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Rajesh is meticulous in his preparation, practical in the advice he gives and bold in his advocacy. He is a well-regarded and experienced barrister who has practised immigration, human rights and public law for over twenty years.
He has been a director of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and the Kurdish Human Rights Project, both of which are leading organisations in the field of immigration and international human rights law. He is now on the panel of the council of experts of the democratic progress institute.
Having held the post of treasurer at 1MCB Chambers for years 2015-2019, Raj is now joint Deputy Head of Chambers. He has also been a director of an AIM-listed investment company where he took charge of the renewable energy portfolio. This has given him insight into business and organisational structures, which he uses when advising on business applications.
He has lectured extensively in the UK and internationally on a wide variety of legal issues, including immigration and asylum law and freedom of expression (Bar of Armenia), enforcement of European court judgments (human rights organisation in Turkey), minority linguistic rights (European Parliament), women’s and children’s rights in areas of conflict (cross-border conference to NGOs working in Kurdish regions). He has chaired these cross-border conferences on an annual basis from 2009 to 2012 in regions in south-east Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan. He has had several reports published as a trial and human rights observer.
Immigration & asylum
Rajesh started work in this emotive area of law when very few took the rights of immigrants seriously. He has seen a significant change. Immigration and asylum law has become an intricate and complex area of work, which is politically charged, profoundly impacts on individuals lives and has become synonymous with fundamental rights of individuals. Has done work in all courts including the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights and his involvement with organisations such as JCWI means he possesses a wider perspective in this area of law than just court experience.
LH (Nigeria) & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 26: At the moment Rajesh is particularly interested in the rights of young adults (14 to 17 years of age) who cannot be described as children or adults. This case was one of the first that started to explore the issues dealing with the representation of young adults where there may be potential conflicts with their guardians and/or parents.
Public law & judicial review
Rajesh practises in all aspects of public law within the human rights and immigration and asylum context including emergency grounds for judicial review and High Court proceedings.
Stanley College London Ltd, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1038 (Admin): A challenge to the SSHD’s decision to refuse the Claimant’s application for highly trusted sponsor status under tier 4 of the points-based system of the immigration rules.
International human rights
Rajesh was a director of the Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP) for over seven years. He was treasurer for three years. In that time the KHRP litigated over 50 cases in the European Court of Human Rights including some of the most prominent cases in the Court’s history such as Ocalan, abolishing the death penalty in Turkey, and Illisu Dam.
- Stepenyan v Armenia (EctHR) (45081/04) (2009): The European Court of Human Rights found infringements to the right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This is a KHRP assisted case in which Rajesh led on all pleadings and written submissions;
- Gabrielyan v Armenia (EctHR) 8088/05 (April 2012): The European Court of Human Rights found contraventions of Article 6(3) when read with Article 6(1) of the Convention. In particular, the Court made important observations in relation to the right to effective representation by state appointed lawyers, on the right to cross examine witnesses and the legal position in relation to dealing with absent witnesses. Rajesh drafted the full submissions in this application.
Speaking events, training and seminars
Rajesh has lectured on CPD accredited courses for chambers and JCWI. He also lectures internationally on a wide variety of legal issues for the KHRP and BHRC including:
- Freedom of expression (to the Bar of Armenia), enforcement of European Court judgments (to human rights organisation in Turkey);
- Women’s rights (cross-border conference in south-east Turkey to NGOs working in Kurdish regions);
- In November 2011 Rajesh travelled to northern Iraq to chair a cross-border conference of NGOs dealing with issues such as children’s and women’s rights in conflict situations. He has chaired these cross-border conferences of NGOs on a yearly basis from 2009 to 2012;
- More recently Rajesh has concentrated his efforts on community and social regeneration programmes. This has been reflected in lectures such as a talk in India during the Kumbh Mela on “Energy Farming” (2007) in Africa and Asia, in the USA on “Ethical enterprise and holistic trusteeship of people and land” (2008) and “Spirituality today: shared benefits and shared responsibilities” (2009).
Rajesh has also developed models promoting community and environmental regeneration programmes. He is the founding director of HIC – a community centred NGO based in Cameroon – and Human Energy (Uganda) Ltd.
Council of Experts Democratic Progress Institute
Punjabi and Hindi (not fluent)
Rajesh was a contributor to the 1998 edition of the JCWI Handbook on Immigration and Asylum Law.
He has conducted a number of international trial observations in the last ten years in regions such as Turkey, Tunisia and Armenia and has had a number of reports published. They include:
- “Publishers on trial: Freedom of expression in Turkey in the context of EU Accession” (khrp.org);
- “Trial observation: Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Association – Unfair trials in Tunisia” (www.euromedrights.org/files) in which he carried out trial observation and wrote a report in 2001 on Dr Moncef Marzouki who had been tried by the then government for his vocal promotion of fundamental freedoms. In 2011 Dr Marzouki was elected the President of Tunisia.
Hobbies & interests
Eastern philosophy, Sanskrit, meditation, sitar