Our Expertise

Public International Law

4 New Square have a fast growing presence at the public international law Bar.

Members of Chambers regularly act on behalf of, and against, national governments in the UK and abroad in contentious and advisory proceedings, and advise governments, corporate bodies, non-governmental organisations, and individuals on a range of matters including:

  • the protection of foreign investment under bilateral investment treaties as well as regional protections such as NAFTA and the Energy Charter
  • the interpretation and application of international law in domestic courts and international courts and tribunals
  • state and diplomatic immunity
  • international environmental law
  • the use of force and armed conflict
  • the international protections for human rights through international treaties such as the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Current and recent instructions in the field of public international law include disputes before the International Court of Justice, the ICSID and ICC tribunals, the European Court of Human Rights, the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States, and the domestic courts of the United Kingdom, the Gambia and the Republic of Turkey. Given Chambers’ long-standing strength in international arbitration work, members of chambers are particularly well placed to advise and to represent parties in investor-State disputes.

Highlights of recent public international work by Members of Chambers include:

  • appearing as counsel for the Republic of Costa Rica before the International Court of Justice in the case concerning Certain Activities Carried Out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
  • acting for the investors in a substantial investment arbitration against the Maldives Government
  • acting on behalf of the UK government in the challenge by an Iranian Bank to the validity of sanctions imposed in line with international treaty obligations
  • acting for and advising an investor in ICSID proceedings against a Central Asian state
  • appearing as counsel for the Republic of Costa Rica before the International Court of Justice in the case concerning Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Cost Rica)
  • acting for a leading European Bank in a $75 million property rights claim pending before the European Court of Human Rights
  • acting on behalf of leading NGOs against the Gambia under the human rights provisions of the Economic Community of West African States treaty
  • appearing as counsel for a European state in the CME/Lauder bilateral investment treaty claims
  • acting on behalf of leading NGOs in the challenge, on the grounds of compliance with customary international law and international treaty law, to the detention of David Miranda when carrying material from the Edward Snowden leaks
  • advising the Republic of Serbia in the advisory proceedings before the International Court of Justice concerning Accordance with international law of the unilateral declaration of independence in respect of Kosovo.

A number of our Members of Chambers hold academic posts, teaching public international law in leading universities around the world and serve on expert panels of counsel, such as the Attorney General’s Public International Law Panel of Counsel.

Contact our Clerks’ Room

Contact clerks

Public International Law Barristers

Roger Stewart KC

Call: 1986 Silk: 2001

Paul Nicholls KC

Call: 1992 Silk: 2012

Nicholas Fletcher KC

Call: 1982 Silk: 2014

Richard O’Brien KC

Call: 2005 Silk: 2024

Tim Chelmick

Call: 2004

Lionel Nichols

Lionel Nichols, FCIArb

Call: 2008 (Australia); 2013 (England & Wales)

Jonathan Worboys

Call: 2010

Anthony Jones

Call: 2011

Paul Fisher

Call: 2012

Seohyung Kim

Call: 2016

Hannah Daly

Call: 2017

John Williams

Call: 2017

Samuel Cuthbert

Call: 2018

Camilla Cockerill

Call: 2022

Aiman Odeh

Call: 1985 (Jordanian Bar)

If you would like to know more or have a question please talk to our clerks

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