R. v Lama (Kumar)


Practice Areas

Public International Law

Cases Citation

[2014] EWCA Crim 1729 [2017] Q.B. 1171 [2017] 3 W.L.R. 469 [2014] 8 WLUK 111 [2017] 11 C.L. 59

Kathryn Howarth successfully represented the Crown and was led by Bobbie Cheema QC (now Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb) before the Court of Appeal, in this important case which considered issues of public international law immunity.

The Court of Appeal held that Kumar Lama, a colonel in the Nepalese army was not entitled to immunity under the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT) in respect of allegations that he had been responsible for the torture of suspected Maoists in the course of an armed conflict in Nepal.

The Court of Appeal dismissed claims of immunity rationae materiae after a detailed consideration of the House of Lords’ judgment in the seminal case of Pinochet (No. 3) [2000] 1 A.C. 247. The case also examined the waiver of immunity by the UN Secretary General and immunity under a UN Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).

Related Barristers

Kathryn Howarth

Kathryn Howarth
Year of Call: 2005