International Criminal Law
The International Practice Group has expertise in all areas of international criminal law and provides representation in trials of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes before international, internationalized and national courts. It also undertakes a wide variety of consultancy work in this field.
Our specialists have provided representation and advice in cases before the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia (UN ICTY) and Rwanda (UN ICTR), the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (UN IRMCT), the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), the Special Panels for Serious Crimes in East Timor, the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The UN International Criminal Tribunals for Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda & International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals
Chambers has long been closely involved in the development of International Criminal Law ever since the inception in 1994 of the first United Nations Tribunals - the ICTY (Yugoslavia) and ICTR (Rwanda). Members have appeared in a host of high profile trials. Cases include Prosecutor v Nikolić (Srebrenica); Prosecutor v Nahimana, the (“Media Trial”); Prosecutor v Rwamakuba and Prosecutor v Nsengimana. Chambers has unrivalled expertise and experience in defence representation before these Tribunals. Members have also acted in an advisory capacity to the judiciary before these tribunals. Chambers’ engagement with the development of the ICTY and ICTR has been sustained and further strengthened by members’ ongoing involvement in the ICTY and ICTR’s successor tribunal, namely the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (UN IRMCT) where members have both defended (Prosecutor v Ngirabatware) and acted in the role of amicus curiae (Prosecutor v Jojić & Radeta).
The International Criminal Court
Chambers has also been at the forefront of providing representation and advice at the International Criminal Court (ICC) with members acting for the defence in one of the first cases brought before the Court from the Democratic Republic of Congo: Prosecutor v Katanga, as well as representing the Deputy President of Kenya, in Prosecutor v Ruto. Similarly, counsel in chambers appeared at the Special Court for Sierra Leone representing former Head of State, Charles Taylor. Members have also provided advice in relation to victims’ rights and representation before the ICC.
The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
Members of Chambers provided representation on behalf of Madame Ieng Thirith (Minister of Social Affairs in Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge Government) who was jointly charged with three other senior members of the government of Pol Pot in the main trial before the Extraordinary Chambers of the Court of Cambodia (ECCC).
The International Court of Justice
The standing of chambers in the field of international criminal law has been reinforced by the instruction of members of chambers in the ongoing high profile proceedings brought against the Government of Myanmar before the International Court of Justice in respect of breaches of the Genocide Convention allegedly committed in respect of the “Rohingya” population. (The Gambia v Myanmar)
Members of chambers have been specifically sought out for instruction in respect of cases involving overlapping international and domestic criminal law matters. A number of International Practice Group members acted in the one of the most high-profile UK extradition proceedings, involving multiple requests issued by the Government of Rwanda to transfer five alleged architects of the genocide back to Rwanda to stand trial (Government of Rwanda v Brown). Having successfully resisted extradition, the UK prosecutorial authorities are now considering proceedings for genocide under UK law.
Members of the group have conducted trial observations and fact-finding missions in a number of jurisdictions as well as undertaking training and lecturing all over the world. Members have conducted training for judges and lawyers in countries including Kazakhstan, Iraq, Serbia, Uganda, Syria, Turkey, the USA and Canada. International Practice Group members also lecture regularly on aspects of international criminal law and international humanitarian law to domestic and international university audiences.
A number of members of Chambers have published articles on issues relating to international criminal law in Journals including the Criminal Law Forum, the Leiden Journal of International law, and the Journal of International Criminal Justice. Members have contributed chapters to a number of works including Defence in International Criminal Proceedings (Transnational 2006), International Criminal Courts (OUP 2005) and The Oxford Companion to International Criminal Law and Justice (OUP).
Foreign Associates and Door Tenants
Chambers has established formal links with law firms in Paris and The Hague. We also have a number of associate counsel, who practice in the field of international criminal law.
Their reputation for excellence is demonstrated by involvement in almost every recent major serious trial