Caroline Macpherson

Called 2011



Caroline specialises in international criminal law, public international law, British criminal law and extradition. In addition, Caroline is developing a practice in British court martial and in private international law in the maritime context.

She is fluent in French and Italian and regularly practises in those languages.

International practice

International criminal law

Caroline has worked on cases which require litigation across a variety of national and international jurisdictions, notably Bangladesh, Tanzania, Thailand, and on cases before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in The Hague. Recent cases include:

  • International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR): Caroline was a Pegasus Scholas in Paris, where she worked at the Cabinet Godins Associés with Vincent Courcelle-Labrousse on the case of Prosecutor v. Callixte Nzabonimana.

  • International Crimes Tribunal, Dhaka, Bangladesh (ICT): Caroline assisted local counsel representing nine people produced before the recently established ICT and accused of committing genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes during the 1971 separation of East and West Pakistan. Her responsibilities include the drafting of applications filed by the Defence teams, including the Defence final briefs; handling and analysis of evidence; trial strategy; and research into the definition of crimes against humanity in the 1970s.

  • International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY): Caroline worked in Chamber III of the ICTY on the case The Prosecutor v. Prlić et al. The six accused were indicted for crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and violations of the laws and customs of war as part of a joint criminal enterprise (JCE) in Herceg-Bosna. During this time, she was appointed as a Judicial Assistant to Judge Árpád Prandler to assist him in preparing for the deliberations of the draft judgment.

Public international law

Caroline is frequently instructed to draft communications to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN-OHCHR) and the Human Rights Committee (HRC), a body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) by its State parties. These have been successful in bringing significant breaches of human rights to the attention of the United Nations and specific governments.

Most recently, her focus has been on extrajudicial or summary executions; torture and other inhumane treatment; the independence of the judiciary; enforced or involuntary disappearances; and arbitrary detention.

Caroline is familiar with the rules of admissibility before the HRC and has drafted opinions on the question for cases supported by Human Rights organisations.

Ahead of the 2013 Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council, Caroline drafted a paper outlining the breaches of human rights, notably the rights to fair hearing, committed during the trials before the ICT.


Caroline specialises in human rights issues relevant to Private Maritime Security Companies. She is currently engaged in the codification of guidance on ‘Human Rights at Sea’ and ‘Temporary Deprivation of Liberty (Detention) at Sea’ with David Hammond. As a new member of the Maritime Practice she drafts human rights impact assessments and is available for advisory work.

UK Practice

Criminal litigation

Caroline regularly appears in the Crown Court, Magistrates’ and Youth Court. She undertakes cases involving violent offences, offences of dishonesty, fraud, sexual offences and theft related offences.

Court Martial

Caroline has assisted Peter Glenser, who regularly defends military personnel at Courts Martial. She has a sound working knowledge of the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols, notably, Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, and Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, following her work on The Prosecutor v. Prlić et al. at the ICTY.


Caroline accepts instructions in extradition hearings including first hearings, full hearings and appeals.
She is a contributor to the Nine Bedford Row Guide to Extradition Law.

Regulatory and Disciplinary: Hillsborough Inquest

Caroline is instructed by Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP, solicitors to the Inquest, to assist counsel to the Inquest with the disclosure of evidence to the Interested Parties. Following the publication of the report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel last year, the Attorney General successfully applied to the High Court for these verdicts to be quashed and for fresh inquests to be ordered. Lord Justice Goldring is coroner to the new Inquest.

Further information

Before being called to the Bar, Caroline worked as a freelance journalist and editor for five years.


Caroline is a member of the Inner Temple. She is a Major Scholar of the Inner Temple and a former Pegasus Scholar. Caroline is also a member of the Association des Juristes Franco-Britanniques, Avocats sans Frontières, the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute and the Bar Human Rights Committee.


Caroline was educated in France, Italy and the United Kingdom. She holds a BA in European Social and Political Studies from University College London, DipLaw from City University, BPTC from BPP Law School.

Photo copyright: Hazel Gardner

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