Helen Jennings

Pupil Barrister

Helen joined Chambers as a First-Six Pupil in October 2021 under the supervision of Sebastian Gardiner.

Helen’s legal background originates in the field of children’s rights in her home country, Northern Ireland. As a teenager, she spent years advocating for her peers before the governments of NI and the UK, working as a charitable trustee and as an elected representative of the young people in her community.

Helen studied law at the University of Cambridge from 2016-2019, and during this time played an active role in the struggle for reproductive justice across the island of Ireland. She worked with the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign as an activist and legal researcher, and convened an academic conference in the University of Cambridge on “The Development of Abortion Rights in a Changing Europe.” She also researched for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and produced a successful interdisciplinary human rights podcast while at Cambridge.

After graduating university, Helen worked for UN Women – both at their headquarters in New York City, in the UK and in Tunisia – as a legal researcher on various topics related to Women, Peace and Security.

While studying for the BPTC in 2020, Helen worked as a paralegal to a prominent employment law barrister, and acted for clients in the East London Family Court as a student advocate with the University of Law.

Helen graduated with an LLM (Master of Laws) from New York University in 2021 as a Fulbright Scholar, with numerous awards and scholarships from the International Legal Studies program. Her work focused on international human rights law, international criminal law and transitional justice, and her thesis considered a transitional justice response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

Before starting pupillage, Helen spent the summer of 2021 as an intern at the UN Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar, and as Assistant to a Commissioner at the International Law Commission.

Year of Call: 2021

Qualifications and Awards

  • New York University School of Law, LLM (International Legal Studies) (2021)
  • Fulbright Award
  • George Moore Scholarship
  • Human Rights Scholar
  • Transitional Justice Scholar
  • International Law and Human Rights Fellowship
  • Jerome Lipper Award for Distinction in International Legal Studies Program
  • University of Law, Bar Professional Training Course (2020)
  • University of Law, Master of Laws in Bar Practice (2020)
  • Advocacy Scholarship
  • Gray’s Inn
  • Residential Scholarship
  • Albion Richardson Scholarship
  • Human Rights Lawyers Association
  • Internship Scholarship
  • Pembroke College, Cambridge, BA(Hons) Law (2019)
  • Crowden Award
  • Newry and Mourne District Council
  • Mayor’s Award for Services to Children’s Rights in Northern Ireland

Publications

  • He’s the Uterus Collector” – The Reproductive Rights of Women in ICE Detention: An Opportunity to Protect the Constitutional Rights of Federal Detainees in Privately-Run Facilities (Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law, forthcoming January 2022)

Memberships

  • Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn