Megan Hirst > Doughty Street Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Doughty Street Chambers
Doughty Street Chambers

Work Department


Megan Hirst practices in international criminal law, public international law and human rights. She has over a decade of experience in international institutions and courts, with a particular focus on victims’ representation and the post-conflict protection of human rights.

Although Megan has significant experience in all aspects of international criminal proceedings, she has a particular interest in victims’ representation before international criminal tribunals. She is representing victims before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the case against Dominic Ongwen, a former LRA commander in the conflict in Northern Uganda. She also represents victims in ICC pre-trial proceedings concerning crimes against the Rohingya in Myanmar; and in the proceedings concerning the opening of an ICC investigation on Afghanistan. Previously Megan worked in-house for both the ICC and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on victims’ participation issues, in which capacity she undertook litigation and played a key role in the development of polices and legal frameworks.

Megan also has experience in other aspects of international criminal law. She has undertaken post-conviction litigation before the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals.  She has also advised the registry of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on a range of issues including immunities and international administrative law.

Megan also advises on questions of public international law and international human rights law, both before international bodies (such as the UN Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies) and before domestic courts. Her recent experience includes cases before the English courts involving issues of state immunity and interpretation of the International Criminal Court Act.

Megan’s domestic practice focuses on children’s rights. She represents child claimants in community care and age assessment cases. Together with Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, represented more than 45 complainant core participants before the Nottinghamshire Councils strand of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

In addition to her work as counsel, Megan regularly leads international projects relating to human rights and rule of law development. She has particularly extensive experience in policy development and capacity building work in the East Timor, where she has worked since 2005. Her work there focuses on responses to historical mass atrocities and the strengthening of the justice sector. She also works regularly with local organisations focused on strengthening judicial responses to domestic and sexual violence in East Timor.

Megan is widely published on issues relating to international criminal justice and human rights. She co-edited the leading book on the law of victims’ participation in international criminal tribunals, published in 2017.




LLM (International law) (1st), University of Cambridge (2002)
LLB (1st Class Honours), University of Queensland (2000)
BA (History) (1st Class Honours), University of Queensland (2000)

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > International crime and extradition

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 3

Megan HirstDoughty Street ChambersExceptional depth of knowledge and expertise in their field. Incisive legal analysis and argument, combined with a strategic and pragmatic approach. Outstanding teamwork, coordination and interpersonal skills. Add to that a ferocious work ethic and faultless client service.

Doughty Street Chambers ‘has an excellent, in-depth extradition team‘, with particular strength in human rights cases, and is also ‘pre-eminent in international criminal law‘, according to clients. In a recent highlight, ‘impressive advocate‘ Edward Fitzgerald QC represented the appellant before the Supreme Court in Elgizouli v Secretary of State for the Home Department, a challenge to the Secretary of State’s decision to provide mutual legal assistance to the USA for a capital trial, without seeking assurances that the death penalty would not be imposed; the Supreme Court upheld the challenge. In other recent news of note, the ‘fearless‘ Ben Cooper QC took silk in March 2020 further strengthening the set at the senior end. Elsewhere in chambers, the ‘meticulousAmal Clooney is ‘tactically first class and a natural lead advocate in cases‘; Australia- and English-qualified Megan Hirst has developed ‘a preeminent role in acting for victims in international courts‘; and Amelia Nice‘s experience of family law is ‘an added bonus and places her ahead of many of her peers when there is an overlap of family law in extradition cases‘.