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Soraya is a versatile barrister, combining a developing criminal practice prosecuting and defending in the Crown Court with an established career in international human rights.

Prior to joining chambers as a third six pupil, Soraya successfully completed pupillage with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), where she exclusively prosecuted in the Crown Court, receiving praise for her robust, fair and sensitive advocacy, particularly in cases involving vulnerable defendants and witnesses.  Soraya is developing expertise in cases where defendants may be victims of human trafficking or modern slavery and are referred to the National Referral Mechanism.

Soraya is an expert on international human rights in the Middle East and North Africa region. She has appeared regularly  before various UN bodies, both as an expert and to represent victims of human rights abuses, in the context of juvenile justice, human trafficking, and counterterrorism. She has particular expertise in preparing  submissions to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Special Procedures and Committees.

Between 2013 and 2019, Soraya spearheaded Reprieve’s strategic casework on the death penalty in the MENA region, leading the organisation’s work on some of the most prominent cases involving victims of human rights abuses facing imminent execution.

Soraya is dedicated to enhancing access to international justice for victims. She has trained human rights defenders, lawyers and NGOs on preparing complaints to UN Mechanisms, as well as drafted best practice manuals on capital defence and international law. Soraya is trained in documenting torture and ill-treatment in line with UN principles, and in assessing State compliance with international minimum standards in the conduct of such investigations.

Soraya has also advised governments, large consultancies and small boutique dispute advisory firms on money laundering and terrorist financing legislation in the MENA region.

Before embarking on a career in law, Soraya was an investigative journalist and maintains an interest in freedom of expression and human rights in the digital age.

Languages

  • Arabic (native)
  • French (native)
  • Hebrew (fluent)
  • Spanish (intermediate)
  • Farsi (beginner)

Memberships

  • Bar Human Rights Committee

Education

  • BPTC, City Law School, City University of London
  • Graduate Diploma in Law, BPP University Law School
  • BA (Hons) Arabic and Hebrew, The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
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