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Paramjit Ahluwalia

  • Call: 2002
Legal 500 UK Awards 2015: Winner
"The set is highly rated for its commitment to social justice. Members of chambers handle the full gamut of complex criminal matters."
Chambers UK Bar Guide (Crime Team)


Paramjit is a committed criminal defence advocate:

  • Regularly instructed in murders.
  • Particular expertise in human trafficking, modern day slavery and immigration crime.
  • Represents the most vulnerable in society, including women, migrants, youths and individuals affected by mental health issues.
  • Appellate work in relation to the sentencing of women within the Criminal Justice System – the harsh and long term effects from short term sentences, IPP prisoners, individuals with issues of addiction and women who have suffered from domestic violence.
  • Paramjit is a Trustee of the charity Women In Prison and is on the advisory board of the Centre for Criminal Appeals.

Significant cases


R v MA (Kingston Crown Court – Jan/Feb 2018)
Acted as sole junior in trial of young Bangladeshi male accused of encouraging terrorism- contrary to section 1(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006. Acquitted.

Murder and Manslaughter

R v TJB (Croydon Crown Court- December 2017)
Sole junior, represented Male on charge of attempted murder. Identification evidence to stabbing by 2 individuals who had known the Defendant for over a decade – acquitted.

R v AS (Central Criminal Court – July 2017)
Junior led by Di Middleton QC – representation of Male accused of shooting- AS acquitted of manslaughter and possession of firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

R v GW (Wood Green Crown Court – January 2017)
Junior in murder trial led by B Tetlow QC. Expert evidence from Pathologists and Psychiatrists on issue of self-infliction.

R v JR (Woolwich Crown Court – June 2016)
Junior in murder trial, led by M Ivers QC – stabbing of a youth, issues of joint enterprise.

R v AH (Central Criminal Court – February 2016)
Junior in murder trial, led by D Dias QC – stabbing captured on CCTV, weapon taken to the scene. Large-scale trawls of CCTV footage, detailed investigation into bad character, Albanian mafiaose connections and business records. Vulnerable defendant who had been badly assaulted before the incident. Acquitted of murder, convicted of manslaughter.

R v Furniss and others (Nottingham Crown Court – October 2014)
Junior in multi handed conspiracy to murder trial, led by I Peart QC- contract killing by shooting.

R v SY, Warwick and Birmingham Crown Courts (December 2012)
Junior in multi-handed conspiracy to murder trial, Operation Chapletown, led by D Jeremy QC. Attributed role of conduit and recruiter. PII issues. Directed verdicts of not guilty.

Human trafficking, modern day slavery and immigration crime

R v SG – Cardiff Crown Court (September 2017)
Young person charged with serious conspiracy matters spanning the country. Negative National referral mechanism decision. Representations made relying upon trafficking convention, definitions within Modern Slavery Act 2015 and published policy guidance. Crown offer no evidence.

R v QS – Kingston Crown Court (February 2017)
Charges relating to trafficking of family units into the UK and production of identity documents.

R v VN –  Harrow Crown Court (2016)

Cultivation of cannabis case. Crown offer no evidence post trafficking issues raised.

R v OB – Croydon Crown Court (2015)

Conspiracy to facilitate breach of immigration law. Multi-handed sham marriage case. Crown offered no evidence.

R v PB – Chelmsford Crown Court (2014)

Vulnerable woman charged with immigration document offences who went on hunger strike in prison. Received non-custodial sentence.

R v B and others (February 2013)

Leading counsel for a female defendant charged with trafficking offences into and within the UK in a multi-handed trafficking trial at Croydon Crown Court. Before HHJ Barnes.

Conducted sensitive cross-examination of a witness who had language and literacy difficulties. Successful half-time submission over ‘intention to exploit’ and dismissal application on trafficking into the country. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v Tudor Dragoman (2012) EWHC 4105

Judicial review of sentence by District Judge excluding a Romanian national from the UK for a conviction of shoplifting. At substantive judicial review, the court found that the district judge was acting ultra vires.

R v K (2012)

Representation of Bulgarian teenager charged with immigration document offences- for the Howard League, a charity specialising in the representation of children – reported in The Law Society Gazette.

R v M (2010)

Junior counsel  in multi-handed people trafficking case, led by I Forshall QC – successful half-time submission, third party disclosure from social services and UK Border Agency.

R v H (2008) Croydon Crown Court

Case concerning policy by Secretary of State towards a young single mother, who was Albanian, charged with immigration offences, where claim of asylum upon the basis of being Kosovan. Granted absolute discharge.

R v O [2007] 2 Cr App R (S)

Travel restriction order quashed.

R (O) v SSHD and Peterborough City Council (2006) EWHC 2469 (Admin)

Successful judicial review relating to age dispute.

Articles and work in field of Modern Slavery and Exploitation:

  •  Contributing author of chapter in ‘Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery: Law and Practice- 2018 publication.
  • Speaker at ECPAT Conference in Paris to judges and lawyers from 7 European Countries- on ‘Trafficking for Criminal Exploitation’- October 2017.
  • Selected to participate in OSCE live simulation at CoESPU Sept 2017, in Vincenza.
  • ‘Class Acts – examining modern slavery legislation across the UK.’ – Contributed to key report from Anti Trafficking Monitoring Group’s on the impact of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
  • Abolishing trade in human capital‘ – Modern Slavery Act 2015 – Counsel Magazine – January 2016.
  • The Role of Modern Policing under Modern Slavery Act – ‘Poacher turned Gamekeeper?’
  • Advisory work with Anti Slavery International, Anti Trafficking Monitoring Group and Freshfields in providing an alternative ‘Modern Slavery Bill’, 2014.
  • ‘The invisible shackles of misery – Can the Modern Slavery Bill rectify the problem?‘ – Socialist Lawyer, 2014
  • Speaker on panel at Royal Court Theatre: Lela and Co – ‘Modern trade in human beings.’

Representation of women

Paramjit is committed to the representation of women – seeking for equality of treatment, understanding of the issues concerning addiction and recognition of the impact that domestic violence has had upon many within the criminal justice system.


R v NR [2017] 1 Cr App R (S) 42
PTSD and learned helplessness – appeal against sentence of defendant who had carried drugs and SIM cards into prison for her partner. Appeal allowed and suspended sentence imposed. Caring responsibilities for family raised. Bangkok rules (rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and non-custodial measures for women offenders) raised. (see also R v KG [2017] EWCA Crim 602).

R v MM – Southwark Crown Court (November 2016)

Represented woman charged with possession of bladed article – victim of domestic violence – Crown offer no evidence post written representations.

R v BL – Wood Green Crown Court (March 2016)

Represented woman charged with ABH on partner who had been violent towards her in past – crown offer no evidence.

D v J – Southwark Crown Court (2014)

Private prosecution brought against a female defendant by her ex-partner for perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice. No admissible evidence at trial. Not guilty verdict directed.

R v D.S [2014] EWCA Crim 846, [2015] MHLR 336
Arson – suspended sentence imposed and prison sentence quashed by the Court of Appeal. Psychiatric evidence on community mental health treatment put forward.

R v M, Southwark Crown Court (October 2013)

Junior in complex fraud case, representing a female professional charged with conspiracy to defraud at Copland School in Wembley. Crown offered no evidence. This case was reported in the Daily Mail.

Regina (A) v Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court (2013) EWHC 659 (Admin)

Judicial review of magistrates’ court decision to refuse to grant a reporting restriction under s39 CYPA 1933.

G v Commissioner for Police Metropolis and Crown Prosecution Service (2013)

Permission granted in Judicial Review of decision of the Metropolitan police to charge an Asian female youth with being drunk and disorderly. Crown offered no evidence.

R v SC – Woolwich Crown Court (2012)

Historic allegations of sexual assault by female minor on two other female step-siblings. Acquitted of all 12 counts.


• Speaker at Prison Reform Trust summit on Domestic Abuse – October 2017.

• Co-author of briefing note by Criminal Bar Association for PRT – ‘Defences available for women defendants who are victims/survivors of domestic abuse.’

• When should a sentence of imprisonment be suspended? (Criminal law and Justice Weekly 2017, 181(18)- co author with Rona Epstein.

• Discrimination of women in the Criminal Justice System – Criminal Bar Quarterly, 2017, 2.

Part of the Garden Court team meeting with the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, in March 2014.

Other reported cases

R v AT (2014) Kazakh national athlete – acquitted – case was reported via Tengri News.

R v JD, Court of Appeal [2013] EWCA Crim 1058 Successful appeal of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) sentence, through Criminal Cases Review Commission. Fresh evidence of a client’s mental health disorder at time of sentence.

R v Alfie Meadows and others (2012) Assisted Michael Mansfield QC in relation to student protest case.

R v DN, Inner London Crown Court January (2012) Operation Withern case: Cross-examination focused upon violence by police on defendant and breach of PACE codes.

R v JL (2010) EWCA Crim 284 A Sierra Leonean national who had an anti-social behavior order (ASBO) imposed for supplying drugs. Not ‘necessary to protect public,’ given immigration removal context.

R v LB-C, Blackfriars Crown Court (2009) Representation of young black male charged with obstructing police in search – involved strip searching contrary to PACE codes. This case was reported in The Guardian.

R v SC (2009) EWCA Crim 370 Court of Appeal reduced sentence tariff in case of GBH and arson for youth with learning difficulties.

Diversity and Equality in the Profession:

Paramjit is a committee member of the Criminal Bar Association. Before practising in criminal law, Paramjit had been a tribunal counsellor in an Immigration charity and an intern with Texas Defender Service in Houston in Summer 2001. She regularly supports organisations committed to attracting and retaining individuals from diverse backgrounds to the Bar.

• Speaker at Reb Law UK – November 2017- panel speaker on ‘Communicating with vulnerable clients.’
• ‘Big Voice London’ – October 2016- Guest lecturer on project of Model Law Commission and reform of ‘Hate Crime.’
• Speaker at City of London Appeals Clinic- February 2017 project investigating Miscarriages of Justice.