Edward Fitzgerald QC > Doughty Street Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Doughty Street Chambers
Doughty Street Chambers
53-54 DOUGHTY STREET
LONDON
WC1N 2LS
England

Position

Edward Fitzgerald QC has been named Human Rights and Public Law Silk of the Year (Chambers Bar Awards 2013). Previous commendations include Legal Aid Lawyer of the year 2009, winner of the Silk of the Year award 2005 and Times Justice Human Rights Award 1998. He specialises in criminal law, public law, judicial review and international human rights law. In June 2008 he was awarded the CBE for services to human rights.

Edward is ranked 1st in Extradition in Chambers and Partners 2017, as a ‘starred individual’ in the area of Crime in 2018, and has been described as “a true intellectual giant – a top-class extradition and appellate lawyer”, a “king of the field” and “a Rolls Royce in the cab-rank of barristers”. 

Edward has represented a number of high profile, public figures. In late 2017, Edward represented former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in the European Court and Lauri Love in his successful fight against extradition to the United States. He continues to represent the mother of El Shafee El Sheikh in her challenge to the Home Secretary’s refusal to obtain death penalty assurances from the United States for her son. Edward is also currently acting for the former President of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan in the Supreme Court of Armenia and the European Court of Human Rights.

During 2018, Edward also represented Earl Hodge in his successful challenge to extradition from the BVI to the US. Mr Justice Smith ruled in favour of Hodge on the basis that the renewed request for his extradition after an earlier grant of habeas corpus amounted to an abuse of process; and that, in any event, he would face a disproportionate sentence and the risk of racial discrimination in the sentencing process in the US. It is believed that this is the first time that extradition has been refused on grounds of racial discrimination in the sentencing process in the US. The case was based on reports from Human Rights Watch and the US Sentencing Commission.

In July 2018, Edward successfully challenged a decision of the Court of Appeal of the Bahamas in the Privy Council in the case of Stephen Stubbs on the grounds of apparent bias on the part of the court. Judgement was given in September 2018. In the subsequent appeal in the Court of Appeal in the Bahamas, Mr Stubb’s conviction was upheld but his sentence was reduced. The case is being further appealed to the Privy Council.

In December 2018, Edward represented Olivier Bancoult and the Chagos Islanders in the High Court. Their challenge was dismissed in February 2019. But permission to appeal has been sought on human rights grounds – particularly in the light of the recent decision of the ICJ in the case of Mauritius v United Kingdom in February 2019.

Career

Called 1978; resides Inner Temple; QC 1995.

Languages

French
Italian

Education

Oxford and Cambridge (BA (Hons) Congratulatory First, MPhil Criminology, qualified in New York and American Law).

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Administrative and public law (including elections)

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 2

Edward Fitzgerald QCDoughty Street ChambersEdward has the ability to find points that no one else would think of and would achieve a victory in court which everyone concluded was perhaps impossible. Engaging, brilliant and perhaps one of the finest leading counsel I have ever worked with.

London Bar > Crime

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 3

Edward Fitzgerald QCDoughty Street ChambersHe has a brilliant knowledge of constitutional and human rights case law. He is very well-prepared and able to grasp complex ideas and explain them to the tribunal. He has a great  manner with clients.

London Bar > International crime and extradition

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

Edward Fitzgerald QCDoughty Street ChambersEdward is a gifted advocate who can persuade a skeptical court, which is a very rare skill.

London Bar > Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police)

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

Edward Fitzgerald CBE QCDoughty Street ChambersHigh Court judges have admiration for him and his ability to memorise and cite case law when performing in court. In this highly specialised area, he smoothly articulates legal points with great force.

Doughty Street Chambers is the ‘foremost set for civil liberties, public and international law‘ and ‘boasts astonishing strength in depth‘. The set has a growing claimant side police law practice, which has been bolstered by the arrival of Maya Sikand QC and the appointment of new silks, Adam Straw QC and Jamie Burton QC. Nicholas Bowen QC is ‘highly capable and not afraid to challenge the status quo‘, and regularly acts in appellate cases in actions against the police and public authorities. In Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police v. Dyer, Straw represented the family of Andrew Hall, a man who died after being restrained by police in custody, in a successful High Court judicial review challenge to the Coroner’s decision that all police officers giving evidence in the case would be hidden from the public by screens. Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC is representing the Equality and Human Rights Commission in R (AB) v Secretary of State for Justice and the Youth Justice Board, a case concerning the compliance of solitary confinement of children in Young Offender Institutions with Article 3 ECHR’s ban on inhuman and degrading treatment. Elsewhere, Edward Fitzgerald QC is representing the claimants in Day v The Government of the Cayman Islands, a challenge to the unavailability of same-sex marriage in the British Overseas Territory under its constitution. In March 2021 Graham Denholm joined from Landmark Chambers.