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‘Matrix represents top quality.’Chambers and Partners 2014
James Stansfeld

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Recommended in Legal 500 2019 as a “real star of the extradition bar” and by Chambers and Partners 2017 as “academically very impressive”, James specialises in extradition, human rights and public law. In extradition he is regularly instructed to act for both requested persons and Governments in complex cases. He has appeared before the Supreme Court twice and regularly appears before the Divisional and Administrative Courts. In public law, he is frequently instructed by the Government in sensitive and complex judicial reviews, immigration proceedings and matters involving closed material and national security.

Extradition Law

James acts for both requested persons and requesting States in Part 1 and Part 2 requests, often in some of the most complex cases. James has particular expertise in arguments regarding the validity of requests and he acted in Alexander v France, the seminal case on s.2 and the ability to correct invalid EAWs. He has often been successful in cases in which there has been considerable delay and he has acted in the majority of the lead cases on prison conditions in Part 1 territories, including Portugal, Lithuania, Romania, Hungary and Greece.

James has significant expertise in Part 2 requests, having appeared for the Turkish, Albanian and Norwegian Governments and represented individuals sought by countries including the Russian Federation, Falkland Islands, United States, Turkey and the Ukraine.

James’ current instructions include acting for an ex-KGB spy in challenging his request to Latvia, an individual facing prosecution for terrorism offences in Italy and individuals facing extradition to Russia and the Falklands.

James is always available to advise on the merits of an appeal against an order for extradition and on challenges to Interpol Red Notices.

Public Law

James is frequently instructed to act in leading public law cases with national security and/or criminal features and is a member of the Attorney General’s Civil C Panel. He has appeared for the Government as junior before the Supreme Court, High Court and SIAC. James has acted in TPIM (Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011) proceedings and was instructed as junior in the first ever Temporary Exclusion Order (under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015) imposed on a returnee from ISIL-controlled territory. He acts in judicial reviews against immigration decisions, damage claims and inquests.

James’ current instructions include challenges to decisions by the Secretary of State to deprive individuals of their British nationality or exclude them from the United Kingdom, on going advice on disclosure into legacy inquests in Northern Ireland and he is junior counsel to the Security Service in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

With a criminal background and significant experience in human rights law James is always available to advise on challenges to decisions by public bodies.

Notable Cases


  • Goluchowski & Sas v Poland [2016] 1 WLR 2665 (Supreme Court – Validity of EAWs)
  • Bucnys & Ors v Ministries of Justice of Lithuania & Estonia [2013] 3 WLR 1485 (Supreme Court – Definition of judicial authority)
  • Henriques v Portugal [2019] EWHC 1998 (Portuguese prison conditions)
  • Krupeckiene v Lithuania [2019] EWHC 569 (Challenge to the Public Prosecutor’s status as a judicial authority)
  • Grozavu v Romania [2018] EWHC 2606 (Clarification of the law on the validity of EAWs where there is a merged sentence of imprisonment)
  • Mohammed v Portugal (No.1) & (No.2) [2018] EWHC 225 (Admin) & [2017] EWHC 3237 (Admin) (First successful challenge to extradition to Portugal on the grounds of prison conditions)
  • Ristea v Italy [2018] EWHC 1876 (Double jeopardy and abuse of process)
  • Alexander v France [2018] Q.B. 408 (Seminal case on the validity of European arrest warrants)
  • Owda v Greece [2017] EWHC 1174 (Admin) (Extradition request for a former Greek judge on corruption allegations)

 Public Law

  • Belhaj v DPP [2018] 3 WLR 435: (First decision by the Supreme Court on the application of closed material procedures under the Justice and Security Act 2013 to judicial review challenges to decisions not to prosecute.)
  • Abdule v Foreign and Commonwealth Office [2018] EWHC 3596: (Application under s.6 Justice and Security Act)
  • E3 N3 v SSHD (SC/138/2017 & SC/146/2017): (Statelessness appeal against deprivation)
  • T2 v SSHD (SC/129/2016): (Appeal against exclusion from the UK)
  • SSHD v LG, IM & JM [2017] EWHC 1529 (Admin) (Three TPIM proceedings brought against members of Al-Muhajiroun)
  • SSHD v EB [2016] 1970: (Section 9 review and section 16 appeal against a TPIM)

James is regulated by the Bar Standards Board and accepts instructions under Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.

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