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‘Its distinguished members act for central and local government, NGOs, commercial organisations and individuals.’Chambers and Partners 2014
Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh

Contact: blinnenighralaigh@matrixlaw.co.uk Practice Manager: paulvenables@matrixlaw.co.uk

Blinne has a broad practice in all aspects of international law. She acts and advises on behalf of individuals, States, NGOs , corporations and other national and international bodies and organisations before international and national courts and tribunals.

Expertise

Blinne is recommended in the legal directories as a “stellar practitioner” and a leading junior in public international law. Her practice and experience span a wide range of subjects, including:

  • international claims and domestic cases relating to the use of force and other breaches of the laws of war and international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention
  • international maritime boundary disputes under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
  • international and domestic cases relating to allegations of genocide, torture and other violations of international human rights law
  • international trade and investment disputes, including claims for breach of international bilateral treaty obligations
  • international criminal matters, including the sovereign and diplomatic immunity from prosecution before international and domestic courts
  • domestic prosecutions under the rules of universal jurisdiction
  • claims before national courts relating to extra-territorial violations of international human rights law
  • international environmental law, including breach of environmental treaties
  • international criminal law, including the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court
  • claims raising issues of corporate liability for breaches of international human rights and criminal law

She has been instructed as counsel before various international courts and tribunals, including the International Court of Justice, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, arbitral panels constituted pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (‘UNCLOS’), and inter-State and investor-State arbitral panels, including under the rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (‘UNCITRAL’) and of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. She is also instructed in UK domestic courts in cases raising questions of international law.

Blinne is Vice Chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee, the international human rights arm of the Bar Council of England and Wales, on behalf of which she regularly conducts trial observations, participates in international legal missions, drafts legal interventions, and provides training to NGOs and national Bar associations on matters of international law and human rights.

She is also a frequent speaker at legal seminars and events on international law, including in the MENA region, in relation to which she has particular expertise.

Select cases

  • Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Croatia v. Serbia): claim before the International Court of Justice for breach of the Genocide Convention
  • ARA Libertad Arbitration (Argentina v. Ghana): arbitral proceedings initiated by Argentina pursuant to the UNCLOS concerning the seizure by Ghana of an Argentinian war ship
  • Case concerning the Interpretation of Article 11(1) of the Interim Accord of 1995 (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia v. Greece): successful claim by Macedonia against Greece before the International Court of Justice for breach of treaty obligations
  • Guyana v. Suriname: international maritime boundary dispute under UNCLOS raising allegations of use of force at sea, for which the Permanent Court of Arbitration acted as registry
  • Frontier v. Czech Republic: investor-State arbitration under the UNCITRAL rules alleging breach of the US-Czech Republic Bilateral Investment Treaty (‘BIT’)
  • R (Al Fawwaz) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department: challenge to the UK’s refusal to disclose materials requested by a US criminal court, pursuant to international co-operation agreements, including the UK-US Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, in a high profile terrorism-related prosecution
  • An Taisce (The National Trust for Ireland) v. Secretary of State for the Environment: challenge before the UK Court of Appeal to the UK government’s grant of permission for a nuclear power station, 150 miles from the Irish coast, raising issues under the Espoo Convention 1991 and the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969
  • Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum: amicus brief submitted on behalf of English law practitioners to the United States Supreme Court regarding domestic routes of redress for extraterritorial breaches of international human rights law.

Select publications and conference notes

  • Panelist at Chatham House’s event ‘Milestones in International Criminal Justice: The ICC and Palestine’ 2 December 2014)
  • Co –author (with Philippe Sands QC) of ‘Towards an International Rule of Law?’ in Tom Bingham and the Transformation of the Law: A Liber Amicorum (Oxford University Press, 2009)
  • Human Rights and Criminal Justice, Emmerson, Ashworth and Macdonald (2nd Ed., Sweet & Maxwell, 2007)
  • Co-author of ‘Human Rights, International Justice and the Rule of Law’ in Globalisation – A Liberal Response (CentreForum, 2007)

Blinne accepts instructions under the Bar Council of England and Wales’ Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here

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