The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

1 Harcourt Buildings

Temple Garden Chambers

Work 020 7583 1315
Fax 020 7353 3969
London, The Hague

Karim Khan QC

Work 020 7583 1315
1 Harcourt Buildings (Temple Garden Chambers)


Karim combines a practice at the national and international levels in public law and human rights. He specialises in public international law and international criminal law, acting on behalf of governments, heads of state, political leaders, military officers and victims before all the international criminal courts. His advisory work includes acting in proceedings before the International Court of Justice and the ECHR. His international work encompasses advisory work in many foreign jurisdictions embracing matters such as the right of return, issues of nationality and citizenship and property rights under international law and the ECHR. Karim is currently acting for the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, HE William Ruto, before the ICC in the ‘Kenya 1 case’ in relation to allegations pertaining to the post election violence on Kenya in 2007-2008. He successfully recently acted, as lead counsel, for the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Public Service in Kenya before the ICC in relation to charges of crimes against humanity in the ‘Kenya 2’ case. All charges were withdrawn just before Trial. He is also lead counsel representing two Darfurian rebels charged with war crimes arising out of the situation in Sudan before the ICC. Karim successfully represented Bahar ldris Abu Garda in the first case not confirmed for trial by a pre-trial Chamber of the ICC. Karim was the first member of the English Bar engaged by the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTY and has prosecuted, defended, advised or acted for the victims in all existing international or hybrid courts and Tribunals. Cases include acting as lead counsel for Charles Taylor (Former President of Liberia, SCSL, 2006-7), Fatmir Limaj (first KLA case ICTY), Jean Pierre Bemba (Former Vice President of the DRC, ICC) and lead counsel for the largest group of victims in the first case (Kaing Guev Eak alias Ouch) before the Extraordinary Courts in the Chambers of Cambodia. Karim is the legal advisor to the former prime minister of Libya, Dr Baghdadi AI-Mahmoudi being tried in Libya. He is currently lead counsel representing the Cham community of Albania in relation to their deprivation of nationality, seizure of property and expulsion from Greece after the second world war.


Honorary lecturer, School of Law, University of Utrecht, Netherlands (2010-11; 2011-to date); former senior research fellow, Dept of War Studies, Kings College, London; director, Peace and Justice Initiative; director of Global Victims Initiative; former member Executive Board of ICTY, current member (with ICTY judiciary) of ICTY Disciplinary Appeals Board and election to Disciplinary Appeals Board of ICC (along with ICC judiciary); former legal adviser, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (International Law Appeals); grade 7 lawyer, Law Commission of England and Wales (1996-97); former senior crown prosecutor (1993-96). Publications: co-author, ‘Archbold International Criminal Courts’ (Sweet & Maxwell; 1st, 2nd and 3rd edition); co-editor and contributing author, ‘Principles of Evidence in International Criminal Justice’ (OUP 2010); co-editor, ‘International Criminal Law Reports’ (ICLR, 2006 to date); contributing author, ‘A Commentary to the Rome Statue on the ICC’ (Baden-Baden 2000; 2008); contributor, ‘Human Rights Practice’ (Sweet & Maxwell, 2002 to date); author, Oxford Transitional Justice Research -Working Papers Series (2010); co-author, ‘Enlargement and human rights law, norms and realities’ (Manchester University Press, 2007).


Association of Defence Counsel; International Legal Assistance Consortium; International Criminal Defence Bar; International Bar Association.


Silcoates School, West Yorkshire; Kings College, University of London (LLB Hons); King’s College London, (AKC); Inns of Court School of Law; member of Lincoln’s Inn; CIFE (Distinction, diploma international relations); Abo Akedemi, Turku Law School, Finland (advanced diploma in protection of Human Rights); Wolfson College, Oxford (P Phil, candidate); University College, Pristina, Kosovo (doctorate, honoris causa). Awarded 1999 John D & Catherine MacArthur Foundation Fellowship on International Peace and Security; Alexander Maxwell Law Scholarship Trust Award winner 2001.

London Bar

International crime and extradition

Within: International crime and extradition – Leading silks

Karim Khan QC - Temple Garden ChambersExtremely intelligent and an outstanding litigator.

Within: International crime and extradition

Temple Garden Chambers includes senior silks handling international criminal law, alongside a growing extradition team. Karim Khan QC is representing Abdallah Banda, a rebel leader in Sudan accused of attacking United Nations-backed African Union peacekeepers, while Rodney Dixon QC advises the government of Comoros on commencing an ICC investigation into the 2010 boarding of the Comorian-flagged MV Mavi Marmara by the Israel Defence Forces. The boarding of the vessel, which had sailed towards Gaza in spite of an Israeli blockade of the territory, resulted in the death of ten people.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to