Rhys specialises in international criminal law and international human rights law. He is based in London and the Hague and is ranked in the legal 500 as a leading lawyer in international crime.
Rhys is in demand as a commentator on international human rights and regularly appears both on television and in print. Rhys has a particular focus on the Middle East and the rights of journalists and has significant experience of in-country legal advice and assistance, most recently in the West Bank. Rhys has particular expertise and interest in matters concerning Interpol. He is experienced in leading campaigns to free British and other citizens detained abroad. He is a frequent speaker at human rights events at the United Nations in Geneva and the House of Commons. Rhys often comments for Al-Jazeera Television, and has recently written for the Times, Guardian and Independent newspapers. He is frequently asked to advise non-governmental organisations on matters across the spectrum of international human rights law issues.
Rhys is recognised as a leading junior in international criminal law. He is a member of the lists of Counsel for the International Criminal Court, the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Rhys is also a member of the list of lawyers for the United Nations Ombudsperson to the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee.
Rhys has significant experience in matters before the United Nations Special Procedures mechanisms, with numerous ongoing cases concerning matters of torture, arbitrary detention and forced displacement. He has acted in matters before diverse international tribunals including the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the World Bank Sanctions System.
Rhys has in-depth experience of both the UK and US Magnitsky sanctions regimes and has worked closely with leading global campaigners on efforts to sanction human rights abusers and corrupt officials. Rhys assisted former UK DPP Sir David Calvert-Smith in the drafting of the report “Undue Influence: The UAE and Interpol” published in April 2021 examining the UAE’s influence over Interpol. Rhys is counsel to an ongoing Fact-finding panel of UK parliamentarians, currently investigating breaches of the rights of British women in the UAE. He has significant experience of commissioning panels and investigations concerning international human rights abuses.
In addition to his work as a commentator, Rhys is much in demand as a speaker and moderator on panels concerning a broad range of international criminal law and international human rights law issues, with a focus on the Middle East, oppressive state conduct and the rights of journalists. Rhys has recently spoken at, and chaired, events at numerous sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva and at meetings at the House of Commons on matters including the use of the death penalty and the protection of prisoners in international law. He is the author of numerous articles concerning justice in the Middle East and is co-author of a recent article on the rule of law in despotic regimes.
For more information about Rhys’s International Law, Reputation Management and Legal and Litigation Campaigns expertise please visit ihr-advisors.com
Rhys retains a domestic common law practice with a focus on fraud. His recent experience in this area includes advising in civil fraud and contempt proceedings, private criminal prosecutions, and pro-active litigation in cases of suspected dishonesty.
Rhys is recommended as a Leading Junior in International Crime in the Legal 500.
The 2022 edition describes him as “A standout international lawyer. He is the go to barrister for submissions to the United Nations in complex cases.”
The 2021 edition described him as “An excellent advocate. He is a sophisticated and highly effective communicator with a fierce intellect” and “fearless in his defence of Human Rights and individual freedoms”. The 2021 edition notes that Rhys has “particular expertise in the Middle East and representing clients before the United Nations Special Procedure Committees and Special Rapporteurs.”
Rhys was described in the 2020 edition of the Legal 500 as a “polished performer who provides tactically astute advice”.
BVC Inns of Court School of Law
MA (Hons) Law, Trinity College, University of Cambridge
- Admitted to list of Defence Counsel before the International Criminal Court
- Admitted to list of Defence Counsel of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon
- Admitted to list of Defence Counsel before the Kosovo Specialist Chambers
- Association of Defence Counsel practising before the International Courts and Tribunals
- International Criminal Court Bar Association
- Human Rights Lawyers Association
- International Bar Association
- Criminal Bar Association
- South Eastern Circuit
Undertakes Public Access work
13th October 2021
Rhys Davies and Ben Keith of 5 St Andrew’s Hill have been instructed to represent Zack Shahin in submissions to the US State Department and to the United Nations. Mr Shahin, 57, is the longest serving American in a foreign jail accused of a white-collar crime.
7th October 2021
TGC are pleased to announce that Marcus Grant has been nominated for the Junior Pro Bono Barrister of the Year, and Rhys Davies (as a team with Ben Keith, 5 St Andrews Hill) have been nominated for the International Pro Bono Barrister of the year in the 2021 Bar Pro Bono Awards.
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Rhys Davies addresses a side event at the 48th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council
28th September 2021
Rhys Davies spoke at a seminar of international human rights experts at the 48th Session of the UNHRC, concerning UAE and Interpol. The panel questioned the UAE’s influence over Interpol in light of the UAE Police General Inspector’s candidacy for next Interpol President.
15th April 2021
Rhys Davies co-authors an opinion piece in the Times today, calling for transparency in the elections for the presidency of Interpol, following the recent publication of a report examining the links between Interpol and the UAE.
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7th April 2021
A new report by former UK DPP, Sir David Calvert-Smith, assisted by Rhys Davies and Ben Keith, questions the UAE’s influence over Interpol including a €50m donation and the UAE Police General inspector reported to be the leading candidate for next Interpol President.
The report contends that Interpol’s presidential voting and nominations are completely opaque with no list of candidates made public. The UAE candidate for Presidency of Interpol is accused of human rights violations including presiding over the detention and torture of British citizens. Furthermore, the UAE has a history of abusing Interpol Red Notice system and practising forced rendition of individuals form overseas. The UAE also has an abysmal track record of human rights both at home and abroad and it is concerning that they might have an even stronger influence over Interpol. The report therefore recommends that Interpol publishes the other candidates for the role and does not elect UAE candidate.
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19th February 2021
Rhys Davies was interviewed on Al Jazeera television and asked to comment on the ongoing detention of journalists in Egypt.
23rd September 2020
Rodney Dixon and Rhys Davies have submitted an urgent communication to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous people, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons.
24th August 2020
Former Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef was arrested five months ago and has been detained since without charge.
17th July 2020
Last week the Foreign Secretary imposed sanctions on nationals of four countries following the enactment the UK’s “Magnitsky law.”
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3rd July 2020
A Turkish court has opened the trial of 20 Saudi nationals indicted with killing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
23rd January 2020
Rhys Davies appeared on Al Jazeera Television and was asked to analyse the legality of threats to attack Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli.
6th January 2020
Rhys was asked to comment on the legality of President Trump’s threat to target Iranian cultural sites.
5th December 2019
Rhys Davies, International Counsel for social rights activist Suha Jbara, has submitted urgent communications to both the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.
30th August 2019
Rhys was asked to comment on the legal implications following air raids conducted by the UAE in southern Yemen.
18th June 2019
Former president Morsi collapsed and died during a court appearance on the 17th of June, having been in custody since he was deposed in 2013.
12th June 2019
Rhys Davies attended court in Jericho, in the West Bank, on behalf of Suha Jbara, a US/Panamanian citizen detained and tortured by the Palestinian Authority. Following her arrest in November 2018, Ms Jbara was detained for over two months during which time she was subjected to repeated acts of torture, and held in solitary confinement.
20th May 2019
Rodney Dixon QC, counsel for jailed Moroccan journalist Toufik Bouachrine, assisted by Rhys Davies, have submitted an urgent request to Dr. Agnes Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur investigating the killing of Jamal Khashoggi to obtain and examine Mr. Bouachrine’s mobile phone.
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1st April 2019
Rhys Davies was asked to comment on information obtained by the Guardian newspaper that the country’s ruler, King Salman, has ordered reports to be prepared on the condition of Saudi political prisoners.
29th March 2019
Rhys Davies appeared on Al Jazeera Television as part of a panel of human rights and international law experts to discuss the release yesterday of three prominent Saudi Arabian human rights activists.
13th March 2019
Rhys Davies authors an opinion piece in the Guardian today, on the recent Arab–EU summit and challenges the UK and the EU to stand up for human rights and justice.
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7th March 2019
Rhys and Aidan took part in a seminar at the House of Commons, hosted by Alastair Carmichael MP.
30th January 2019
Rhys was asked to comment on the steps taken by the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions to investigate the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
Rhys Davies and Aidan Ellis have been added to the list of lawyers for the United Nations Ombudsperson to the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, for petitioners who seek delisting from the sanctions list.
21st January 2019
7th January 2019
Rhys appeared on Al Jazeera television to discuss the most recent movements in the Khashoggi case, following the commencement of proceedings in Saudi Arabia.
2nd January 2019
Rhys Davies was interviewed on Al Jazeera television and asked to comment on the likely outcomes following a request by the Detention Review Panel to visit women activists currently imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.
Rhys Davies appears on Al Jazeera to discuss the latest developments in the Khashoggi affair
10th December 2018
In light of the refusal by Saudi Arabia to accede to a Turkish request for the extradition of key suspects in the Khashoggi killing, Rhys Davies was interviewed on Al Jazeera television and asked to comment on legal and political remedies. Rhys spoke on the next steps available to Jamal Khashoggi’s family, and the international community at large.
Rhys Davies admitted to the List of Specialist Counsel before the Kosovo Specialist Chambers
29th October 2018
TGC is pleased to announce that Rhys Davies has been admitted List of Specialist Counsel as Defence Counsel before the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) in the Hague.
Rhys Davies writes in the Times, addressing the international response to the war in Yemen in light of the Khashoggi killing
24th October 2018
Rhys has written an article in the Times, in light of the Khashoggi scandal, calling for the international community to take to the opportunity to prevent catastrophe in Yemen.
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Rhys Davies writes in the Independent newspaper regarding legal remedies in the Khashoggi affair
22nd October 2018
Following the admission by Saudi Arabia that Jamal Khashoggi was killed at their Turkish Consulate, writing in the Independent newspaper, Rhys Davies addresses possible remedies in international law. Rhys sets out the next steps that might be taken at against both Saudi Arabia and the individuals allegedly involved in the killing.
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9th October 2018
Rodney Dixon QC was a speaker at an event held at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC on the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia.
5th October 2018
Following the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Rhys Davies and Sian Reeves joined other lawyers and human rights activists at a press conference outside the Saudi embassy in London.
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17th September 2018
Rhys was asked for his comments on the criticism of the International Criminal Court by President Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton.
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Rhys Davies co-authors an article in the New Law Journal – International Justice: English lawyers in despotic jurisdictions.
17th July 2018
As part of a series of articles on international justice and the rule of law in other jurisdictions, Rhys Davies & Ben Keith ask whether, following the success of the Dubai International Financial Centre and the imminent launch of the Astana International Financial Centre, countries such as Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates are using the reputation of English law and lawyers to shield their poor human rights records.
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27th June 2018
Sian Reeves, Rhys Davies and Myles Grandison spoke at a side event at the 38th session of the Human Rights Council, in Geneva.
Rhys Davies admitted to the List of Counsel for the International Criminal Court
25th June 2018
TGC is pleased to announce that Rhys Davies has been admitted to the List of Counsel for the International Criminal Court, in the Hague. Rhys joins chambers’ increasing panel of barristers approved to provide legal assistance in relation to proceedings before the International Criminal Court.
Rhys Davies chairs an event at the House of Commons on famine in Yemen
25th June 2018
Rhys chaired, and spoke at, a seminar of international human rights experts in the Grimond Room at the House of Commons concerning the unfolding crisis in Yemen. Rhys was joined by a panel of international lawyers and experts to consider the humanitarian impact of the ongoing international blockade, as well as remedies in international law.
Rhys Davies admitted to the List of Counsel for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon
8th June 2018
TGC is delighted to announce that Rhys Davies has been admitted to the List of Counsel for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, in the Netherlands, as Co-counsel.
13th March 2018
Rhys Davies spoke at an event at the 37th session of the Human Rights Council, in Geneva. Rhys chaired a meeting relating to the use of mercenaries in the conflict in Yemen, with particular reference to their deployment by the UAE.
28th February 2018
Rhys Davies and Aidan Ellis spoke at an event at the House of Commons, hosted by Andy Slaughter MP, on the use of the death penalty in Egypt.
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