Doughty Street Chambers is one of the most international sets in the UK.






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Doughty Street International – The Hague


Doughty Street International - The Hague (DSI) is the first set of barristers' chambers to have an office in The Hague, the capital of international law. The opening of an office in The Hague is a logical extension of Doughty Street's international law practice, which sees some members of chambers permanently based in The Hague with others regularly travelling there to appear before the many international courts and tribunals based in The Hague. DSI-TH will provide support facilities for those members of chambers with practices in The Hague, as well as serving as a centre for seminars, research and other initiatives.



The team and the work we do


Members are at the forefront of international litigation ranging from the European Court of Human Rights and the Privy Council to cases before the International Court of Justice, the courts of the European Union and international arbitrations. Barristers are admitted to practice in other national jurisdictions, and regularly appear in the courts of Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore and many Caribbean states as well as other countries. Chambers also has a well-known and active international criminal law team.


Barristers advise individuals, NGOs, Governments and international organizations on matters of international law. Areas of particular expertise include international human rights, jurisdiction, diplomatic and consular law including immunities, international sanctions regimes and corporate social responsibility issues. Doughty Street’s media-law advice also often includes an international dimension. Where required, Chambers draws on an extensive network of local lawyers in others jurisdictions to ensure comprehensive advice and representation for clients dealing with issues in multiple forums.


Public and private law issues also increasingly feature in domestic cases. Doughty Street barristers have played a leading role in developing this area of the law. For instance, members have been involved in most major cases on national security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (e.g. A and others v SSHD, Al Skeini, Al Jedda, Binyam Mohamed v FCO, Al Rawi v Security Services, Serdar Mohammed v SSD), in leading cases such as the “Mau Mau litigation” (Mutua and others v FCO) on historical abuses in Kenya or Jones v Saudi Arabia on state responsibility and torture, in cases regarding compulsory purchase (e.g. HMB Holdings v Antigua) and in large private international law group litigation claims against multinational companies (e.g. Motto v Trafigura and Guerrero v Montericco).


In addition to litigation and legal advice, team members regularly conduct advocacy and human rights training for judges, prosecutors and defence counsel as well as government officials, NGOs, police and military personnel around the globe. Doughty Street barristers have trained the British and US military, NATO, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and judges and lawyers in countries such as Afghanistan, Bahrain, Libya, Oman, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda. Team members teach international law and have published leading practitioner guides in this area. Many also regularly appear on television and other media as experts on issues relating to international law.


Doughty Street Chambers has made a particular contribution in international death penalty litigation ranging from major constitutional challenges (e.g. The Queen v Hughes (St. Lucia), Reyes v The Queen (Belize) and Boyce and Joseph v The Queen (Barbados)) to sustained work with the Death Penalty Project and frequent representation of individuals in death penalty cases around the word (e.g. in Iraq, Jamaica, Malawi, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, the USA and Zimbabwe).


Domestic Law for International Clients

Barristers in the team are also experienced in giving advice on domestic-law issues that have an international dimension or are interlinked with questions of international law. Members of the international law team are able to advise embassies and consulates on consular law. Team members combine extradition and immigration advice and representation when clients face parallel proceedings.  Barristers also routinely advise clients who are subject to INTERPOL notices and may also face travel bans and asset-freezes in multiple jurisdictions: defending such clients in multiple regional and national fora at once. Doughty Street’s media-law advice also often includes an international dimension. Barristers might work with local counsel where such expertise is required.


We advise clients around the world who need to rely on law emanating from Europe in a variety of sectors including governments, business, media and individual rights. Our barristers effortlessly straddle the EU and the Council of Europe and can offer assistance with litigation before all courts and tribunals including the courts of Strasbourg and Luxembourg.


International Training

In addition to litigation and legal advice, team members regularly conduct advocacy and human rights training for judges, prosecutors and defence counsel as well as government officials, NGOs, police and military personnel around the globe. Doughty Street barristers have trained the British and US military, NATO, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and judges and lawyers in countries such as Afghanistan, Bahrain, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda. Team members teach international law and have published leading practitioner guides in this area. Many also regularly appear on television and other media as experts on issues relating to international law.


Instructing Us

For domestic work barristers of England and Wales may be required to receive instructions through solicitors on a referral basis, but they are able to receive direct instructions from lawyers, businesses or individuals based outside the UK.


Our team can offer specialist advice, drafting and advocacy on many areas of international law, the law of England and Wales or of the European Community. Our clerks will be pleased to assist if you contact us by telephone or email.

Immigration and Nationality Law

The Immigration Team advises clients from across the globe on immigration and nationality law. We regularly advise international business on bringing foreign workers to the UK and are experienced in advising on the immigration aspects of intra-company transfers. Our direct access barristers can work directly with in-house lawyers and human resources professionals.  Our emphasis is on understanding our clients’ business needs and on value for money.


Our work for individuals includes investors, entrepreneurs and Tier 2 applicants under the Points Based System, as well as family members and personal staff.  We are also able to advise clients, both inside and outside the UK, on citizenship and nationality issues.


Linked Practice Areas: Immigration Asylum and Personal

International Criminal Law

Barristers in the international criminal law practice group regularly appear in international criminal tribunals dealing with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Cambodia, and with terrorist attacks in Lebanon. They are also involved in several cases before the International Criminal Court, including Prosecutor v Saif Al Islam Gaddafi and Abdallah Al-Senussi (Libya); Prosecutor v Kosgey (Kenya) and Prosecutor v Bemba (Central African Republic).


The team includes the current international-prosecutor of the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia and the former President of the Special Court in Sierra Leone.


A full description of the practice area, example cases and details of the team can be found in the link below.


Linked Practice Areas: International Criminal Law

Refugee Law

As well as appearing frequently in the higher courts in the UK, members of the Immigration Team work regularly in the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union. Team members have been involved in many of the leading European and domestic cases in asylum law, and are called on to provide expert training and legal knowledge to refugee lawyers Europe-wide.


Linked Practice Areas: Immigration Asylum and Personal

International Arbitration

Members of Doughty Street Chambers have acted – as counsel, arbitrators and experts – on contractual and investment treaty arbitrations across the world. 


We have conducted arbitrations in the leading arbitral seats under all the major arbitral rules, including the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), and the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague (PCA). 


We have represented and advised both public and private sector clients on arbitrations, including governments, trade unions, NGOs, charities and corporations. 


We also represent clients in the courts of various jurisdictions in arbitration-related proceedings, at both interim and enforcement stages, including before the English courts, national courts in the Caribbean and the Caribbean Court of Justice.


Our arbitration team is experienced across a range of sectors and subject matters, including:


Commercial fraud

Energy and natural resources

Appeals and enforcement of awards

Finance and banking

Foreign investment and investor protections (BITs, FTAs)

General commercial disputes

International human rights

International trade

Joint ventures

Law of the Sea


Private international law

Public international law

Regulatory and financial crime

Sovereign debt restructuring and sovereign finance

Sovereign immunity

Telecommunications and IT


Investment Treaty Arbitrations


Several members of our team specialise in investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) under bilateral investment treaties (BITs), free trade agreements (FTAs) and other international agreements for the protection and promotion of foreign investment.


We have represented investors and states in dozens of arbitrations brought under investment treaties for alleged expropriation, unfair treatment and other breaches of international law.  We have also represented parties in ICSID Annulment proceedings. 


Our experience covers a broad range of industries, including the energy, financial, manufacturing, and telecommunications sectors.  We presently act in several high profile and politically significant arbitrations, including two investor-state disputes arising out of the Eurozone financial crisis in Greece and Cyprus.  Our experience also covers most regions of the world, including Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa.    


Members work closely with many of the leading specialist international arbitration law firms, including Three Crowns, Fietta and Omnia Strategy.  Our team is also uniquely positioned to draw on Doughty Street Chambers’ complementary expertise in regulatory and financial crime, and international human rights law.


Members of Doughty Street Chambers have sat as arbitrators in investment treaty arbitrations conducted under the ICSID and UNCITRAL Rules.


In addition, members of the team also lecture on investment treaty arbitration at some of the world’s leading law schools, including Sciences Po Paris, Stanford Law School, and City University of Hong Kong. 


Representative cases include:


Marfin Investment Group v. The Republic of Cyprus (ICSID Case No. ARB/13/27)

Champion Holding Company and others v. Arab Republic of Egypt (ICSID Case No. ARB/16/2)

Poštová banka, a.s. and ISTROKAPITAL SE v Hellenic Republic (ICSID Case No. ARB/13/8)

Representing the State of Pakistan in two UNCITRAL arbitrations.

Advising Sudan on two ICSID cases.

World Duty Free Company v Republic of Kenya (ICSID Case No. Arb/00/7)


Contractual arbitrations


We have acted as counsel for governments, trade unions and companies in complex, cross-border arbitrations arising from contracts.


Members of our team have advised, for example, on the potential for bringing conceptually ground-breaking arbitrations by trade union federations against large corporations to enforce previously agreed standards of treatment in relation to employees in the supply chain operating in the developing world.


Our experience covers a broad range of industries, including the financial, manufacturing, telecommunication, media, mining, oil and gas, and shipbuilding sectors.


Team members have also sat as arbitrators and acted as arbitration secretaries in commercial arbitrations conducted under various arbitral rules.


Other representative cases include:


LCIA commercial arbitration seated in London between Russian and Ukrainian parties relating to a shareholder dispute arising from a series of English-law governed contracts.

ICC commercial arbitration seated in Paris between an African state and European company relating to a contractual dispute.

LCIA commercial arbitration seated in London between joint venture partners concerning allegations of fraud and corruption in the mining sector.

UNCITRAL commercial arbitration seated in London between an international oil and gas fund and a North Sea-based company for amounts owed pursuant to a contract.


Expert testimony in arbitrations


Members of our team have acted as experts in several international arbitrations.


Mark Wassouf (acting as joint expert with Ben Emmerson QC) recently gave expert evidence to a tribunal on the compliance of domestic criminal proceedings (which were relevant to the dispute being arbitrated) with international due process standards in light of applicable treaty obligations.


Arbitration related court proceedings


Members of DSI have represented clients in the courts of various jurisdictions in arbitration-related proceedings, including before the English courts, national Caribbean Court and the Caribbean Court of Justice.


Edward Fitzgerald QC and Emilie Gonin recently represented The Belize Bank Limited and BCB Holdings in proceedings before the Caribbean Court of Justice related to the enforcement of an international arbitral award against the Government of Belize.


Mark Wassouf recently successfully resisted an application to set aside an arbitral award in the English High Court on behalf of Gemini Oil & Gas Fund II LP and is separately instructed to bring enforcement proceedings in England and Wales on behalf of a foreign client.



Geoffrey Robertson QC

Edward Fitzgerald QC

Amal Clooney

Paul Barker

Emilie Gonin


Associate Tenants

Judge Awn Al-Khasawneh

Professor Andrea Saccucci

Public International Law

Chambers international law team has a wide range of expertise including issues relating to jurisdiction, sovereignty, state responsibility, the use of force and international humanitarian law, the law of the sea, boundary disputes, diplomatic and consular law including immunities, the return of cultural property and environmental protection. There are also expert teams specializing in international criminal law and extradition.


Members of the team appear in courts within the UN system, including the International Court of Justice on international cases such as the Temple of Preah Vihear territorial dispute between Cambodia and Thailand. Doughty Street barristers have been involved in several high-profile inter-state arbitrations (e.g. the Chagos Islands arbitration between the UK and Mauritius at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague).


Chambers has a number of barristers who have previously held positions within the United Nations system. Members of the international law team frequently serve in high-level advisory roles, for instance as advisor to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General dealing with the political transition process in Yemen, to Kofi Annan in his capacity as the Joint Special Envoy of the UN and Arab League on Syria, to the African Union, and to a range of mediation, conflict-resolution and reconciliation initiatives. Mediation work is also done in conjunction with the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue based in Geneva. Individual members have been appointed as the UK representative to the UN Human Rights Committee, to the UN Justice Council, and as the UN Special Rapporteur for Torture.



Linked Practice Areas: International Law

Private International Law

Doughty Street have been involved in several high-profile arbitrations under ICSID, UNCITRAL and other rules (e.g. the arbitration between the UK and Mauritius at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague).


Members of Chambers have significant expertise in complex domestic cases involving private international law and conflict of laws issues. For instance, members of Chambers have been instructed in major litigation relating to issues such as toxic dumping in the Ivory Coast (Motto v Trafigura), complicity in the torture of environmental protestors in Peru (Guerrero v Montericco), or oil spills in Nigeria. Doughty Street barristers have also acted in high-profile damages claims against the UK government relating to the abuse of detainees held in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.


Linked Practice Areas: International Law


The Doughty Street Extradition Team has an unrivalled reputation for appearing in many of the most high profile and complex extradition cases.


Members of the team have appeared in many of the leading extradition cases before the Supreme Court, House of Lords, Privy Council, High Court and Magistrates' Court, as well as in courts in Northern Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Caribbean and around the world. Many of the team’s cases involve issues of fundamental human rights and test cases on evolving areas of the law.


Recent high-profile extradition cases include Gary McKinnon v USA, USA v Richard O’Dwyer, USA v Babar Ahmad, Sweden v Julian Assange, Serbia v Ganic, USA v Christopher Tappin, Gary Mann v Portugal, Barry & Al-Fawwaz v SSHD, Symeou v. Greece, Gomes v Trinidad and Tobago and Norris v USA. As well as appearing on behalf of persons contesting extradition, members of the team have advised and appeared on behalf of governments and judicial authorities of over 30 countries. 5 members of the team appeared before the Supreme Court in 2012 on a test case on how the courts should approach the rights of dependent children in extradition.


Members of the Extradition Team publish books and articles on the fast evolving law on extradition, including the Extradition Law Handbook published by Oxford University Press and the Extradition Law Reports (Southside Legal Publishers).


For details on team members and cases click here.


Linked Practice Areas: Extradition

Constitutional Law

Doughty Street Chambers has a wealth of expert Constitutional lawyers who have pushed the boundaries of Constitutional Law both domestically under our unwritten Constitution and internationally, particularly in the Commonwealth.


On the international plane members’ expertise extends to drafting Constitutions, advising as well as litigation. Doughty Street Chambers has played a central role in the abolition of the mandatory death penalty in Commonwealth countries. Members were involved in the seminal case of Pratt and Morgan v Attorney-General of Jamaica [1994] 2 AC 1 and the later case of Hughes, Reyes and Fox v The Queen [2002] 2 AC 259. Over 1000 prisoners once subject to the mandatory death penalty have now had their sentences commuted. Members have also been involved in challenges to the executive interference in the workings of the judiciary, including in Gibraltar by the removal of the Chief Justice from office. Recent cases include BCB Holdings Ltd, Belize Bank Ltd and Others v A-G of Belize CCJ Appeal No. CV7 of 2012 where a challenge succeeded to the constitutionality of legislation intended to target Lord Ashcroft and his companies on the basis it violated the separation of powers.

Constitutional law is at the forefront of the work members do as human rights lawyers. Before the Human Rights Act came into force members successfully developed the common law Constitutional principle of legality to restrict the executive’s power to interfere with fundamental rights (R (Simms and O’Brien) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2000] 2 AC 115R (Daly) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2001] 2 AC 532. The principle was again recently invoked in the ongoing case of AKJ v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis to challenge the power of police officers to engage under the Regulation of Investigative Powers Act 2000 in intimate sexual relations as an undercover technique. Other recent ground breaking constitutional challenges include R (Purdy) v DPP [2010] 1 AC 34 (requiring the DPP to draft prosecution guidelines in relation to assisted suicide), R (Nicklinson) v Ministry of Justice [2012] (ongoing challenge to lawfulness of current prohibition on assisted suicide and euthanasia), R v Chaytor [2011] 1 AC 684 (whether prosecutions for false accounting are precluded by parliamentary privilege), the Mau Mau litigation (Mutua v FCO -  where difficult questions of imperial law arise in a claim for compensation for torture perpetrated during the 1950s Kenyan uprising) and XX v SSHD [2012] EWCA Civ 742 (whether arbitrary secret detention breaches a jus cogens norm of international law).


Linked Practice Areas: Administrative and Public Law, International Law, International Crime


The courts, tribunals and institutions within the European Union and the Council of Europe are central to litigation and dispute resolutions across the globe. From corporate governance to child abduction, media law to international crime increasingly the European judicial and quasi judicial institutions regulate the international framework. At the same time litigating in the European sphere is becoming more complex and specialist. Doughty Street has leading expertise in the process of navigating the courts and tribunals of all the European institutions. We are a remedies focused chambers and therefore our experience is invaluable in ensuring that our clients get the most effective remedy within the shortest period of time.


Barristers within each of our civil and criminal teams regularly advise clients around the world who need to rely on law emanating from Europe in a variety of sectors including governments, business, media and individual rights. We straddle the EU and the Council of Europe effortlessly and are able to offer assistance with litigation before all courts and tribunals. Our members can be used to provide penetrating advice for ongoing litigation in courts around the world, as well as managing a case throughout the entire procedure. We have particular expertise before the Strasbourg and Luxembourg Courts where our style of incisive advocacy is very much appreciated.

Business and Human Rights and Modern Slavery

As trade and investment become increasingly global, multi-national corporations and other businesses are having a much greater impact on the lives of the communities in which they or their supply chains operate.  NGOs, socially-conscious investors, governments and the media are all scrutinising business operations more than ever before to ensure that the activities of companies are compliant not only with their national and international legal and regulatory obligations, but are also in line with internationally proclaimed standards such as the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multi-National Enterprises, the Equator Principles, and others. 


For over 25 years members of Doughty Street International have been regarded amongst the world’s best known and most highly regarded human rights and civil liberties lawyers.  Our team of specialist, independent lawyers and academics advise individuals, companies, States, international organisations and NGOs on issues at the nexus where human rights “soft law” meets “hard” issues of legal liability, risk and regulatory compliance.  We also offer specialist advice to commercial law firms and auditors who are increasingly being asked to assist clients with this fast-developing and complex area.  Amongst our team is Elise Groulx Diggs, one of only eighteen lawyers worldwide ranked by the Chambers and Partners Global Guide to the legal profession, which identifies the leading practitioners in the field of Business and Human Rights law. The guide comments that "Elise is deeply knowledgeable about virtually every facet of the field of business and human rights. Combined with her broad range of contacts internationally, this knowledge carries formidable weight and influence. In addition, Elise has a personal warmth and concern for the people with whom she works, which builds trust, creative energy and a sense of shared vision in her projects."   We also offer members with experience of bringing proceedings to the UK's National Contact Point, and those who have advised UK lawmakers on the Modern Slavery Act as it became legislation. 


Our members work around the world, advising companies in the mining and extractive industries, construction and building materials industry, garment industry, and others.  In line with Doughty Street's multi-diciplinary approach to our clients' legal problems, we tailor teams of advisors who can provide expertise on human rights, corporate governance, white collar and other regulation, employment law, mediation and non-judicial grievance mechanisms, and more.  Importantly, we can also call upon our strong links with partner organisations who have extensive experience of security, political and social risk, social licence, corporate and environmental responsibility and community engagement.


We help companies who have liability under the UK’s Modern Slavery Act.  We can advise on drafting a s.54 statement, and assist them undertake due diligence to ensure they and their supply chains are compliant with their new statutory obligations.  We also offer assistance with drafting anti-slavery and anti-trafficking policies, and help staff implement them through appropriate training.    


Our Business and Human Rights services include:

Litigation, mediation and arbitration of disputes where communities have been adversely affected by the environmental and human rights impacts of business. Members of our team have advised in prominent claims raising business and human rights issues around the world. 
Advising on the obligations of companies under the UNGPs and the OECD Guidelines, either to clients directly, or via their professional advisers.  We can act as an extension to an in-house team, or have business and human rights projects outsourced to us in their entirety, as well as providing strategic and legal advice.  Recent mandates have included providing a major gold refining company with an independent legal opinion on responsible sourcing, and assessing a policy manual prepared by expert consultants to ensure proposed due diligence on sourcing arrangements for precious metals ore from artisanal miners were compliant with the company’s obligations to protect human rights.
We deliver workshops and training courses around the world on how to identify human rights risks and the international human rights standards businesses should meet, both to companies who wish to cascade best practice throughout their management and operational teams, as well as to transactional lawyers and others who have to advise clients on such risks and related issues.
Designing, conducting and advising on internal or other investigations. We work with clients who are seeking to uncover the extent of reported human rights violations by employees, suppliers, contractors and business partners, or to assure themselves no such violations are occurring.  Our long experience of human rights law allows us to suggest practical solutions where such issues are identified.  We also assist those who wish to report confidently on such investigations.
Advising on human rights due diligence, as well as enhanced due diligence in weak governance zones and high risk regions. We regularly work and gather evidence relevant to business risk in conflict and high risk zones, and throughout the 25 years since our foundation have acquired experience of identifying “red flag” legal issues such as war crimes, corruption and bribery, and excessive use of force by private security providers.
Advising on access to remedy (the “Third Pillar” of the UNGPs), as well as offering independent and robust mediation and dispute resolution services in which both communities, indigenous peoples, labour organisations and civil society organisations and companies can have confidence.  We also design and advise on remediation and compensation processes that respect international human rights standards.


Doughty Street Chambers offers comprehensive, creative and commercial advice from some of the most experienced specialists operating in this developing field.  For more information please speak to Maurice MacSweeney on +44 (0)207 400 8906 or send an e-mail.  

Work for Small States and Jurisdictions

Small jurisdictions face unique legal and policy challenges and Doughty Street Chambers is well placed to provide assistance to meet those challenges.  Doughty Street members have extensive experience in a variety of small jurisdictions including British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, UK devolved national jurisdictions and small Commonwealth states.  Their work has included legal representation, legal, strategic and policy advice, representation in international fora including treaty drafting, human rights reporting and advisory opinions on specialist issues as well as inclusion in legislative drafting panels. 


Doughty Street Chambers has particular expertise, both domestic and international, in public law, human rights law, criminal law, arbitration, business and human rights, international development and international cooperation in criminal law.  Based in London and The Hague, but practising internationally, members bring experience from jurisdictions across the world as well as experience working for regional and international organisations to inform their work.


Services that Doughty Street Chambers can offer small jurisdictions include:

•     Legal advice and representation in international and domestic courts

•     Independent public inquiries

•     Arbitration and international dispute resolution

•     Legislative drafting and review

•     Horizon-scanning and strategic policy advice on international law developments

•     Seminars and round-tables on specific issues

•     Advice, support and representation in international negotiations

•     Support for reporting and shadow reporting to UN treaty bodies

•     Support for implementation of international legislation

•     Training and technical assistance

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