One of the most significant developments since the Second World War is the emergence of human rights law. This has not only challenged the traditional notion of State sovereignty, but has also seen the emergence of a wholly new element in formerly States-only international law – the individual. Today, it is an accepted norm of international law that individuals should not be left exclusively at the mercy of their rulers and, accordingly, international human rights law now contains duties and obligations towards the individual. Through ratification of international human rights treaties, Governments undertake to respect and to protect human rights of their people. Where domestic legal institutions fail to deliver justice and human rights are violated, remedies are now available regionally and internationally.
9 Bedford Row International is committed to taking human rights cases at the domestic, regional and international level, to fight for justice on behalf of those whose rights and freedoms have been violated. 9 Bedford Row International works to protect the fundamental right of the individual to have his/her case heard by an independent judiciary, and assists individuals, anywhere in the world, who have suffered at the hands of their rulers.
Our internationally renowned team is experienced in defending human rights at all levels, from domestic to regional and international courts. 9 Bedford Row International is currently acting for those who lost their children in the school hostage crisis in Beslan in 2004 in Russia before the European Court of Human Rights. Our team is also representing the authors of “Bloody Harvest: Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China”, David Kilgour and David Matas, after their book was banned by the government of Russia as “extremist”.
In addition to our work before the European Court of Human Rights, Gillian Higgins has established ARC (Advice, Representation and Cases), an initiative aimed at strengthening the rule of law in Africa, primarily by taking cases before regional courts, tribunals and commissions, and raising awareness of egregious human rights violations through social media.
Public international law has been at the cutting edge of legal development in recent years. The introduction of the Human Rights Act in the United Kingdom and the increasing reliance on international law in the domestic courts means that expertise in this field is now more important than ever. 9 Bedford Row International is well versed in a number of important areas of public international law, including: taking cases to the European Court of Human Rights, UN Human Rights Committee and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; judicial review proceedings; acting for victims of international crimes in seeking reparations; advising on the recognition of judgments in foreign jurisdictions; advising on fair trials abroad; and challenging transfer of prisoner agreements. 9 Bedford Row International has particular expertise in presenting appeals with the UN Special Procedures Branch in Geneva and combining litigation and lobbying with achieving a desired result.
A developing area for 9 Bedford Row International is providing support to British citizens facing trial aboard. Consular assistance can be provided as of right. Further assistance can be provided by British lawyers dependent on the nature of the assistance requested and the country where the citizen is being held. British citizens serving a custodial sentence abroad can apply to be transferred back to the UK to serve the remainder of their sentence in the UK prison system. The transferring State, however, must have such an agreement with the UK (the receiving state) in order for this to be applicable. Members of the international team provide advice and assistance to the extent permitted by the holding country either from the UK or in person in that holding country and work closely with local legal teams providing representation where appropriate.
INSTRUCTIONS: HUMAN RIGHTS IMPACT ASSESSMENTS (HRIAs)
The Maritime Practice is available to conduct independent corporate reviews of commercial entities Human Rights policies and strategic plans in support of Companies statutory requirements and internal corporate social responsibility requirements, at highly competitive rates.