Public International Law

11KBW members advise and represent governments, state entities, corporations and individuals in relation to a wide range of disputes raising issues of public international law.

Our barristers appear before international tribunals and have extensive experience of  litigation before domestic courts raising issues of international law. Current and recent work includes:

Our Experience in International Dispute Resolution

  • Acting for claimants and respondents in investor-State disputes under bilateral investment treaties. State clients include the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (Alghanim v. Jordan, ICSID Case No. ARB/13/38; taxation); Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TCCA v. Pakistan, ICSID Case No. ARB/12/1; mining). Instructions for claimants include Karmer v. Georgia, ICSID Case No. ARB/08/19; construction).
  • International commercial arbitration pursuant to investment contracts. Recent cases include acting for the Respondent in TCCA v. Province of Balochistan ICC Case No. 18347/VRO/AGF; mining).
  • Advising the Respondent in Mauritius v United Kingdom, Annex VII arbitration under the Law of the Sea Convention (“the Chagos Islands case”).
  • Disputes before the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee and Espoo Convention Implementation Committee.
  • Cases before the European Court of Human Rights including, most recently, Jaloud v The Netherlands (UK intervening) (Grand Chamber) concerning extra-territorial jurisdiction in relation to the shooting of a civilian in Iraq.

Our Experience in Public Law, Human Rights and National Security

  • Serdar Mohammed v. Minsitry of Defence (pending before the Supreme Court), claims alleging that UK Armed Forces had no power to detain suspected insurgents in Afghanistan. Preliminary issues concern international humanitarian law, Crown Act of State and Article 5 ECHR.
  • Belhaj & anor v Straw & ors (pending before the Supreme Court), claims alleging UK complicity in rendition to Libya. Preliminary issues concern state immunity foreign Act of State doctrine.
  • Cases concerning the application of UN and EU international sanctions regimes to individuals and corporations including Bank Mellat v HM Treasury [2013] UKSC 38 and 39. Members of Chambers act for both sides in this long-running dispute.
  • R (Noor Khan) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2014] EWCA Civ 24, case concerning UK assistance regarding US drone strikes in the Federally Administered Tribunal Areas of Pakistan. Raising questions of IHL, including combat immunity.
  • Advising the Defendant in R (Bancoult) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (No. 3) [2013] EWHC 1502 (Admin), concerning the inadmissibility of diplomatic documents.
  • Advising on international obligations in the context of overseas aid to war-affected regions in Africa.
  • Former assistant legal adviser, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Our Experience in Employment Law & International Administrative Law

  • Acting for the United States in USA v Nolan [2015] UKSC 63, case concerning collective redundancy consultation, state immunity and the status of foreign military bases in the UK.
  • Acting for foreign states and state officials in matters involving State immunity and diplomatic immunity.
  • Advising multinational corporations in relation to compliance with corporate social responsibility and International Labour Organisation standards.
  • Advising a south east European state on the justiciability in the English High Court of civil damages claims by officials of the state against an official appointed under the auspices of an international body.
  • President, Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal.
  • Judge, Administrative Tribunal of the Bank for International Settlements.
  • Standing Counsel to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Articles & Events

Our members have published widely, and are regularly invited to speak about, PIL topics. Recent articles and events include:

  • “The legal legacies of the 2003 Iraq War”, Society of Legal Scholars Annual Seminar 2018, 27 March 2018
  • “International Law in the UK Courts”, Durham University, 10 February 2017
  • “International Law of Military Operations: Mapping the Field”, International Society for Military Law and the Law of War and Exeter University, 21 June 2016
  • ‘When should there be a duty to investigate UK military action abroad?’, PLP conference, 21 April 2016.
  • ‘Uses and abuses of unincorporated treaties’, ALBA seminar, 2 February 2016.
  • ‘Recent developments: international law in the UK courts’, GLS International Law Conference, 14 October 2015.
  • ‘International law in domestic courts’, GLS International Law Course, 9 June 2015.
  • ‘Deploying PIL as a sword or shield in domestic litigation’, YPLG seminar, 14 May 2015.
  • Targeting and Detention in Non-International Armed Conflict: Serdar Mohammed and the Limits of Human Rights Convergence’, 91 International Law Studies (2015) 60-118 available here
  • Several short pieces on EJIL:Talk!, the Blog of the European Journal of International Law.