Christopher Staker

Year of call:
2003
Email:
staker@39essex.com

Clerks:
+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“An excellent practitioner with a deep understanding of public international law”
Legal 500 2014

“Deeply impressive judgement and abilities as a lawyer.”
Legal 500 2015

“A very strong international lawyer” with “an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law.”
Chambers & Partners 2016

 

Christopher Staker has extensive experience in international law and public law, at both national and international levels. He is an experienced advocate in cases before international courts (International Court of Justice (ICJ), International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), European Court of Human Rights), as well as before national courts and tribunals in England and Wales and Australia. He has worked also in ICSID investment treaty arbitration matters.

Positions that he has previously held include Principal Legal Secretary (head of the Legal Department) at the International Court of Justice (The Hague), Deputy (Chief) Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (Freetown), Senior Appeals Counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (The Hague), Counsel Assisting the Solicitor-General of Australia (Canberra), and counsel in the Office of International Law of the Australian federal Attorney-General’s Department (Canberra). He originally trained as a diplomat with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs.

He was counsel in various prominent cases before the High Court of Australia (the highest Australian court) and other Australian courts involving issues of constitutional law, administrative law and public international law. The cases that he has been involved in before international criminal tribunals have been primarily at the appellate level, dealing with a broad range of international law, human rights and substantive and procedural international criminal law issues, which were often being raised for the first time before an international tribunal. In England and Wales, he has been counsel in cases before the Supreme Court,Court of Appeal, High Court and tribunals in matters of international law, immigration and asylum law, human rights, European law, administrative and public law, and tax.

Administrative & Public


Cases in which Christopher has been counsel include:

  • R (Akarcay) v West Yorkshire Police & Ors [2017] EWHC 159 (Admin) (public international law)
  • Caroopen & Myrie v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWCA Civ 1307 (administrative law—supplementary decisions)
  • R (MMM) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWHC 2655 (Admin) (immigration detention)
  • Secretary of State for the Home Department v Minh [2016] EWCA Civ 565 (human trafficking)
  • Singh v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWCA Civ 492 (alleged apparent bias of judge)
  • Ryanair Ltd v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWFC B5 (Central London County Court)
  • R (ZA (Iraq)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 168 (immigration detention)
  • R (Ali and Bibi) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] UKSC 68 (immigration, human rights).
  • R (Minh) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 1725 (Admin) (human trafficking)
  • R (OP) v Secretary of State for Justice [2014] EWHC 1944 (Admin) (criminal justice).
  • HF (Iraq) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] WLR 1329, [2013] EWCA Civ 1276 (EU law, asylum).
  • West v Governor of HMP Bure [2013] EWCA Civ 604 (habeas corpus, interrelationship of Scottish and English criminal justice).
  • R (Bibi & Anor) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWCA Civ 322 (immigration, human rights).
  • Pryce v London Borough of Southwark [2012] EWCA Civ 1572 (immigration, EU law).
  • R (Y) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWHC 1075 (Admin) (human trafficking).
  • HM and others (Article 15(c)) Iraq CG [2012] UKUT 00409 (IAC) (asylum country guidance case).
    R (Chapti & Ors) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWHC 3370 (Admin) (human rights).
  • HM (Iraq) & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 1536 (appeal against country guidance determination on procedural grounds).
  • AMM and others (conflict; humanitarian crisis; returnees; FGM) Somalia CG [2011] UKUT 445 (IAC) (asylum country guidance case).
  • MP (Sri Lanka) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 362 (asylum).
  • SK v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 134 (immigration).
  • HM and Others (Article 15(c)) Iraq CG [2010] UKUT 331 (IAC) (asylum country guidance case).
  • TK (Tamils, LP updated) Sri Lanka CG [2009] UKAIT 00049 (asylum country guidance case).
  • Broom v Secretary of State for Justice [2010] EWHC 2695 (Admin) (human rights, prisons).
  • New South Wales v Canellis (1994) 181 CLR 309 (commission of enquiry, natural justice) (High Court of Australia).
  • Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs v Teoh (1995) 183 CLR 273 (legitimate expectation, unincorporated treaties) (High Court of Australia).

International Arbitration


Christopher is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb).  He has experience in particular in relation to ICSID investment treaty arbitration matters, including:

  • Enron Creditors Recovery Corp v Argentine Republic, Annulment Proceeding (as counsel assisting the ad hoc Committee).
  • Continental Casualty Company v Argentine Republic, Annulment Proceeding (as assistant to the ad hoc Committee).

International Litigation


Christopher has experience of working as an international lawyer in government and in international organisations.  In private practice, his clients have included governments, international organisations, corporations and non-governmental organisations. Cases in which he has been counsel include:

Public International Law

  • Case concerning East Timor (Portugal v Australia), (ICJ).
  • Legality of the Use by a State of Nuclear Weapons in Armed Conflict, (ICJ).
  • Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, (ICJ).
  • “Juno Trader” Case (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines v Guinea-Bissau), (ITLOS).
  • Hassan v United Kingdom, (European Court of Human Rights, Grand Chamber).
  • R (Akarcay) v West Yorkshire Police & Ors (England and Wales Divisional Court)
  • British Arab Commercial Bank PLC v National Transitional Council of Libya (England and Wales Commercial Court).
  • Horta v Commonwealth (High Court of Australia).
  • Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs v Teoh (High Court of Australia).

International Criminal Law

  • Prosecutor v Sesay, Kallon and Gbao, Appeals Chamber, (SCSL).
  • Prosecutor v Fofana and Kondewa, Appeals Chamber,(SCSL).
  • Prosecutor v Brima, Kamara and Kanu, Appeals Chamber, (SCSL).
  • Prosecutor v Taylor, Decision on Immunity from Jurisdiction, Appeals Chamber, (SCSL).
  • Prosecutor v Norman, Decision on Recuitment of Child Soldiers, Appeals Chamber, (SCSL).
  • Prosecutor v Krnojelac, Appeals Chamber, 17 (ICTY).
  • Prosecutor v Delalic et al (Celebici case), Appeals Chamber, (ICTY).

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

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