Joshua Kern


Joshua specialises in complex crime cases with an emphasis on international and transnational criminal law – and has experience in both extradition and immigration.

He leads 9 Bedford Row’s initiative on the impact of Brexit on human rights and criminal justice reform in the UK.

Background and expertise

Joshua is an international criminal law and extradition barrister and appears frequently as a jury advocate in the Crown Court.  He has been a member of defence teams at the ICC (Kenyatta), ICTY (Prlić), and ECCC (Ieng Sary).

Joshua has appeared in complex extradition cases involving a historical and political dimension and has successfully defended extradition requests both as a led junior and as junior alone. He regularly appears in the Crown Court as trial counsel.  As defence counsel he has made numerous legal submissions resulting in the dismissal of charges through lack of evidence or abuse of process.

Joshua currently lectures on international criminal law, including at Salzburg Law School’s prestigious symposium in and at Birkbeck University on the history of the international criminal tribunals. Through 2018, he was published with Steven Kay QC on EJIL Talk and Opinio Juris on the topic of ICC jurisdiction over nationals of non-states parties.

Joshua has successfully lobbied Interpol for the deletion of data, including Red Notices, from its systems – and is well versed with Interpol's constitutional framework and institutional structure.

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Joshua has spent several years defending complex, international cases with a political focus or motivation, and has defended clients at ministerial level at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), International Criminal Court (ICC) – as well as in domestic courts in the UK and France.

He has experience in complex fraud and money laundering cases as well as in successfully defending in complex extradition cases. He has successfully lobbied Interpol for the deletion of data, including Red Notices, from its systems – and is well versed with Interpol's constitutional framework and institutional structure.

Prior to transferring to the Bar, he practised as an associate with Herbert Smith, an international law firm, where he worked principally on civil litigation and international arbitration matters.

 After leaving the City, he practised international and transnational criminal law (including extradition, mutual legal assistance and international administrative law) at the ad hoc international criminal tribunals, and as a solicitor with BCL Burton Copeland in London. He has experience of international media and PR in a litigation context.

Notable cases

Germany v S,2018

Requested person discharged from Part I EAW.

R v H, 2018

Conspiracy charge dismissed at half time as no case to answer under Galbraith.

R v N, 2017

Case dismissed as a result of an abuse of process arising from the UK’s failure to honour its international obligations with respect to modern slavery.

Georgia v Kezerashvili, 2016
Joshua led a junior in extradition proceedings at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, in a case involving the multiple extradition requests for David Kezerashvili, formerly the Defence Minister of Georgia.

Read more Notable cases

Belgium v D, 2016

Junior alone. Extradition request withdrawn following submissions made regarding the compliance of Belgian prisons with Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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PROFILE: Joshua Kern

“...tenacious, diligent, and robust advocate with excellent forensic and drafting skills”

From a tier one solicitor

Year called



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Confiscation / POCA

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Financial Crime

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Fraud, Bribery & Corruption

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Sexual offences

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Financial and Corporate law

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Corporate Offences


020 7489 2727


Modern History, University of Oxford (academic scholar).


Law Society, Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, Defence Extradition Lawyers Forum, International Defence Associates,

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