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David Sellwood

Year of Call: 2012

"He takes complex cases and makes them simple; he's so organised and just gets on with it."

Chambers UK, 2020

"A very bright barrister who works incredibly hard and will certainly do well."

Chambers UK, 2020


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David Sellwood practises in all areas of immigration law, with a particular focus on asylum and human rights. He regularly appears before the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal.

David advises and represents claimants challenging immigration-related decisions by way of judicial review.


Prior to the Bar, David spent over eight years in the human rights sector. He worked at Reprieve, a legal action charity, as the Head of their European Commission-funded death penalty project, identifying and assisting European nationals on death row in the United States. He later acted as Interim Director of their Death Penalty Team. David worked closely with U.S. legal teams and European diplomats, advising on domestic and international law relating to capital punishment and consular assistance.

He was involved in the drafting of petitions to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, including in the case of Ivan Teleguz, a Ukrainian national facing execution in Virginia (IACHR, Report No. 53/13, Case 12.864, Merits, Ivan Teleguz, United States, July 15, 2013). David also co-authored an Amicus Curiae brief addressing prison conditions in the U.S, in the European Court of Human Rights case of Babar Ahmad and Others v United Kingdom (Application Nos 24027/07, 11949/08 and 36742/08, Judgment, 10 April 2012).

David joined Reprieve from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where he was a Human Rights Adviser seconded by the NGO Prisoners Abroad. He advised diplomats and government ministers on human rights issues affecting British nationals overseas, including the right to a fair trial, prisoners' rights, miscarriages of justice, and the death penalty.

David also worked as an accredited Senior Immigration Caseworker at Wilson Solicitors LLP, then Refugee and Migrant Justice, where he prepared and presented asylum and human rights appeals. He undertook an internship at the Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights in Kingston, Jamaica, through the Centre for Capital Punishment Studies, assisting local counsel and UK based lawyers representing prisoners sentenced to death.


Case Comment: I.A (Appellant) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent) Scotland [2014] UKSC, Journal of Immigration and Nationality Law (2014)

Capital Punishment and the Caribbean: A Marriage on the Rocks? (2005) Vol 30, No.1, West Indian Law Journal 33.

Contributor, The Law and Practice of Expulsion and Exclusion from the UK, Hart Publishing (2014).


Sir J.C. Smith Travelling Scholarship, University of Nottingham European Commission Scholarship, Centre for Capital Punishment Studies


  • LLB (Hons), (CoL)
  • LLM, Human Rights Law (Notts) - Distinction
  • BSc (Hons), Politics and International Relations (Soton)

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