Joe Holmes is dual qualified before the Bars of England and Wales and New York. He specialises in international law, human rights and criminal justice. He often appears before international criminal tribunals.
Joe has represented high-profile individuals in international criminal law for over 10 years. He has appeared before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) and the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), arguing long and complex cases at trial and appellate levels.
He also advises governments, corporations and NGOs on institutional reform, transitional justice and strategic litigation. He is currently advising the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on reform to the Somaliland criminal justice system. In that role he is responsible for cabinet level engagement, designing new court management systems, recommendations for procurement and training of local court staff, lawyers and judges.
▪ Instructed by the African Centre for Rights and Governance to advise on and prepare a response to the ‘Report of the Committee of the Judicial Services Commission on the Establishment of an International Crimes Division in the High Court of Kenya’.
▪ P v Alphonse Nteziryayo ICTR-98-42-A, (‘Butare’). Advised the former préfet of Butareon appeal against a single count of direct and public incitement to genocide and a sentence. The Appeals Chamber quashed and substituted sentence of 30 years.
▪ Regina v Ward  EWCA Crim 2534. Successful appeal against sentence.
▪ P v Kallon, SCSL-04-15-T, (‘RUF’). Legal consultant to the defence team of the former 2ic of the Revolutionary United Front during the Sierra Leonean civil war. Defended, amongst others, charges of the conscription child soldiers, slavery and forced marriages.
▪ P v Ngeze, ICTR-99-52-A, (‘Media’). Case which sought to delineate between mere hate speech, protected by the freedom of speech, and incitement to genocide. Legal assistant to the editor of Kangura magazine on appeal. Convictions reversed for genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, incitement to genocide and extermination and life sentence quashed and substituted.
State of New York, Attorney
Passed the Bar exams in 2007. Licensed to practise in the New York State and Federal jurisdictions in the USA.
Axiom International Ltd, Senior Justice Reform Advisor
Axiom International provides expert services in the defence, policing, criminal justice and forensic sciences sectors. Joe is regularly deployed as a subject-matter expert in criminal justice to consult on and implement institution and capacity-building projects in developing jurisdictions.
Global Rights Compliance LLP, Legal Consultant
GRC provides advice to Governments, corporations and NGOs on matters of international human rights law, international humanitarian law, transitional justice and business and human rights.
Spanish (fluent), French (conversational)
Call to Arms, with Lewis Power QC, International Bar Association North American Forum Regional Newsletter, (April 2013).
International Criminal Justice?, Criminal Law and Justice Weekly, (December 2012).
The Third International Defense Conference – International Criminal Justice: Justice for Whom?, Criminal Bar Quarterly, (December 2012).
Assisted Suicide: the Case for Reform C.L. & J. 2012, 176(20), 283-284, (April 2012).
Weighing up the Evidence, with Fulford LJ., (then President of the Trial Division of the International Criminal Court), Counsel, (May 2010).
TRAINING AND SPEAKING:
International Bar Association, War Crimes Committee, Annual Conference, Peace Palace, The Hague (forthcoming)
Association of Defence Counsel before the ICTY Training, The Hague
Designs and delivers bespoke training programmes for judges, prosecutors and defence lawyers in Hargeisa, Somaliland.
College of Law (BVC), Nottingham Law School (LPC), University of Nottingham (BA Law with European Law) and Universitat de Valençia (Diploma en Derecho Espanol).
International Bar Association
Criminal Bar Association
New York State Bar Association
Association des Avocats de la Defense (association of defence attorneys before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda)