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Ife joined 1MCB as a pupil in November 2021. She is currently completing her first six, focusing on general crime, under the supervision of Salma Lalani. Ife intends to build a broad practice in criminal law with a particular focus on youth justice, protest law, domestic and international human rights, and the intersection between public law and criminal law. She is particularly interested in cases that challenge systemic racism, discrimination and anti-Blackness. She also has an interest in building a multi-disciplinary practice in family law, education Law and public law.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Ife gained broad experience in criminal law, international human rights, education law and family law. She has previously worked as a criminal paralegal on police station, magistrates’ and Crown Court matters, regularly drafted defence statements and conducted research memos.

In 2018, Ife was a family law paralegal at Venters Solicitors. She worked on public and private family law matters, often supporting vulnerable clients. Before this she was an education and community care paralegal at Just For Kids Law (Home | Just For Kids Law), providing assistance and representation to vulnerable young people on school exclusion matters. Ife is passionate about providing holistic support to young people and was a youth worker at a charity called Art Against Knives(ART AGAINST KNIVES), and a volunteer Youth Referral Panel member for over two years at the Brixton Youth Offending Team.

In 2020, Ife was selected by the United Nations Office for Human Rights as the UK’s UN Fellow for the UN International Decade for People of African Descent (International Decade for People of African Descent | United Nations). As a UN Fellow, Ife campaigns for better protection of the human rights of people of African descent in the UK. In this capacity she has drafted international human rights concerns and complaints to United Nations Special Procedures, including the Working Group on People of African Descent and the Special Rapporteur on Racism and the Rights of the Child. One of these urgent complaints to the UN Human Rights Council was in regard to the ‘Jamaica 50’ deportations. Another early warning measure she led on to the UN ICERD Committee resulted in UN experts condemning a UK government report(OHCHR | UN Experts Condemn UK Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities Report). She has also presented in front of various UN bodies including delivering an intervention at the 2nd Meeting of the 27th United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent (WGEPAD) session. She maintains an active interest in international human rights law and its intersection with racial justice and is currently supporting the new UN Permanent Forum for People of African Descent.

Pro bono work

Ife is committed to pro bono work, community organising and movement lawyering.

She actively supported those affected by the Windrush scandal by volunteering at Windrush Legal Clinic. She was also a part of the Sarah Reed Campaign and the BME Lawyers for Grenfell group.

During her BPTC studies, she volunteered as a East London Family Court duty advocate through the University of Law Legal Clinic.  She represented clients on matters involving child arrangements orders, specific issue and prohibited steps applications as well as a number of non-molestation orders, and drafted court orders following hearings.  Ife was also a FRU volunteer advocate for social security appeals, drafting written submissions for tribunal hearings.

As a community organiser, she has set up two organisations, BLAM UK (BLAM UK CIC – We aim to promote a positive dialogue of social identity and culture through history) and BPLS (BPLS 4F R – Black Protest Legal Support (blackprotestlaw.org)). BLAM is an educational and advocacy not-for-profit that teaches Black history in schools and Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) across London. BLAM has partnered with the Equal Rights Trust to bring about a legal challenge to the UK government for failing in its legal obligations under ICERD by not including Black history and anti-racism on the national curriculum. BLAM also provides free education law advocates to parents and YOTs across London.

Ife founded Black Protest Legal Support UK in May 2020 in the wake of the global Black Lives Matter protests to ensure BLM protesters in the UK could have access to pro bono legal support and representation, whilst ensuring their civil liberties were protected on the ground by lawyers acting as legal observers. BPLS gathered 100 barristers and lawyers on the ground for the first two of the largest protest dates in June 2020. BPLS legal observers held the police to account during the unlawful use of section 50 of the Police Reform Act within kettles. Ife continues to volunteer as a legal observer and contributes to drafting bust cards explaining protesters’ rights. Black Protest Legal Support jointly released a guide(The Howard League | Making Black lives matter in the criminal justice system) with the Howard League on how lawyers can make Black lives matter in the criminal justice system: Ife drafted the forward and worked extensively on the sections in regard to racial trauma, disproportionality in school exclusions and international best practice in relation to systemic racism as a mitigating factor in sentencing hearings.

As a Black history expert and a community organiser, Ife has given a number of talks they include:

  • Lecture for the University of Law: ‘Black Lives Matter and International Human Rights’
  • Air Jordan’s Real Talks : a Celebration of Black British History and Culture
  • National education conference on developing an anti-racist pedagogy
  • Oxford University on the UK’s BLM Protests
  • Middle Temple’s Black Lives Matter event
  • A talk at Leigh Day on the legacy of lawyers supporting protesters and the law around protesting in light of the coronavirus restrictions
  • Guest curator at the London Metropolitan Archives, where she curated a project using historical Black-British archival through audiovisual primary sources
  • City Hall keynote speaker on the link between school exclusions (Timpson Review) and the criminal justice system

Education

Ife graduated from the University of Sussex with an upper second class honours degree in Law with Politics. She was awarded a scholarship from the University of Sussex.

She completed her self-funded LLM BPTC part-time over two years at the University of Law.

Ife is on the Executive Committees for the Haldane Society of Socalist Lawyers and Black Women in Law.

Publications

  • Using UN Frameworks to Further Racial Justice within Britain, Oxford Human Rights Blog (October 2021) Article
  • Discriminatory Denial of the Right to Peaceful Assembly , Oxford Human Rights Blog (October 2021) Article 
  • Making Black lives matter in the criminal justice systemHoward League and Black Protest Legal Support ( May 2021)- Lead Contributor
  • The Mangrove 9 and the Radical Lawyering Tradition, Verso Books ( October 2020) Article 
  • Black Lives Matter UK: For Lasting Change, We Need ‘Movement Lawyers’, Eachother, (August 2020) Article 
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