Ben specialises in international criminal law, extradition, international human rights and complex financial crime.
Ben has acted in some of the most high profile international criminal cases of the last decade, in particular before the International Criminal Court. He also regularly represents individuals and requesting States in extradition proceedings before Westminster Magistrates’ Court and the Administrative Court. Ben has significant expertise in complex cases involving international fraud, bribery and corruption.
Thanks to his expertise in diverse but complementary areas of law, Ben brings a unique perspective to all of his cases. He has extensive experience drafting incisive arguments concerning legally and factually complex issues, and is highly regarded for the quality of his written work. Having worked on the ground with legal and investigative teams in Africa, South East Asia and Europe, Ben prides himself on his collaborative approach to complex, document-heavy cases.
WHAT THE DIRECTORIES SAY
Ben is ranked in the Legal 500 as a Leading Junior in Extradition and International Crime.
He is described as a ‘solid advocate’ with ‘significant experience prosecuting and defending in extradition matters, as well as in international criminal law.’
Ben ‘takes a sensible approach to arguments and does not take bad points.’ He ‘can be counted on to take a robust approach.’
He ‘sees the wider picture and considers strategic litigation perspectives.’
Ben represents and conducts advisory work on behalf of governments, organisations and individuals. The international nature of his practice demands that he is comfortable operating in adversarial and inquisitorial systems. Similarly, he acts in cases before tribunals that adhere to both the civil and common law traditions.
Ben is comfortable dealing with the vast volumes of evidence that are commonplace in international litigation. Experienced operating in hostile conditions, he conducts sensitive defence investigations with care and precision. In both Kenya and Cambodia, Ben interviewed sensitive witnesses and provided legal assistance to police, military and communications experts. He has worked closely with intelligence professionals on the collection and analysis of complex financial and communications evidence.
Ben has been appointed to the lists of counsel of both the International Criminal Court and the Kosovo Specialist Chambers. He also appears on the List of Legal Consultants of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.
Ben is a specialist extradition practitioner. He regularly represents individuals and requesting States in contested extradition hearings before Westminster Magistrates’ Court and on appeal before the High Court. Ben also advises on import extradition cases.
Between 2017-2018, Ben undertook an 18-month secondment with the CPS Extradition Unit, during which he conducted hearings and carried out casework on a substantial number of complex cases under both Parts 1 and 2 of the Extradition Act 2003.
Ben has been appointed to the CPS Specialist Extradition Advocate Panel (Level 2)
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS
Ben represents individuals and organisations in cases involving violations of international human rights law. He has developed particular expertise in respect of a number of regional tribunals, including the European Court of Human Rights, Court of Justice of the European Union, African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Southern African Development Community Tribunal.
Ben is able to assist clients prior to the issuance of proceedings until the conclusion of the case. He is comfortable providing practical advice on investigations, as he has significant experience managing projects concerned with the documentation and analysis of potential breaches of international human rights law. Once proceedings have commenced, Ben is able to draw upon his considerable experience before the international tribunals to ensure that all applications – whether oral or written – are prepared and delivered with forensic precision.
Prior to joining the Bar, Ben spent time at a human rights organisation in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In Cambodia, Ben was involved in initiatives concerned with domestic and regional human rights issues, including the development of a nation-wide trial monitoring project, freedom of expression protection, and advocacy concerning land rights and land-grabbing.
COMPLEX FINANCIAL CRIME
Ben has substantial experience in large-scale international fraud, bribery and corruption cases.
Ben has particular expertise as concerns disclosure in complex fraud and bribery cases. He is currently instructed by the Serious Fraud Office to manage the disclosure process in a prosecution being brought under the Bribery Act 2010. He also has significant experience in cases involving Deferred Prosecution Agreements and the agent/principle distinction as set out under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.
Ben has been appointed to the SFO Advocate Panel (C Panel).
- CPS Specialist Extradition Advocate Panel (Level 3)
- Serious Fraud Office Advocate Panel – C PaneL
- International Criminal Court – List of Associate Counsel
- Kosovo Specialist Chambers – List of Counsel
- Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia – List of Legal Consultants
LECTURING AND ARTICLES
Ben has delivered lectures and training sessions on international criminal law, international human rights and extradition, for example:
- Lecture entitled ‘Extradition, Brexit, INTERPOL and the General Election’, 2020
- Article entitled ‘Judicial Review as a Safety Valve in Extradition Proceedings’, 2020
- Delivered training course for the Crown Prosecution Service Extradition Unit entitled ‘Fast-Track Extradition Training for Counsel’, 2018.
- Lecture entitled ‘The Role of the Defence’, ECCC, Phnom Penh, 2016.
- Lecturer in Law, Royal University of Law and Economics, Phnom Penh, ‘Conversion, Land-grabbing, Corruption and International Human Rights’, 2015-2016.
- Lecture entitled ‘The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights’, HMS President, London, April 2014.
The Prosecutor v. Dominic Ongwen – International Criminal Court
Ben is currently engaged as a legal consultant for the defence team representing Dominic Ongwen, the first former child soldier to be tried at the Court.
News story here
The Prosecutor v. Uhuru Kenyatta – International Criminal Court
Ben was a long-term member of the defence team that represented Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of Kenya, before the ICC. Ben played a key role in laying bare the investigative flaws in the Prosecution’s case that eventually led to the withdrawal of all charges and the termination of the case against President Kenyatta by Trial Chamber V(B) in 2015.
News story here
Case 004/02 – Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
Ben was also instructed to represent Ao An, an alleged former Khmer Rouge leader accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the 1956 Cambodian Penal Code. On 10 August 2020, the Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC issued a landmark ruling terminating the proceedings against Ao An. Following 13 years of investigation, the Court could not agree that it had jurisdiction to prosecute Mr Ao An.
News story here.
Gibraltar v AO  Westminster Magistrates’ Court
Successfully resisted request for extradition on human rights grounds on behalf of requested person with PTSD.
Celczynski v Poland  EWHC 3450 (Admin),  4 W.L.R. 21,  12 WLUK 181; and  4 WLUK 327
Case considering the extent of the High Court’s judicial review jurisdiction in extradition proceedings: judicial review is available to correct illegality in appropriate exceptional cases where the court does not have jurisdiction to deal with that illegality under the appeal provisions of the Extradition Act 2003.
Cukierski v Poland  EWHC 196 (Admin),  1 WLUK 140
Whether there exists an English law equivalent to the Polish offence of ‘insulting a police officer’ for the purposes of dual criminality under section 65(3) of the Extradition Act 2003.
Baranik v Poland  EWHC 3520 (Admin),  12 WLUK 104
Case concerning a victim of modern slavery with PTSD, in which a trauma expert was examined before the High Court on matters relevant to section 25 of the Extradition Act 2003 and Article 8 ECHR.
VN v Czech Public  EWHC 409 (Admin)
Case concerning a Vietnamese victim-perpetrator of people smuggling diagnosed with PTSD, psychotic symptoms and severe depression. The High Court considered that to prove oppression under section 25 of the Extradition Act 2003, psychiatric evidence should demonstrate that extradition will lead to a severe and permanent deterioration in mental health.
Horvath v Czech Republic  EWHC 2895 (Admin),  10 WLUK 251
Case in which an individual had served five years of a six-year sentence in respect of offences that were 21 years old.
Spiridon v Romania  EWHC 1797 (Admin),  6 WLUK 475
Whether a conviction EAW could be treated as an accusation EAW because of a right to retrial.
Niedzwiadek v Poland  EWHC 1759 (Admin),  6 WLUK 549
Payment of compensation post-sentence activation as a factor in the Article 8 ECHR balance.
Bak v Poland  4 WLUK 114
Anxiety over immigration status due to Brexit as a factor in the Article 8 ECHR balance.
Lidak v Poland  EWHC 1429 (Admin),  EWHC 1321 (Admin)