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LL.M. Public International Law (specialising in international criminal law, UN law, and international human rights law), University College London (1999)
LL.B. (Hons.) Law with French Law and Language, University of East Anglia (1996)
DEUF (Diploma in French Law), Université Jean Moulin, Lyon (1995)
In crime Iain divides his defence practice between domestic and international work. In addition, he has a well-established practice in immigration and prison law, and a developing expertise in extradition work.
Iain is a seasoned and compassionate defence barrister with considerable trial experience acting both alone and when instructed as junior counsel. He represents defendants charged with the most serious offences of violence, public order, rape and sexual assaults, armed robbery, aggravated burglary, fraud, and drugs trafficking and supply. He has particular expertise in firearms cases. His background as a practitioner in immigration and asylum law enables him to bring an in-depth knowledge to human trafficking and illegal entry cases, and cases which feature other immigration or deportation issues. Iain has a special enthusiasm for cases which provide the opportunity to advance abuse of process arguments.
Some notable cases in which Iain has acted alone include:
Iain has been led in complex cases involving firearms, conspiracies to defraud, large-scale importation and production of drugs, and serious sexual abuse of children. Some examples of such cases include:
Iain has appeared in the Court of Appeal on a number of occasions either arguing that his clients’ sentences were manifestly excessive, or responding to references of the Attorney General. Some interesting cases in which Iain has been instructed on appeal include:
International criminal defence
Iain has had a long-standing academic and professional interest in international criminal law.
In November 2012 he was assigned to the defence team representing Mustafa Amine Badreddine before the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon based in The Hague, Netherlands. Mr Badreddine is charged with three co-defendants with the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 other persons, and associated acts of terrorism. The trial will be the first of its kind before an internationalised tribunal in that it will be conducted in the absence of the accused.
From early 2009 Iain was a member of three different defence teams representing persons accused of genocide and crimes against humanity before the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda based in Arusha, Tanzania. He was appointed as a member of the defence teams in the following cases:
Jean Uwinkindi – Mr Uwinkindi was a Pentecostal pastor in Kigali-Rural prefecture. He is accused of genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity. The chief accusation against him relates to his alleged involvement in stopping a large number of displaced Tutsis at a roadblock close to his church before instigating and ordering their subsequent killing. He denies all the allegations against him. In December 2011 the Appeals Chamber of the ICTR upheld a decision to refer his case for trial before the High Court in Rwanda.
Gaspard Kanyarukiga – The client was an influential businessman based in Kibuye prefecture charged with genocide, complicity in genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity. It was alleged that he was one of the authorities most responsible for an infamous massacre at Nyange church whereby the church was deliberately bulldozed, crushing to death up to 2,000 Tutsis sheltering inside. Many specific allegations were found to be not proved but Mr Kanyarukiga was convicted in November 2010 of planning genocidal killings and of extermination.
Dominique Ntawukulilyayo – The first sous-préfet to be indicted before the ICTR, Mr Ntawukulilyayo was charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, and direct and public incitement to commit genocide. The principal accusation related to a massacre of up to 25,000 Tutsis at Kabuye hill in his district of Butare prefecture. Most of the specific allegations against the client were found to be not proved but he was ultimately convicted of aiding and abetting, and of ordering, acts of genocide. This was a rare case where the Trial Chamber convicted by a majority with one of the three judges dissenting. On appeal, Mr Ntawukulilyayo was acquitted of ordering acts of genocide and his sentence reduced.
Iain is also presently instructed as co-counsel in the defence of Victoire Ingabire, the chairperson of FDU-Inkingi, a coalition of Rwandan opposition parties. In January 2010 Mrs Ingabire returned to Rwanda after 16 years in exile in the Netherlands with the intention of standing as a candidate in the up-coming presidential election. However, she was barred from registering her party and was instead arrested and charged with offences related to terrorism, genocide ideology, discrimination and disseminating rumours aimed at inciting the public against the existing leadership. The case was heard at first instance before the High Court in Kigali for which Iain was granted rights of audience by the Rwandan Bar Association. Mrs Ingabire's case attracted considerable attention from, amongst others, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, LIPRODHOR and EurAc; it also featured widely in the international media. The trial started in September 2011 and was the longest criminal trial to have been heard in Rwanda. In October 2012 she was convicted of two of the six counts and sentenced to 8 years' imprisonment (the prosecution had been requesting life). The case is now on appeal before the Rwandan Supreme Court.
Iain has over 14 years' experience representing clients fleeing persecution. He has represented many hundreds of asylum seekers from a wide range of countries on appeal before the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration & Asylum Chamber) and Upper Tribunal. He also advises on judicial reviews of immigration decisions with a fast-developing expertise in High Court actions involving refusals of naturalisation applications on "bad character" grounds. He has a particular interest in deportation appeals.
Iain's expertise in domestic and international criminal law coupled with his experience of the legal and human rights climate in many different countries, particularly in Central and Eastern Africa, makes him an attractive and natural choice of advocate in complex extradition cases. He has represented defendants both at first instance and on appeal before the High Court.
Iain joined Chambers as a pupil in 2001. Before coming to the Bar he worked as a caseworker in what was then one of the largest immigration solicitors’ firms in England. Until he took the decision to focus on and develop his criminal defence practice, about half of Iain's work was in the field of asylum and immigration, and associated human rights law.
Iain also worked for REDRESS, a London-based non-governmental organisation involved in seeking reparations for victims of torture from around the world.
Iain speaks fluent French and (increasingly rusty) Japanese. He would like to improve his Swahili and Italian.
His interests include travel, motorcycling, music, scuba-diving and theatre.
Criminal Bar Association, Liberty, JUSTICE, Amnesty International, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, International Criminal Bar, International Bar Association