Peter Haynes is one of the foremost practitioners in International Criminal and Humanitarian Law, having spent most of the last 17 years appearing before various tribunals in the Hague. He is one of the very few practitioners to have led cases before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (“ICTY”), where he appeared for the defence of General Vinko Pandurević in relation to the Srebrenica massacre, the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (“STL”).
At the ICC, he appeared for Jean-Pierre Bemba, the Minister of Defence and Senator of the Democratic Republic of Congo, famously securing his acquittal of all charges on appeal. At the STL, he represented the victims of the terrorist bombing in Beirut which resulted in the assassination of Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri. He has appeared in cases involving charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and international terrorism. He has been responsible for the development of jurisprudence, practice and procedure in the representation of victims in ICHL. Between 2019 and 2021, he held the office of President of the International Criminal Court Bar Association, becoming the first and only person to be re-elected to the post.
Domestically, he has appeared for both the prosecution and the defence inter alia in cases of murder, serious fraud, sexual offences, human trafficking and complex conspiracies. Away from crime, Peter has acted as lead counsel in a class action against the British government concerning the torture of prisoners in Cyprus; taken proceedings against the ICC seeking $75 million in damages for the losses arising from the freezing of Bemba’s assets and represented the Tamil community in an appeal to the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission relating to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam.
Peter also works as an independent consultant on international legal matters, advising governments, heads of state and NGO’s. He is senior advisory counsel to Legal Action Worldwide (“L.A.W.”) in relation to a number of humanitarian crises. He has been involved in outreach and rule of law projects in Iraq on behalf of both the FCDO and the US State Department, as well as, on behalf of the latter, Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing initiatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“A renowned defence lawyer who always serves in the best interests of the court.” Chambers UK 2022
“Well known for appearing in cases involving international terrorism and war crimes.” Legal 500
“He’s great with clients and easy to work with.” Chambers UK
“He commands the respect of the bench.” Legal 500
“Knows how to handle difficult matters well and deal with the not inconsiderable pressures these cases bring.” Legal 500
“A first-rate barrister, who is highly experienced in international criminal trials.” Legal 500
“One of the few non-London leading international criminal practitioners, he has a strong reputation in the field for his defence work. He is known and respected.” Chambers UK