International human rights law

Our international practice team provides legal representation to individuals and legal personsadvisory support, mentoring and training on all aspects of international human rights law. Our expertise extends to the nine core international human rights instruments as well as various regional treaties such as the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Union Charter on Fundamental Rightsthe European Social Charterand the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture, among others 

Our barristers have appeared before major international courtstribunals and mechanisms applying international human rights law including the European Court of Human Rights, the UN committees of experts associated with the nine core treaties (the UN Treaty Bodies), and the Inter-American Court of Human Rightsamong others. Members have also regularly utilised the UN Special Procedures such the UN Special Rapporteurs and UN Working Groups in relation to diverse matters including in relation to arbitrary detention, torture, enforced disappearances, elimination of discrimination against women and ending racial discrimination. Members have drawn extensively on some of the earliest UN Treaties in their submissions to UN bodiesthe International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR); Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). 

Our members also regularly undertake international consultancy work, providing specialist advice to clients and drafting legal submissions/opinions on their behalf. Our members have worked on some major international cases and helped develop the contours and boundaries of the law in some of these areas. Please refer to our individual members’ profiles for further information. Some of our recent work has included: 

  • Representing applicants at all stages of the proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights, including Grand Chamber hearings; 
  • Supporting the work of the Bar Human Rights Committee (BHRC) – some of our members are on the Executive Committee providing regular strategic support/direction; 
  • Participating in trial observation and human rights missions to Bahrain, Kuwait and Turkey, leading to published BHRC reports on which substantial reliance has been placed by courts, tribunals and practitioners; 
  • Drafting various amicus curie briefs, other petitions and submissions on international human rights matters in a number of countries including Columbia, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Turkey; 
  • Providing advice and training to AmicusAmnesty International and Reprieve on matters of international human rights law relating to the application of the death penalty and opposing the death penalty in the US, Philippines, Laos and Vietnam (among others);
  • Providing research and analysis in relation to the international human rights law and sexual and gender-based violence provisions of the Arms Trade Treaty; 
  • Providing legal advice to refugees in Greek camps and supporting efforts to implement decision of the European Court of Human Rights before the Committee of Ministers 
  • Working with NGOs on the drafting of international agreements including domestic legislation in the UK concerning the compliance by States with international human rights and criminal law norms; 
  • Advising and representing clients on the free movement aspects of EU law (including the application of the Charter) and issues of statelessness; 
  • Training fellow practitioners on best practices and leading lectures/seminars/panels on the latest developments (both factual and legal) in international human rights; and 
  • Training local lawyers and human rights practitioners on international law matters in Nigeria, Tanzania, Turkey, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia. 
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