Diana Ellis QC
  • Recommended as a leading silk in international criminal law and civil liberties and human rights

    Chambers UK

  • Recommended as a leading silk in civil liberties and human rights

    Legal 500

  • She has an extremely detailed knowledge of international jurisdiction. She is amazingly hard-working, a very good communicator and extremely thorough

    Chambers UK

  • Experienced in international human rights cases.

    Legal 500

  • A strong belief in promoting the rule of law.

    Chambers UK

  • Diligent, articulate and committed.

    Chambers UK

  • She has excellent judgement, is unflappable under pressure, and is meticulous in her preparation of cases.

    Legal 500

  • She displays superb judgement and composure under pressure.

    Legal 500

  • Unfailingly impressive and tenacious in her approach.

    Legal 500

  • A committed defence advocate with the most fantastic range of work.

    Legal 500

  • A confident and assured court performer with a calm, unhurried and authoritative delivery.

    Legal 500

Called 1978

Silk 2001

Appointed Recorder 1998

Diana Ellis QC


Diana Ellis QC initially practiced in general common law but for many years has worked exclusively in the field of criminal law.  She is a hugely experienced and committed criminal defence barrister with a substantial domestic practice.  She specialises in the most serious criminal offences: murder, armed robbery, sexual abuse, fraud, slavery and extradition. She has extensive experience in International Criminal and Humanitarian Law and during the last 20 years has worked in a number of international courts and has led defence teams in cases of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes cases.

Sources are in awe of her "expert understanding of international criminal law and her strong, uncompromising representation of her clients.Chambers UK

She has had extensive experience in extradition and international mutual legal assistance, representing individuals. She regularly works with lawyers outside the UK on national and international criminal cases assisting with strategy and legal challenges.

Domestic experience includes handling serious criminal cases at both trial & appellate level including fraud and conspiracy, homicide offences, organised crime including drug trafficking and armed robbery, sexual offences and the most serious child abuse cases.  Diana Ellis is praised for her sensitivity and expert handling of vulnerable witnesses.

Appointed Recorder of the Crown Court.

Associated Work

  • European Human Rights Advocacy Centre
    • Pro-bono work assisting Russian lawyers in their applications to the ECHR.
  • Kurdish Human Rights Project
    • Advises on cases.
    • Recently submissions have been made to the ECHR in respect of displacement of families and destruction of their villages and other Human Rights abuses.

Professional Memberships

  • UN Appointed Counsel for ICTR.
  • Authorised counsel for International Criminal Court.
  • Member of the Cambodian Bar May (2008)
  • Admitted as counsel to the Kosovo Specialist Chamber
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • European Criminal Bar Association
  • International Bar Association
  • Liberty
  • Bar Pro-Bono Unit
  • Kurdish Human Rights Project
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers (ARDL)

Recent Directory Quotes

  • Meticulous in her preparation, her knowledge of the law and procedure is comprehensive.’ Legal 500 2018
  • Hugely respected and admired for her skill and expertise in international criminal law.’ Legal 500 2018
  • Unfailingly impressive and tenacious in her approach to the cases she undertakes. Legal 500 2018


Has trained Judges and lawyers from other jurisdictions in International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law and in fair trial standards and human rights.


  • Working knowledge of French.
  • Co-authored several Criminal Bar Association working papers.

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