+44 (0)20 7421 8000
36 Bedford Row, London, WC1R 4JH
+44 (0)20 7421 8000
36 Bedford Row
London, WC1R 4JH
Saoirse Townshend

Saoirse Townshend

Call: 2010


Practice Profile

Saoirse has built a dynamic court and advisory practice specialising in extradition and public law both prosecuting and defending; founding 36 Bedford Row’s Extradition Team. She has quickly developed a successful Appellate practice, regularly appearing in the High Court. Saoirse is instructed alone and is led in complex and novel points of law before the Divisional Court, such as in a judicial review of an extension of time for removal and Article 3 ECHR arguments on prison condition assurances in Part 1 and 2 cases in particular, Turkey and Albania. She recently appeared in the Supreme Court in an extradition appeal regarding the validity of European Arrest Warrants: Goluchowksi v District Court in Elblag, Poland and Sas v Circuit Court and District Court in Jelenia Gora, Poland [2016] UKSC 36. Saoirse is particularly interested in human trafficking cases where she can use both her extradition and immigration expertise.


Saoirse is also a member of chamber’s specialist Criminal Judicial Review team. She has recently published a chapter on Judicial Review in Extradition Proceedings in Criminal Justice Review (Hart, 2014). She is also an assistant editor of the 2014-2015 Extradition Law Reports. Saoirse regularly advises and represent clients in actions for judicial review before the Administrative Court arising from extradition proceedings, immigration and asylum proceedings, as well as general criminal justice matters. Saoirse recently won the first judicial review in the area where the requested person in extradition proceedings was not removed within the statutory time period (see R (on the application of Mechlinksi) v Westminster Magistrates’ Court [2015] EWHC 2043 (Admin)).


She compliments her practice with her passion for international human rights work. This began as a legal researcher at the Humanitarian Law Centre in Belgrade and advising in the foreign policy department in Washington D.C. for the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Adapting her advocacy skills from the court-room to the field, Saoirse is regularly posted on OSCE election monitoring missions in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. In addition, she has recently returned from Chios, Greece where she represented Syrian refugees at hearings which would determine whether they would be deported to Turkey following the EU-Turkey deal.