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 was named International Pro Bono Barrister of the year by Advocate, the Bar’s national pro bono charity, in November 2021.

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 and co-edits the Red Notice Monitor blog. 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.


Winner International Pro Bono Barrister of the year, 2021/22, Bar Pro Bono Awards.

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

Professional Memberships

  • 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

Public Access

Undertakes Public Access work

Rhys Davies is featured in Counsel Magazine as part of an article on the winners of the Bar Pro Bono Awards

11th April 2022

Rhys Davies was profiled in Counsel Magazine as part of a feature on the winners of the Bar Pro Bono Awards, given every year in recognition of outstanding commitment to pro bono work by barristers or chambers. Rhys was jointly named International Pro Bono Barrister of the year for his work in the case of Ryan Cornelius, a British national who has been arbitrarily detained by the UAE since 2008.

Rhys Davies quoted in the Economist

20th December 2021

Rhys Davies is quoted in the week’s Economist magazine concerning the case of Ryan Cornelius, a British national who has been arbitrarily detained in Dubai. In an article in the Economist’s 1843 supplement, Rhys commented on the lack of assistance from the UK Foreign Office available to British nationals who are arrested and prosecuted in the UAE. Rhys is instructed to act as international counsel to Ryan Cornelius in his submissions to the United Nations and to the UK and USA governments.

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Rhys Davies writes in the Times Newspaper on the use of Magnitsky sanctions

18th November 2021

Rhys Davies authors an opinion piece in the Times today concerning the use of sanctions to target high profile individuals responsible for corruption and human rights abuses.

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Rhys Davies named International Pro Bono Barrister of the Year

4th November 2021

Chambers wish to congratulate Rhys Davies on his award as International Pro Bono Barrister of the year. Advocate, the Bar’s national pro bono charity, presented Rhys with the award on 3rd November 2021 at Gray’s Inn. Rhys won the award along with fellow barrister Ben Keith for their work at International Human Rights Advisors. Rhys and Ben set up the organisation to deal with their international case work which focusses on international human rights law and campaigns. They were nominated for their work on the case of Ryan Cornelius. Ryan is a British national who has been arbitrarily detained in prison in Dubai. He was arrested in 2008 and has been held in custody ever since.

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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.

Undue Influence: The UAE and Interpol Report Launch.

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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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

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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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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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.

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