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Head of the International Practice
Gillian is Head of the International Practice Group at 9 Bedford Row. As an international barrister, she has represented leading political figures before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and UN international tribunals.
She is a trained investigative interviewer able to handle sensitive witnesses and complex situations. Gillian also works as an accredited civil/commercial and workplace mediator. She also has a particular interest in the use of mediation to resolve international conflict situations. She is listed as a mediator on Clerksroom.
Background and Expertise
As an international lawyer with 20 years experience, Gillian has been involved in some of the leading cases in international criminal law. She is adept at providing advice, developing case strategy, and representing clients in the most complex cases.
Read more about background and expertise
Her recent advisory work includes providing submissions to the UN investigation into the conflict in Sri Lanka and reports about the Muslim Brotherhood for the Egypt State Litigation Authority. She has led sensitive investigations into alleged financial misconduct, and advised government-level clients on the potential impact of international criminal proceedings.
As a civil and commercial mediator, Gillian is skilled at navigating complicated factual and legal situations and is innovative in helping find creative solutions. She uses her communication skills to get to the heart of the matter calmly and professionally, putting participants at ease. She is also a workplace and employment mediator and a member of the faculty of the London School of Mediation.
In 2011 she founded ARC, which monitors the work of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Tanzania. In 2016, she served as a member of the steering committee for Oxfam’s Lawyers Against Poverty programme. She also lectures extensively and has provided consultancy services to organisations such as the Kurdish Human Rights Project, the State Court of BiH in Sarajevo, the Mike Campbell Foundation in South Africa, and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.
Proceedings at the ICC against President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, charged with crimes against humanity regarding allegations of a leading role in post-election violence of 2007–08. See the International Law Bureau report on the work of the 9 Bedford Row defence team.
Submissions to the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL), on behalf of three Sri Lankan NGOs, relating to the 30-year conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE (Tamil Tigers). 9 Bedford Row submitted detailed reports on aspects of the conflict, supported by evidence from open sources.
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Represented Cermak, who was acquitted of all charges in 2011. This case has been described as the most important trial in the history of Croatia – and concerned the prosecution of Ante Gotovina, Cermak and Mladen Markac in respect of the military action that resulted in the liberation of the Croatian territories from the Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK).
Legal consultant for the defence support section
Member of a fact-finding mission investigating the increase of suicides among Kurdish women in Turkey
Legal advisor. Trial observation work in relation to the HADEP trial in Ankara, Turkey
Training and lecturing
Gillian is a trainer in civil and commercial mediation and workplace mediation as a faculty member of the London School of Mediation. Gillian has also lectured extensively on fair trial rights, human rights law and international criminal law including at the following institutions: International Bar Association at The Belgrade International Law Conference; The German Bar Association; The Dutch Bar Association; Leiden University, The Hague Campus; The Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Indiana University, Faculty of Law, USA; The Association of Defence Counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ; The National University of Ireland, Human Rights Institute, Galway, Ireland; The Graduate School of Law, Riga, Latvia; University of Salzburg, Faculty of Law Exeter University, The Bar of Sarajevo; OSCE in Macedonia; International Bar Association in Phnom Penh, Cambodia ; Northwestern University, Chicago.
OTHER ACTIVITIES AND INTERESTS
- Conference speaker
- Volunteer youth worker
- Meditation teacher
- Co-author of The Intoxication Defence and Theories of Criminal Liability, The Addiction Research Foundation (ADR) 1999
- Life Beyond the Crown Court Grind, The Times 11 October 2005
- The Impact of the Size, Scope and Scale of the Milosevic Trial, special edition, Criminal Law Forum 2006
- Fair and Expeditious Pre-Trial Proceedings: The Future of International Criminal Trials, Journal of International Criminal Justice 2007
- Entries on The Prosecutor v Slobodan Milosevic and The Prosecutor v Ferdinand Nahimana in the Oxford Companion to International Criminal Law, Oxford University Press (OUP) 2009
- The Impact of the Size, Scope and Scale of the Milosevic Trial and the development of Rule 73bis before the ICTY, Northwestern University Law Review 2009
- The Development of the Right to Self-Representation before the International Criminal Tribunals, chapter in Judicial Creativity at the International Criminal Tribunals, OUP 2011
- Examination-in-Chief and Cross-Examination, chapter in Transferring War Crimes Cases From the ICTY, UNICRI 2011
- Book review of Interpreting the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by Daniel H Joyner, International Criminal Law Blog 2012
- Blog editor and publisher for the International Criminal Law Bureau, to date
- Blog editor and publisher for ARC, to date
Professional commentary and attribution
"An experienced junior who is held to be a "very committed advocate," she is particularly adept at defending those charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. She maintains a particularly strong affiliation with the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights."
"She has a reputation as a very canny operator. Strategically, she is second to none in terms of her approach to cases."
"Acting as Counsel for Alfred Musema in review proceedings at the United Nations Mechanism For International Criminal Tribunals."
Chambers UK, 2018
"A veteran of International Criminal Court prosecutions."
Legal 500, 2017
PROFILE: Gillian Higgins
"Noted by sources for her strong work ethic and knowledge of international criminal law ... she maintains a particularly strong affiliation with the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights ...utterly fantastic."
Chambers and Partners, 2017
Financial and Corporate law
020 7489 2727
LLB, Exeter University, 2001–04
LLM, Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge, 2004–05
Inns of Court School of Law, 2006–07
Grays’ Inn List of Counsel at the International Criminal Court CBA Founding member of the International Criminal Law Bureau Founder of ARC
Workplace mediator, 2017
Member of the steering committee for Oxfam’s Lawyers Against Poverty programme, 2015–16
Accredited civil and commercial mediator, 2016
Member of the Faculty of the London School of Mediation, 2016–
Investigative Interviewer – Accredited Course Part 1, Intersol Global, 2016