Alex is a public access-qualified barrister practising in asylum, extradition, INTERPOL and cross-border cases. His is a broad, internationally focused practice which draws upon his background in EU and human rights law and his trusted working relationships with foreign lawyers. Alongside his busy English extradition practice, he is instructed (alone and as led junior) in a range of politically sensitive cases at the nexus of extradition, asylum and criminal law.
Prior to joining the practising bar, he was Head of EU Office at Fair Trials International (2012-16), where he worked on INTERPOL reform, EU criminal law training and strategic litigation at the European Court of Human Rights. He has strong grounding in EU law from earlier roles at the Court of Justice of the EU (Chambers of Eleanor Sharpston QC) and European Commission legal service. He remains an active member of the European criminal law and policy community.
- Regular drafting of and advice on applications to the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files, in particular in major politically sensitive cases (recent work on cases originating in the Russian Federation, Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, Italy, Ukraine, United States, Qatar).
- Regularly instructed as part of international legal teams to provide strategic on anticipated red / blue notices and diffusions, including as to asylum aspects, pre-emptive challenges etc.
- Extensive, applied experience across the full range of issues: political motivation, pure and relative political offences, unfunded / bounced cheque matters, torture evidence, corporate raiding etc.
- Led Fair Trials International’s work on INTERPOL (2012-2016), including development of several of the reforms adopted in 2017. Cited as “expert” by the Council of Europe (2017).
- Up to date and on top of Brexit issues, e.g. as to settled status and sentence transfer questions and the outlook for Part 1 cases at the end of the transition period 2020.
- Instructed in significant appeals, including Divisional Court matters developing the interpretation of s 20 of the Extradition Act 2003 and new lead matter in relation to French prison conditions.
- Access to trusted, working relationships with legal experts in almost every European jurisdiction (both Part 1 and Part 2 territories), able to provide rapid advice and in-country assistance.
- Able to provide advice to those already extradited in connection with post-extradition rights violations, e.g. infringement of specialty rights, in partnership with local lawyers.
- Co-author of the European Criminal Bar Association handbook “How to defend a European arrest warrant case”. Writing on extradition widely cited academically and by the CJEU.
- Regular work in partnership with foreign and UK lawyers on cross-border and international matters, including statelessness, asylum, criminal procedure and international court litigation.
- Experienced working with foreign lawyers to develop European Convention / International Covenant arguments and exhaust domestic remedies to set up international complaints in complex money-laundering, fraud and market abuse cases requiring international strategies.
- Experienced drafting and advising on arguments for applications to the European Court of Human Rights, UN Human Rights Committee, UN Special Rapporteurs and Inter-American Commission etc. after domestic litigation (e.g. v Czech Republic, Spain, Russian Federation, India, Sri Lanka).
- Legal advice and consultancy to non-governmental and international organisations, in relation to e.g. third-party interventions before domestic and regional courts and legislative reforms.
asylum, immigration and nationality
- Advisory work on asylum claims in the UK, in particular in connection with anticipated extradition proceedings, INTERPOL red notices and diffusions and risk arising sur place due to prosecution.
- Advocacy in asylum and human rights appeals before the First-tier Tribunal and judicial review of certifications before the Upper Tribunal.
- Advisory and advocacy work on “settled status” and/or EEA applications and areas of connection with Part 1 extradition proceedings in respect of EU citizens.
- Advice on nationality and statelessness issues, in particular in connection with actual or contemplated asylum and extradition proceedings.
Led junior in ongoing Divisional Court appeal: lead case on Paris prison conditions following recent ECtHR case-law and also on re-opening of s 7, abuse of process and Article 5 in connection with identity theft allegations.
Acted for a mother of four facing an 18-month sentence for fraud matters. The court set aside the District Judge’s finding as to “fugitive status” as applied to persons subject to previously suspended sentences and allowed the appeal.
Assisted the foreign lawyer with submissions successfully arguing a violation of Article 1, First Protocol (disproportionate retention of physical assets pending criminal proceedings, and ineffective judicial oversight).
– Successfully raised a new point of construction of s 20 of the Extradition Act 2003 in light of Article 4a(1)(c) of the EAW Framework Decision and the EU law principle of conforming interpretation to uphold otherwise flawed decision.
Successfully prosecuted case in a complex financial crime case involving 2,981 unlawful banking and fraud offences (appeal dismissed at permission stage).
Successfully prosecuted human trafficking matter involving novel forum issues relating to alleged linked trials of co-defendants in the UK.
Acted for the judicial authority in unusual and complex ne bis in idem case involving a single, final Romanian conviction for human trafficking conduct, component parts of which relating to different victims were subject to both final and non-final conviction in Italy.
Successfully prosecuted unusual case raising issues of specialty and and the application of Article 8 to those transiting through the UK.
- Successful submissions for the disclosure and cancellation of a green and/or red notice in relation to money-laundering proceedings against an Italian national
- Assistance to Ukrainian and English solicitors with submissions challenging an INTERPOL red notice based on a private dispute affecting a Russian businessman.
- Successful challenge to a controversial INTERPOL red notice based on Egyptian terrorism conviction, resulting in unprecedented finding of Article 2 violation due to the red notice ultimately being founded on torture evidence.
- Instructed by Fair Trials (pro bono) to draft third-party intervention on the European Arrest Warrant and conditions in European prisons.
- Error of law ruling recognising statutory change in the date of assessment for appeals against refusal of entry clearance applications (pending publication)
- Successful humanitarian protection appeal (Albania) based on risk to a former male child victim of trafficking for forced labour, despite negative NRM decision.
- Successful asylum appeal (Albania) based on risk to a victim of trafficking for sexual exploitation, achieved with psychiatric evidence and no NRM decision.
Recent Publications / Seminars
- Panellist in INTERPOL seminar at Matrix, Defence Extradition Lawyers Forum, 22 November 2018
– “The UK’s failure to refer questions to the Court of Justice of the EU”, guest lecture for the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Brussels (December 2018)
– “Guest post: Three issues with the arrest warrant for Carles Puigdemont”, Free Movement, November 2017 (available here)
– “Legal aid and negotiated justice: European perspectives”: presentation to the UN / USAID Regional Conference on Legal Aid, Tbilisi, Georgia, September 2017.
– “How to defend a European Arrest Warrant case” (general content and INTERPOL / SIS II alerts chapter), European Criminal Bar Association Handbook, October 2017, with Vania Costa Ramos, Edward Grange, Rebecca Niblock and Jodie Blackstock (available here).
- 'INTERPOL "wanted" alerts: using them as evidence and making them go away', Free Movement, 10 May 2017 (available here)
– “Echoes of Kadi: reforms to internal remedies at INTERPOL”, EJILTalk! (blog of the European Journal of International Law), 20 January 2017 (available here), cited by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee) report on INTERPOL.
– “Rights of the defence under Article 6(3) ECHR”, guest lecture to prosecutors, judges and lawyers for the Academy of European Law, Strasbourg, November 2017.
– “The Roadmap Directives in UK criminal proceedings: now and post-Brexit”, Archbold Review, August 2016 (available here).
– French: near-native standard orally and in writing (including legal)
– Italian: business proficiency
– Spanish: business proficiency
– Russian: intermediate level
PROFILE: Alex Tinsley
Human rights law
020 7489 2727
BA Italian & French (University College London)
Graduate Diploma in Law & Bar Vocational Course (University of Law)
Legal Experts Advisory Panel (LEAP)
Defence Extradition Lawyers Forum
Editorial board of the New Journal of European Criminal Law (since 2014)
European Criminal Bar Association: member of the Human Rights Committee
Co-chair (with Dr Anna Oehmichen) of the LEAP Working Group on the CJEU
CPS Specialist Extradition Advocate Panel (Level 2)