volunteer who joined the Kurdish People’s Defence Units (YPG) in Syria. The trial involved allegations of attending a place of terrorist training and preparing terrorist acts, contrary to s5 and s8 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

  • R v B: Assisted Andrew Hall KC in the defence of a British volunteer who joined the Kurdish People’s Defence Units (YPG) in Syria. Case discontinued pre-trial by the Crown Prosecution Service. 

Terrorism Law – Australia
  • R v Witness K: Assisted counsel for a senior intelligence whistleblower who disclosed the bugging of East Timorese cabinet offices by Australia during treaty negotiations (academic consultant).  

  • Minister for Home Affairs v B: Assisted Ron Merkel KC in a constitutional challenge to the regime of post-sentence detention for convicted terrorist offenders before the High Court of Australia (academic consultant). 

  • R v L: Assisted Phillip Boulten SC to successfully resist a Crown appeal against sentence before the Court of Criminal Appeal (NSW). Concerned the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) (academic consultant). 

  • R v L: Assisted Phillip Boulten SC to successfully defend a foreign incursion trial before the Supreme Court of NSW. Concerned the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) (academic consultant). 

  • R v C: Trial for foreign incursion offences before the Supreme Court of Victoria. Concerned non-state actors in the southern Philippines (instructing solicitor).

  • R v K: Committal proceedings concerning terrorist financing offences. Concerned Syrian non-state opposition groups (instructing solicitor). 

  • R v B: Trial concerning foreign incursion offences and membership of a terrorist organisation. Concerned the Islamic State and Chechen opposition groups (instructing solicitor). 

  • R v W: Trial concerning foreign incursion offences. Case discontinued by Commonwealth Attorney-General following legal submissions. Concerned Australian volunteers serving with the Kurdish People’s Defence Units (YPG) (instructing solicitor, without counsel). 

  • R v E: Sentence concerning terrorism financing and foreign incursion offences. Concerned Jabhat Al Nusra (instructing solicitor). 

  • R v E: Successfully resisted Crown appeal against the leniency of sentence in a terrorism financing case before the Supreme Court of Victoria (instructing solicitor). 

  • R v M: Trial concerning acts in preparation of terrorist acts. Concerned the Islamic State (instructing solicitor). 

  • R v M: Trial concerning foreign incursion offences before the Supreme Court of Victoria. Concerned Syrian non-state opposition groups (instructing solicitor).

  • R v C: Trial concerning acts in preparation of terrorist acts. Concerned the Islamic State. Case discontinued by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (instructing solicitor, without counsel). 

  • R v K: Trial concerning terrorism possession offences before the Supreme Court of Victoria. Concerned Al Qaeda (instructing solicitor). 

  • R v A: Conviction appeal concerning acts in preparation of terrorist acts before the Court of Appeal (Victoria) (instructing solicitor). 

  • R v A: Special leave application before the High Court of Australia. Concerned a conviction appeal for preparatory terrorist conduct (instructing Solicitor).

International human rights law
  • DRJ v The Commonwealth of Australia: Five Yazidi survivors of torture by an Australian citizen and member of Da’esh (Islamic State) filed a joint complaint against Australia to the United Nations Committee against Torture. Provided an expert report on counter-terrorism law on behalf of the applicants.

  • Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court. Assisted counsel to file written submissions on behalf of victim-survivors. 

  • Mikolaj Pietrzak v Poland (ECtHR): Assisted the UN Special Rapporteur with the drafting of amicus submissions concerning the oversight of intelligence organisations. 

War crimes
  • R v AA: Counsel (unled) in a Pre-charge bail application at Westminster Magistrates’ Court concerning war crimes in Syria. 

  • Prosecutor v Radovan Karadzic (ICTY): Associate on the appeal team of former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic. 

Public law
  • Save the Children v Minister for Home Affairs: Writs of habeas corpus before the Federal Court of Australia.

  • Thorpe v Transport for Victoria: Prepared legal analysis on public law issues for the applicant’s counsel in a case concerning the removal of indigenous birthing trees. 

  • Consultant to the NSW Legal Aid High Risk Offender Unit on select post-sentence detention cases. 

Inquests
  • Inquest into the death of ANH: represented an interested party in an inquest concerning a ‘lone-actor' act of terror. The party was successfully excused from giving evidence. (Appeared as solicitor advocate).