Saoirse has a dynamic court and advisory practice specialising in extradition and public law. She is the founding member and head of 36 Bedford Row’s Extradition Team which she has built from zero since 2013. Saoirse is listed as Band 2 in both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners (having jumped two categories in one year for the latter). Comments include: “She always goes the extra mile and makes valuable contributions to the team” and “An impressive junior... Extremely bright and very focused, she takes an approach that is forensic, detailed and effective. She’s thorough and methodical in raising her arguments, and reliable in relation to time management”.
Saoirse is instructed alone and is led in complex and novel points of law before the Supreme Court and the Divisional Court. Saoirse has 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  UKSC 36 and in the similar case of Alexander v France & Di Benedetto v Italy  EWHC 1392 (Admin) in the Divisional Court which marked a “sea-change” in law on the use of further information to correct deficient warrants. In addition, she been instructed in some of the most defining cases of the past few years in extradition law.
On suicide risk, she was instructed in Bobbe v Poland  EWHC 3161 (Admin) (and appeared alone against a Silk), an extradition appeal which changed the legal test following the new CJEU case of CK and others v Slovenia  3 CMLR 10. In addition, following this case, she successfully represented the Appellate requested person in Debiec v Poland  EWHC 2653 (Admin) in one of the first cases in which the bar has been successful in EAW cases since Poland v Wolkowicz  EWHC 102 (Admin).
In relation to prison conditions (Article 3 ECHR), Saoirse has been instructed in the lead cases for various countries: France (Shumba, Henta and Bechian v France  EWHC 1762 (Admin)); Bulgaria (L. Georgiev, I. Dimitrov and B. Georgiev v Bulgaria  EWHC 359 (Admin)); Hungary (GS v Hungary  EWHC 64 (Admin)) and Italy (Elashmawy v Italy  EWHC 28 (Admin).
On the charge/try bar, she represented an Appellate requested person in the lead case of Puceviciene v Lithuania  EWHC 1862) on s.12A; which provided new definitions of “charge” and “try”.
Saoirse has also represented both Requested Persons (Albania v Sultan Dragjoshi and USA v Okeakpu) and Judicial Authorities (Turkey v Charles  A.C.D.84) in Part 2 cases.
In addition, Saoirse is instructed in judicial review proceedings arising out of extradition and criminal proceedings. She 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  EWHC 2043 (Admin)). She published a chapter on Judicial Review in Extradition Proceedings in Criminal Justice Review (Hart, 2014).
Saoirse 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 ex-Soviet states. Saoirse has also acted as pro-bono counsel in refugee camps in Chios, Greece following the EU-Turkey deal.
In 2019 Saoirse was appointed to the Attorney General's C Panel of Junior Counsel for a 5 year term
"Quickly grasps arguments and gives very considered advice." "She's a highly organised individual and a pleasure to work with." "Passionate but realistic, she is very hard-working and adopts an approach which judges like – they instantly trust her."
Recent work: Represented a vulnerable appellant with post-traumatic stress disorder whose extradition was sought in order that he could serve over five years' imprisonment for drugs offences."
- Asylum and Immigration
- Judicial Review
Lawyer Legal Roundup
The Supreme Court considers prison conditions assurances for the first time in Lord Advocate v De...
Making waves – Alexander and Di-Benedetto: “eking out” s.2 points with further information ...
The EU-Turkey refugee deal only succeeded in one thing
Criminal Judicial Review
Appointments & Memberships
- Defence Extradition Lawyers Forum (Committee member)
- Trustee of Bail for Immigration Detainees
- Extradition Lawyers Association
- Assistant Editor of Extradition Law Reports
- Interviewing panel of Lincoln’s Inn Scholarship Committee
- Junior Counsel to the Crown - C panel 2019
- CPS Extradition Panel - grade 3
Goluchowksi v District Court in Elblag, Poland and Sas v Circuit Court and District Court in Jelenia Gora, Poland  UKSC 36
Saoirse appeared in the Supreme Court in an extradition appeal regarding the validity of European Arrest Warrants.
Alexander v France & Di Benedetto v Italy  EWHC 1392 (Admin))
Saoirse appeared in the defining “sea-change” extradition appeal which for the first time allowed further information to correct “invalid” European Arrest warrants.
Debiec v Poland  EWHC 2653 (Admin)
Saoirse represented an Appellate requested person in one of the first cases in which s.25 (oppression due to mental health) has been successful in European Arrest Warrant cases since Poland v Wolkowicz  EWHC 102 (Admin).
L. Georgiev, I. Dimitrov and B. Georgiev v Bulgaria  EWHC 359 (Admin)
Saoirse represented Mr Dimitrov in the key extradition appeal where it was argued that the Bulgarian authorities could not be trusted to comply with assurances regarding prison conditions where there was evidence of multiple previous breaches.
Connor, Herbert and Shammas v Germany  EWHC 829 (Admin)
Saoirse represented Mr Shammas in an extradition appeal where the Appellants were charged in Germany with a multi-million Euro carousel fraud. It was argued that it was an abuse of process to modify the number of offences for which they were sought without particularising them in the European Arrest Warrant.
Shumba, Henta and Bechian v France  EWHC 1762 (Admin)
Saoirse is representing Mr Shumba in the leading extradition appeal on French prison conditions (Article 3 ECHR).
Lis, Lange and Chmielewski v Poland
Saoirse is currently representing Mr Lange in the defining extradition appeal on fair trial rights (Article 6 ECHR) following constitutional changes to the rule of law in Poland.