Category: News

UN Human Rights Committee complaint against Türkiye regarding airstrikes on Yazidi civilians in Sinjar

Soraya Bauwens

A complaint has been filed against Türkiye before the United Nations Human Rights Committee on behalf of four Iraqi citizens, all Yazidi, regarding airstrikes carried out by the Turkish airforce against a civilian hospital, the Sikenye Medical Clinic, in Sinjar, Iraq. The airstrikes in August 2021 resulted in the killing of eight civilians and severely injured many others.

The complaint was lodged by the Accountability Unit and Women for Justice, a female-led Yazidi NGO, with the assistance of a team of international lawyers, including Soraya Bauwens of 1MCB Chambers, and Tatyana Eatwell and Aarif Abraham of Doughty Street Chambers.

It is the first complaint of its kind to be brought before an international body on the issue of Turkish airstrikes against the Yazidi, and follows a two-year investigation. There have been no formal investigations into the airstrikes, or accountability for the killing and serious injury to civilians.

Air strikes by the Turkish air force in Sinjar are ongoing, resulting in continuing insecurity in the region and hampering the return of survivors of the Yazidi genocide to their homeland.

News of the complaint has been widely reported on, including in The Guardian and on Radio 4 Today.

More information about the complaint can be found here.

Soraya was a contributing author to the 2022 report launched in the UK Parliament on ‘State Responsibility and the Yazidi Genocide’ by the Yazidi Justice Committee,  available here.

Ranjeet Dulay’s client found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

Ranjeet Dulay represented a man found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity following a trial at Warwick Crown Court.

Ranjeet’s client was charged with several offences arising out of a five-day siege of his house in Coventry in 2022, after barricading himself inside his home with his young child and threatening to shoot police who had initially attended to carry out a welfare check.

Specialist officers were called to the scene, including armed response units, to negotiate with him over the course of the five-day stand-off.  Roads, homes, local businesses and amenities were shut off whilst negotiators and armed response units were on the scene for days.

Following trial,  Ranjeet’s client was found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity, and the judge disposed of the case by way of hospital order.

The common law defence of ‘insanity’ requires expert evidence from at least two medical practitioners and for the jury to reach a ‘special verdict’.

Ranjeet was instructed by  Barry Akilo at Rodman Pearce Solicitor.

The case was widely reported on, including in The Guardian, Sky News and The Coventry Telegraph.

Ignatius Fessal secures acquittal in firearms trial

Ignatius Fessal secured an acquittal for his client following an eight-day trial at Croydon Crown Court, where the defendant faced a 16-count indictment alleging possession of firearms.

Ignatius was instructed by Tahir Ali from Wainwright & Cummins LLP Solicitors.


Loïs Mbu shortlisted for Junior Clerk of the Year at the Legal 500 Bar Awards 2023

1MCB is delighted to announce that Loïs Mbu has been shortlisted for Junior Clerk of the Year at the Legal 500 Bar Awards 2023. Loïs joined 1MCB in January 2023 as a junior criminal clerk.

The Legal 500 Bar Awards seek to recognise sets as wholes as well as individuals: barristers at all levels of seniority, clerks, other chambers’ professionals, and arbitrators.

The winners will be announced on 03 October 2023.

The shortlist can be viewed here.


Job vacancy – Fees Clerk

1MCB Chambers is seeking to appoint a full time Fees Clerk as soon as possible to join our friendly working environment. This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced and self-starting Fees Clerk to support chambers with leading criminal and civil barristers.

To find out more about the role and how to apply, please visit our Staff Vacancies page.

Ranjeet Dulay successfully argues pre-emptive self defence

Ranjeet Dulay successfully represented a defendant accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm. Her client admitted throwing a punch which resulted in significant facial injuries to the complainant. The defendant’s case was that he made a pre-emptive strike in self defence. The defendant was acquitted of this serious charge after a trial at Croydon Crown Court.

Ranjeet was instructed by Clint Ambrose of Cambrose Solicitors.

David Langwallner secures acquittal for care home employee accused of abuse

David Langwallner acted in a multi handed two week case at Wolverhampton Crown Court, involving allegations of abuse by carers in a care home.  The case involved complex assessment of care home policy, training, and staffing, as well as legal argument about the crucial distinction between the test for criminal recklessness and a breach of the common law duty of care for the purposes of a civil claim in negligence.

David, who was instructed by Duncan Lewis Solicitors, was able to secure an acquittal for his client.

Ranjeet Dulay: acquittal in cannabis factory trial

Ranjeet Dulay recently successfully represented a defendant accused of being concerned in the production of cannabis. Her client and two other males were accused of attending an address where there was a large scale cannabis factory. It was the prosecution case that the defendants attended the address on two consecutive days, from where they removed cannabis plants and equipment in order to set up another factory elsewhere.  The defendant admitted attending the address but denied being part of an enterprise concerned in the production of cannabis.

Ranjeet was instructed by Sheraz Chowdhury of Asghar & Co Solicitors.

1MCB hosts UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent

1MCB Chambers hosted the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent and the bereaved family of Chris Kaba as part of the UN Working Group’s  fact-finding visit to the UK to gather information on any forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and assess the human rights situation of people of African descent in the country. They will also follow up on implementation of recommendations made after the experts’ visit to the UK in 2012.

Chris Kaba, 24, was fatally shot by a firearms officer from the Metropolitan Police shortly before 10pm on 5th September in Kirkstall Gardens, Streatham Hill, London. His death is now under investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

The UN Working Group delegation was led by Catherine S. Namakula and includes Barbara G. Reynolds and Dominique Day.

As part of the fact finding mission, the Working Group met with government representatives, national institutions, people of African descent, lawyers, civil society organisations and individuals working on issues of racism and racial discrimination.

On 27th January, the Working Group issued a statement at the conclusion of their fact finding mission, finding that the discrimination against people of African descent is “structural, institutional and systemic” in the UK.

The Working Group will present their report on their UK Mission to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2023.

Soraya Bauwens’ client unanimously acquitted of terrorism charges

Soraya Bauwens

KA was acquitted on four terrorism charges after a three-week trial at the Central Criminal Court on Friday 16th December 2022.

KA, a young man of good character who had been remanded in custody for over a year awaiting trial, was charged with dissemination of three terrorist publications in May 2020, and possession of a machete in circumstances which give rise to a reasonable suspicion that his possession was intended for a purpose connected with the commission or preparation of an act of terrorism in October to November 2021. The jury returned unanimous verdicts of Not Guilty on all counts on the indictment after approximately two hours of deliberations.

The Crown relied extensively on ‘mindset’ material to suggest KA had an ‘extremist’ mindset. This included reliance on videos, audios, nasheeds, social media messages and posts, and internet history, amongst others. The Crown suggested KA had been radicalised through exposure to ISIS, Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and other propaganda material.

The three-week trial included detailed argument and examination on the following issues:

• Extensive and successful legal arguments on ‘mindset’ material;

• The objective parameters of a terrorist publication under section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006;

• The change in burden and standard of proof in relation to section 57;

• Section 8 disclosure applications for evidence that may undermine the crown’s case and/or assist the defence;

• The admissibility of expert opinion evidence on the subject of what may constitute a terrorist publication;

• Engagement of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights during an assessment of what constitutes a terrorist publication, and when assessing mindset material, including unpalatable speech;

• Geopolitical issues, including the background to the Syrian conflict and atrocities committed; the legitimacy of the Assad regime; whether specified militia groups in various parts of the world were religious or political in nature;

• Cultural and linguistic issues, including to what extent a passive prayer may be framed in the context of encouragement or inducement to commit acts of terrorism, significance of a Shahadah flag, and the use of certain Arabic terminology and their context dependent meaning;

• Theological issues, including examination of the belief system of various sects, types of Salafi and other Islamic groups, interpretation of verses of the Quran and Hadith, definition and scope of terms such as ‘khawarij’, and ‘takfir’, and the proper meaning of ‘jihad.’

The defence instructed technical experts to examine numerous seized devices, and an expert on culture, language, Islamic law, with experience of terrorist materials to assist.

1MCB Chambers’ Soraya Bauwens and Rabah Kherbane (Doughty Street Chambers) were instructed as juniors by Amer Ahmad at JD Spicer Zeb Solicitors.  Sultana Tafadar KC (No5 Barristers’ Chambers) was instructed as leading counsel.