Doughty Street International has unrivalled experience in International Criminal Law. Chambers has preeminent practitioners in the field at all levels of call. Members have been intimately involved in helping establish many of the international courts and tribunals and between them have appeared at them all as either prosecutors, defence counsel or government representatives.

We have advised governments during negotiations establishing the International Criminal Court; were amongst the first UN lawyers that set up the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; were involved in discussions at the highest level regarding the establishment of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (at which Geoffrey Robertson QC served as the Court’s first President).

With our intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the various international criminal courts, we are uniquely placed to conduct cases before them.

Working as Prosecutors, Defence Counsel and Judges at International Courts

Doughty Street International team members have prosecuted and defended groundbreaking cases at international criminal courts involving allegations of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Members of the international criminal law team have worked on cases involving alleged international crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Cambodia, Libya, Lebanon, Kenya and elsewhere.

Team members have appeared before all the major international courts, including the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) in Freetown, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) in The Hague and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).

By way of example, members of Doughty Street's International Criminal Law team are currently or have been involved in the following cases:

  • John RWD Jones QC and Amal Clooney were defence counsel in the case at the ICC against Saif Al Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al Senussi. And Wayne Jordash QC represents the Libyan government in the case.
  • John RWD Jones and Guenael Mettraux secured a historic acquittal at the ICTY for Croatian Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač - who had been sentenced in 2011 to 24 years and 18 years respectively for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
  • Steven Powles successfully defended the former Kenyan Minister for Industrialisation who faced charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court and is currently acting for former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in proceedings before the ECHR. He previously represented a member of the Kosovo Liberation Army accused of War Crimes before the ICTY.
  • John RWD Jones QC and Guenael Mettraux represent(ed) Mustafa Badreddine and Assad Sabra in connection with the terrorist attack that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri that is being prosecuted at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
  • Wayne Jordash QC is currently representing Im Chaem at the ECCC in Cambodia.
  • Wayne Jordash QC acted as lead counsel at the ICTY defending Jovica Stanišić, the first intelligence chief to be tried by an international criminal tribunal, and also acts as a consultant to the appellate team in the case of Mr. Sagahutu, convicted in 2011 at the ICTR for the crime of genocide.
  • Max du Plessis represents clients in South African courts in cases involving torture as a crime against humanity committed in Zimbabwe, and international crimes committed in Rwanda, South Africa and (together with Professor John Dugard SC) the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

DSI also boasts an impressive list of Academics on its Academic Panel who can be called upon to work with and advise counsel, the list includes academics the world over such as Sir Nigel Rodley KBE (member of UN Human Rights Committee), Elizabeth Wilmshurst CMG (Associate Fellow Chatham House) and Professor John Dugard SC who currently sits as a Judge Ad Hoc at the International Court of Justice.

Appointments to International Courts and Commissions

We have been involved in numerous UN-sponsored investigations and commissions, they include:

  • The United Nations Human Rights Committee;
  • The United Nations International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC) investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and other terrorist attacks in Lebanon;
  • The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI);
  • The office of Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and League of Arab States on Syria; as well as
  • International human rights fact-finding missions organised by the International Bar Association and the Bar Human Rights Committee to countries including Syria, Egypt, Rwanda, Burma and Nigeria;
  • The advisory committee for the Proposed International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity.
Legal Advice for Individuals NGOs and States

Members of the International team have provided advice to Governments, individuals, NGOs and victims groups on international criminal prosecutions and legal and institutional reform relating to accountability for torture. We have also worked within international tribunals in positions ranging from judge's assistants to principal defenders and legal consultants for the Prosecution.

Members have done advisory work in relation to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), the UN International Independent Investigation Commission investigating political assassinations in Beirut, including the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister and the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry.

Amal Clooney worked as an adviser to Kofi Annan in his capacity as Joint Special Envoy of the UN and the Arab League on the Syrian peace process.

DSI members also represented States and NGOs during negotiations to establish the International Criminal Court and at meetings of the Assembly of States Parties, including the Kampala Conference that adopted a definition of the crime of aggression and other amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Domestic Prosecution of International Crimes

Members of the team have advised victim groups seeking to initiate prosecutions in English, South African and Kenyan courts under domestic ICC legislation, and applying the principle of universal jurisdiction, for example in relation to Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, and Israel. A member of the team also submitted written evidence to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights on amending the law on international crimes to allow retrospective prosecutions under the ICC Act 2001 and also acted as principal legal consultant for the Aegis Trust, the UK's Genocide trust, successfully campaigning with Aegis for a change in the law on international crimes. This resulted in section 70 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 which now permits genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed since 1 January 1991, anywhere in the world, to be prosecuted in the UK when the perpetrator is British or a British resident.

International Sanctions and Asset Freezing

Members of the team have also represented individuals subject to travel bans and asset freezes under the various United Nations Sanctions asset-freezing regimes. This has included challenges before domestic courts, the European Court of Justice and the United Nations.

We have acted in 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. They have also acted for individuals listed in UN security council resolution 1970 relating to Libya as well as individuals exposed to sanctions under European or domestic legislation.

Doughty Street International team members have been successful in several high-profile cases in having clients removed from UN and/or UK Treasury lists. This includes the case of 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).

Counsel have also advised individuals and entities 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 (Abdulbasit Abdulrahim v Council and Commission; Faraj Hassan v Council) and one set of domestic proceedings involving asset-freezing against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

 

Sanctions law is a complex and fast-moving area, where it is essential for affected companies and individuals to receive timely professional advice. It is also a multi-layered area with UN, EU and US sanctions, in particular, often targeting the same individuals and companies in an all-encompassing web. Penalties for non-compliance with sanctions can be severe.

DSI team members specialising in this area of law are able to advise companies and individuals in relation to licensing, sanctions compliance programs and remedies available to challenge the imposition of sanctions.

We have acted in several high-profile cases involving UN, US and EU sanctions regimes, in domestic courts and before the European Court of Justice. We have expertise in both UN terrorism sanctions regimes and country-specific regimes (having acted recently in relation to Libyan, Iraq, Sierra Leone and Liberian UN sanctions regimes) and our team has succeeded in several cases in having clients removed from sanctions regimes. We also have experience in applying for licences from the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), applying to the UN Focal Point for the de-listing of individuals and applying for licences for basic living expenses from HM Treasury.

DSI lawyers from the US can assist with US Treasury and State Department sanctions against clients. 

 

Interpol Red Notices

Doughty Street International offers extensive expertise in advising on INTERPOL requests, the so-called Red Notices or diffusions. Its members are able to advise those concerned about potential prosecutions and can act to seek the withdrawal of abusive red notices. It boasts two leading experts who speak fluent Russian, while other members of the team have significant experience in dealing with INTERPOL related requests. Doughty Street International was noted by Fair Trials International as one of only four organisations of lawyers offering advice relating to INTERPOL.

Red notices are issued by INTERPOL as a means of securing the arrest and return of wanted persons to an INTERPOL member state. They have far reaching and potentially indefinite consequences for the individual concerned. They can be issued even if an extradition request has been defeated in a different member state on the basis that the criminal proceedings are politically motivated, and even if the wanted person has been recognised as a refugee on the same basis.

Members of our team have 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. We have advised a large number of clients in Argentina, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, in particular, who were the subject of politically motivated red notices. Besides seeking to delete abusive red notices and diffusions members of DSI engage with the authorities to secure the best possible outcome for their clients.

We can give advice in relation to several issues:

  • How to find out that you are subject to a red notice
  • What are the consequences of being subject to a red notice
  • How to challenge a red notice
Education and Training

We regularly conduct advocacy and legal training of prosecution and defence advocates, as well as judges, in association with the International Bar Association, the International Lawyers Project, the International Crime in Africa Programme at the Institute for Security Studies, and the Commonwealth Secretariat. Members have trained judges, prosecutors, government officials, NGOs and military officers, including the British Army and judges in Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Tunisia, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mauritius, Kenya, Uganda and Bahrain.

Many team members are associated with universities and institutes and frequently give lectures and presentations, as well as analysis on television and other media, on issues relating to international criminal law.

The wealth of experience gained by team members means that they are internationally recognised specialists and they have authored many of the leading text books in the field: International Criminal Practice (OUP) (John Jones QC and Steven Powles) and Amal Clooney is currently authoring a text with Judge Morrison on fair trial rights in international proceedings (OUP). Team members are regularly called upon to lecture and provide training seminars at institutions the world over.

Counter-Terrorism Law

Doughty Street International is proud to have a number of members with genuine expertise in counter-terrorism law and practice. We have acted in many of the leading cases concerned with counter-terrorism in the international context. Members of the team also regularly advise governments, corporations and individuals on their exposure to issues arising from counter-terrorism and provide training to members of the judiciary, lawyers, law enforcement officers and human rights workers across the globe.

Kirsty Brimelow QC has extensive experience of Counter-Terrorism issues.

She is regularly involved in cases where people are detained for “terrorism” but where the evidence points simply to freedom of expression. She is currently working on the trial of Alwefaq’s Secretary General, Shaikh Ali Salman.

Kirsty has also carried out extensive training in African countries related to legal issues arising out from Counter-Terrorism. As examples, she trained Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission on terrorism law and international law and, in partnership with UNICEF, Kirsty trained Child Protection Networks in Nigeria on child rights including terrorism law and international law.

Tim Moloney QC has appeared in almost all of the UK’s major terrorist trials in the last 15 years. He was counsel for the Appellant in the UK Supreme Court case of Gul, which considered the international meaning of terrorism in the context of a Non-International Armed Conflict. He is the author of the Terrorism section of Blackstone’s Criminal Practice, published by Oxford University Press.

Tim has frequently provided training for judges and lawyers in Terrorism law and practice under the auspices of the UNODC in Africa and Asia.

He regularly advises international NGOs and media organisations on their exposure to terrorist risks in their operations.

Nancy Hollander has represented, and continues to represent, a number of clients detained in Guatanamo Bay. Her current clients include a Yemeni-Saudi man who is facing the death penalty in a military commission trial. Another is a Mauritanian man imprisoned in Guantanamo. Nancy is working with people in various countries in an attempt to find a country willing to take him upon his release.

Linda Moreno has enormous experience as an attorney in terrorist trials in the United States of America. She has conducted a large number of such trials and was counsel in the recent trial of persons accused of the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. She has also represented a number of persons detained in Guantanamo Bay.

 

Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance

The Doughty Street Extradition Team offers unrivalled expertise in extradition law. Its members appear in the most high profile and complex extradition cases ranging from war crimes cases to multinational frauds. Members of the team have appeared in the leading extradition cases at all levels including landmark cases before the Supreme Court, House of Lords and Privy Council. The team has a unique international reach and has conducted cases before the courts of Northern Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore, and various Caribbean jurisdictions including Trinidad and Tobago and Belize. We lead the way in litigating successful test cases on fundamental human rights and evolving areas of extradition law, setting many of the benchmark authorities on terrorism, torture, prisons, fair trial, passage of time, abuse of process and family life which are quoted daily in courts around the world.

The extradition team advises on extradition requests and mutual legal assistance before the Courts anywhere in the world, for example defending US requests before the Courts in Caribbean jurisdictions.

High-profile extradition cases of team members include Gary McKinnon v USA, Aswat v UK; Richard O’Dwyer v USA, USA v Babar Ahmad, Sweden v Julian AssangeSerbia v GanicUSA v Christopher TappinGary Mann v PortugalBarry & Al-Fawwaz v SSHDSymeou v. GreeceGomes v Trinidad and Tobago, Norris v USA, HH v Italy & F-K v Poland and test cases concerning the UAE and Russia. We advise Ministries of Justice and local authorities and have appeared on behalf of governments and judicial authorities of over 30 countries. In the last 2 years we are proud to have won the only two defence extradition victories in the Supreme Court, judgments that made real changes across the extradition courts.

Our publications on extradition law, include the Extradition Law Handbook (Oxford University Press) and the Extradition Law Reports.

We have acted in numerous challenges to Interpol Red Notices and succeeded in securing the deletion of diffusion notices thereby defeating restrictions on travel and arrests. The team members have presented seminars and training on challenging Red Notices and have drafted expert reports for the use in English proceedings in relation to the operation of Interpol.

Two members of the team speak fluent Russian and the team as a whole is highly experienced in advising on Russia-based or related extradition or Interpol cases.

The team draws upon its unique expertise in international and human rights law to mount the strongest possible defence to extradition requests from across the world. The team boasts six acknowledged leaders in the field of extradition law (Chambers and Partners 2015), led by ‘star individual’ Edward Fitzgerald QC and Liberty Lawyer of the Year 2012Ben Cooper.

The Doughty Street Extradition Team offers unparalleled strength in depth in this growing specialist field of international law.