International Law

Members of 33 Bedford Row offer a range of expertise and experience in the practice of international law.

Members are available to take instructions from solicitors’ firms, or by way of direct access.


Members are regularly instructed on various areas of international law including international criminal law, international human rights law and public international law.

International Criminal Law

There is considerable expertise in the area of international criminal law.  Members have, and are currently, conducting a number of cases before international tribunals and courts including the International Criminal Court (ICC); the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL).

Members bring significant experience representing the interest of suspects and accused persons before international tribunals, victims of international crimes, governments, witnesses and amicus applicants.

Notable Cases: 

  • Situation on Registered Vessels of the Union of the Comoros, the Hellenic Republic and the Kingdom of Cambodia (ICC) – Co-Counsel representing the Government of the Union of the Comoros and Victims participating in legal proceedings on opening an investigation into war crimes committed on the raid on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.
  • Situation in Darfur, Sudan (ICC) – Representation of Victims in the Sudan situation and in the Banda and Jerbo case.
  • Prosecutor v Abdullah Al-Senussi (ICC) – Member of the defence team for accused, Abdullah Al-Senussi, former spy chief under Muammar Gaddafi.
  • Prosecutor v Charles Taylor (SCSL) – Member of the defence team during trial proceedings before the SCSL for accused, Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia and the first head of state to be tried by an international criminal tribunal.
  • Prosecutor v Milan Lukic (ICTY) – Member of defence team for review proceedings for the accused, an alleged member of the Bosnian Serbian paramilitary group, of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
  • Prosecutor v Ruto et al., and Muthaura et al., (ICC) – Member of the legal team for the Government of Kenya for admissibility proceedings.
  • Prosecutor v Bosco Ntaganda (ICC) – Co-counsel instructed by two NGOs to submit an amicus brief on the legal interpretation of the war crime of destruction of cultural property.
  • Situation in Palestine (ICC) – Co-counsel instructed to represent victims, and co-counsel instructed to submit an amicus brief on the question of the territorial jurisdiction of the Court over the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

International Human Rights Law

Members of chambers have extensive experience providing legal advice and conducting litigation on issues of international human rights law. 

International human rights litigation options available through members of chambers include litigation to address global violations of human rights under international treaty bodies. Members have extensive experience bringing human rights complaints before key human rights forums such as the African Court and Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee, and the UN Working Group for Arbitrary Detention. There is also experience with addressing human rights violations before the UN’s Special Procedures before Special Rapporteurs and before the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review mechanism. Members have also advised and consulted with international NGOs and organisations, and with law firms, on issues of international human rights.

Notable Cases: 

  • African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights v. Libya (African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights) – Member of the team acting on behalf of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, son of former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi.  Successful in achieving the first default judgment to be issued by the African Court.
  • Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi v. Libya (African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights) – Member of the team acting on behalf of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi.  Successfully secured the first referral from the African Commission to the African Court of an individual application made on human rights violations under the African Charter.
  • UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention – Counsel instructed to submit communications to the Working Group on the arbitrary detention of individuals in such States as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Morocco and South Korea. 
  • UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances - Counsel instructed to represent an individual disappeared in the Republic of the Niger and believed to be in Government custody.

International Law in Domestic Courts

Members have experience raising issues of international human rights violations and international crimes before domestic courts, including:

  • Universal jurisdiction: Members have experience advising international clients on options to address international crimes and violations under the principle of universal jurisdiction in the UK and other States. This includes experience issuing complaints before the Metropolitan Police War Crimes Unit (SO15) to request the opening of an investigation into international crimes.
  • Diplomatic Protection: Members have experience advising clients and bringing applications for diplomatic protection of British Nationals detained abroad.
  • Civil remedies for international crimes: Members have experience bringing civil actions in various jurisdictions for the commission of international crimes and violations, including before US Federal Court by way of the Alien Tort Statute and Torture Victim Protection Act.


33 Bedford Row has considerable experience in the area of domestic human rights and civil liberties. This includes experience with cases involving issues of fair trials, unlawful detention, torture, human trafficking and modern slavery. Members also have experience with cases concerning children's rights under the UNCRC. Members regularly deliver training and workshops on these topics. Members also provide advice on human rights aspects within extradition proceedings. 

Members have a strong practice in the area of civil liberties and human rights, including:

  • Actions against the police;
  • Prisoners’ rights; 
  • Inquests; 
  • Unlawful detention;
  • Fair trial rights; and
  • Children's rights under the UNCRC. 

Notable Cases:

  • Immigration detention cases - Members have experience challenging the detention of non-British individuals by way of judicial review claims and immigration bail applications relying on human rights law. Members have also represented clients on a pro bono basis via Bail for Immigration Detainees. Clients often include survivors of human trafficking, modern slavery or torture. Many cases involve issues concerning the separation of parent and child.
  • S v Secretary of State for the Home Department - Member of team represented asylum seeker in their judicial review claim challenging the Home Office's delay in making a decision on their application, relying on human rights issues. After service, the Home Office determined the application in the client's favour.
  • R v N; R v G; R v A - Member of team stopped prosecutions where the Crown Prosecution Service had not complied with their disclosure duties, rendering any trial unfair. 
  • Police complaints - Member of team leaders Harrow Law Centre's Victims of Crime Project where they are responsible for ensuring the rights and duties enshrined in The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime are followed. This involves making police complaints in cases concerning police failures to conduct a full investigation or uphold the Code. 

For further information please contact Senior Clerk, Gary Reed on 0207 242 6476, or email: 

International Law