"The brightest young lawyer I have come across. Extremely bright, committed and professional." "His case preparation leaves no stone unturned." "Absolutely impressive. He is very thorough, and so professional in his advocacy."Chambers UK Bar Guide and The Legal 500
Richard has a broad domestic public law practice in areas including asylum and immigration, crime, equality law, inquest law and prison law. Richard also advises and acts in civil actions, including unlawful detention claims and actions against the police.
Richard has a particular interest in Public International Law and International Criminal Law. He has a LLM (Distinction) in Public International Law from the London School of Economics. At the LSE Richard was taught by Professor Greenwood who is now a Judge at the International Court of Justice.
Richard has been instructed in domestic cases raising international law issues, in cases before the European Court of Human Rights and in the Government II trial and appeal before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Richard is one of the co-convenors of Garden Court International.
Richard is a former Judicial Assistant to Lady Hale at the UK Supreme Court and returned to the Supreme Court in R (Chester) v Secretary of State for Justice, the prisoners’ right to vote case.
What others say
Richard is ranked for International Criminal Law in Chambers UK 2019 and for Immigration in the Legal 500 2019.
“His legal skills are impressive and his strategic analysis is first rate.”
Chambers UK 2019
“He thinks deeply about cases and quickly pinpoints the central issues.”
Legal 500 2019
“The advice he gives is very good, as it’s not too complicated or esoteric. Instead, it’s accessible, easily digestible and practical.”
Chambers UK 2018
“Particularly praised for his commitments to clients.”
Legal 500 2017
“The brightest young lawyer I have come across. Extremely bright, committed and professional, he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of international criminal law and is an incisive and logical thinker.”
Chambers UK 2017
“His case preparation leaves no stone unturned.”
Legal 500 2016
“He’s one of the brightest international criminal lawyers around. He’ll go a long way.” “Absolutely impressive. He is very thorough, and so professional in his advocacy.”
Chambers UK 2016
“A very bright, capable barrister with a sure grasp of the law.”
Legal 500 2015
“He’s a very bright lawyer and future star.” He is “Well placed to act on international criminal matters involving human rights and public law considerations … he has notable experience before overseas tribunals.”
Chambers UK 2015
R (Davenport) v The Parole Board of England and Wales  EWHC 410 (Admin)
The Claimant was recalled to prison after criminal charges were brought against him. Although those charges were dismissed by the criminal courts, the Parole Board refused to direct his re-release. In quashing the Parole Board’s decision for lack of reasons, Mr Justice Walker agreed that there had been inadequate analysis of the evidence and no specific findings of fact.
R (Steer) v Shepway District Council  EWHC 238 (Admin)
Mrs Justice Lang quashed the decision to grant planning permission for a holiday park in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, holding that the Council had breached its common law duty to give adequate reasons. The Claimant was represented by Marc Willers QC and Richard Reynolds, who were instructed by Richard Buxton Solicitors. Marc and Richard had initially been approached about the case by the Environmental Law Foundation.
R (Ismail) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
Successful judicial review of refusal to treat further representations as a fresh claim. Upper Tribunal Judge Craig quashed the decision for failure to have regard to the relevant factors identified in AA (Article 15(c) (Iraq) CG  UKUT 0544 (IAC).
Inquest touching upon the death of Richard Walsh
At the end of a four week inquest, the jury found that failures by a mental health assessment team amounted to neglect. The jury concluded that Mr Walsh should have been detained in a psychiatric hospital where he would probably not have taken his own life.
R (Dennehy) v Secretary of State for Justice  EWHC 1219 (Admin)
Mr Justice Singh rejected the SSJ’s argument that Article 8 does not apply to prison segregation, and held that as her segregation had not been lawfully authorised, there had been a breach of Joanna Dennehy’s Article 8 rights. Richard was led by Hugh Southey QC.
Inquest touching upon the death of Imran Douglas
After three weeks of evidence and four days of deliberations, the jury returned 17 pages of narrative conclusions, criticising the Ministry of Justice, Care UK, the Youth Justice Board and Tower Hamlets Youth Offending Team. Richard represented Imran’s father and step-mother. Kirsten Heaven represented Imran’s mother.
Inquest touching upon the death of Kingsley Burrell
Mr Burrell, a 29 year old black patient in detention for psychiatric assessment, died in March 2011 after being restrained by police and locked in a seclusion room with a covering over his head. After a six-week inquest, the jury unanimously concluded that excessive force by the police contributed to his death, as did the covering over his head, and the delay by police and mental health staff in providing medical treatment to him. The jury unanimously returned a conclusion of neglect. Richard was led by Karon Monaghan QC of Matrix Chambers.
Immigration detention claim
Claim on behalf of a mother and her two young children who were all subject to two periods of immigration detention. The case settled for over £50,000. Richard was led by Stephanie Harrison QC.
Inquest touching upon the death of Cherry Groce
Mrs Groce was shot in her bedroom by the Metropolitan Police, an incident that triggered the 1985 Brixton Riots. The Groce family was finally granted legal aid after a public petition signed by over 100,000 fellow citizens. The jury found that Mrs Groce’s death was contributed to by multiple serious failures by the Police in the planning and execution of the armed raid on her house. Richard was led by Dexter Dias QC.
Inquest touching upon the death of Jake Hardy
Jake, a vulnerable 17 year old, hanged himself after staff at YOI Hindley failed to protect him from being bullied. A jury unanimously found that all 12 prison failures argued for on behalf of Jake’s family were proved, and each materially contributed to his death. Richard was led in this six-week inquest by Dexter Dias QC.
R (Chester) v Secretary of State for Justice  3 WLR 1076 (Supreme Court)
Richard and Hugh Southey QC appeared for Mr Chester in this high-profile case. Although the Supreme Court dismissed the Appellants’ appeals, it followed the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights that the UK’s blanket ban on prisoners voting in Parliamentary and European Parliamentary elections is incompatible with Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention.
R (Cox) v Independent Adjudicator  EWHC 2753 (Admin)
Prisoner’s finding of guilt and additional days quashed where CCTV evidence that could have assisted his case was not made available to him. Mr Justice Collins criticised the District Judge’s “extraordinary” approach.
MM (Iran)  INLR 206 (Court of Appeal)
Richard, Leonie Hirst and Hugh Southey QC were instructed on behalf of the intervener, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, in this case on the domestic effect of a grant by UNHCR of mandate refugee status.
Portuguese children bring climate change case to the European Court of Human Rights
Richard is representing a group of Portuguese children whose home region has been ravaged by wildfires and who believe States Parties to the European Convention are failing to take sufficient steps to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Richard, Marc Willers QC and Paul Clark are instructed by the Global Legal Action Network which is working with partner organisations including Our Children’s Trust. The case has already attracted widespread international media attention.
Advice on potential inter-State claim
Richard is currently advising a foreign government on a potential claim arising out of colonial-era human rights abuses.
UN climate change negotiations
Richard continues to advise Legal Response Initiative (LRI) on public international law issues encompassing environmental law, treaty law and human rights law. LRI provides legal support to poor and particularly climate-vulnerable developing countries as well as civil society observer organisations.
Kaytan v Turkey, App No. 27422/05, judgment of 15 September 2015
The European Court of Human Rights held that the imposition under Turkish law of a life sentence without the possibility of review violated Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Balaj et al v The United Nations Mission in Kosovo, HRAP/04/07, Opinion of 27 February 2015
This case arose out of the fatal shooting of civilians by United Nations Mission in Kosovo Police during a demonstration in Pristina, Kosovo in February 2007. The Human Rights Advisory Panel found that UNMIK had violated Article 2 ECHR: the use of force had not been absolutely necessary and there had not been an effective investigation. The Panel also found a violation of the right to peaceful assembly guaranteed by Article 11. The Panel made a number of recommendations, including that UNMIK take steps to ensure that in peacekeeping operations, UN Police fully comply with international standards on the use of force. Richard, along with Jesse Nicholls and Greg O’Ceallaigh, assisted Paul Troop and Jude Bunting. All Counsel worked pro bono and were shortlisted for the Bar Pro Bono Award.
IAA v United Kingdom, App No 25960/13, pending
This is an important case before the European Court of Human Rights concerning the extra-territorial scope of the European Convention on Human Rights. The key issue is whether overseas applicants for entry clearance to join family members in the UK, are within the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom for the purposes of Article 1 of the Convention. Raza Husain QC, Mark Symes, Richard Reynolds, Bijan Hoshi and Paul Luckhurst worked on the Applicants’ written submissions.
Justin Mugenzi v The Prosecutor ICTR-99-50-A, the “Government II” trial
Richard was instructed in Mr Mugenzi’s trial and appeal before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Mugenzi was the Minister of Trade in the Interim Government of Rwanda in 1994. In February 2013, the Appeals Chamber overturned his convictions and ordered his immediate release. This is one of the longest and most complex international criminal cases to date.
Makeyan and Others v Armenia, App. No. 46435/09, pending
Richard drafted the applicants’ submissions to the European Court of Human Rights on admissibility and merits. The issue is whether their conviction on the basis of retracted pre-trial witness statements is compatible with their right to a fair trial under Article 6.
Arrest warrant for war crimes
Richard assisted Paul Troop and Steve Kamlish QC in this successful application for an arrest warrant against a former foreign government minister.
- Regular contributor to the Asylum and Immigration Law update for the Legal Action Group magazine.
- Contributor (with Amanda Weston) to the Westlaw UK Insight immigration law chapter on “Serious Criminals”.
- Contributor (with Hugh Southey QC) to the Lexis PSL prison law series.
- “Human Rights in the Line of Fire: Al-Skeini v United Kingdom” (2011) Judicial Review 16 (4).
- Richard was a researcher for the British Institute of International and Comparative Law’s “Evidence Before the International Court of Justice”, published in February 2009.
- “Commentary on Jones v Saudi Arabia  UKHL 26″, British Institute of International and Comparative Law’s Bulletin of Legal Developments, Issue 13, July 2006.
Seminars and Training
Richard has given numerous seminars both in Chambers and at solicitors’ firms. He has also provided human rights training for Avocats Sans Frontières in Uganda, and was invited on a mission to observe prison conditions in Turkey. Richard spoke at the 30th Session of the UN Human Rights Council on “The Suppression of Political Dissent Through Law: the Case of Bahrain.”
Richard practised at Tooks Chambers before joining Garden Court Chambers in 2013. He previously worked as a caseworker in the immigration department of Wilson Solicitors LLP, as a researcher at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, and as an intern at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Richard is a former adviser for Liberty and for Kids Co.
Richard has completed the Keble International Advanced Advocacy Course.
Voluntary and Pro Bono Work
Richard is a representative for Bail for Immigration Detainees and the Employment Law Appeal Advice Scheme.
Richard was one of a team of barristers who worked pro bono to help prepare submissions to the Attorney General on why the original Hillsborough inquest verdict should be quashed and a fresh inquest ordered.
- Middle Temple 2008 Colombos Essay Prize
- Middle Temple Certificate of Honour, 2007
- Middle Temple Queen Mother BVC Scholarship, 2006 – 2007
- Winner of the UK final of the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, 2005.
- Blackstone Chambers Prize for Best Dissertation in Public International Law, LSE, 2005
- Joint winner, Derby Bryce Prize for Best Performance in Public International Law, University of London, 2005