Ibrahim Olabi (Member) Guernica 37

Ibrahim is a barrister with specialised international law knowledge and experience, currently applying it to the Middle East. Over the past 5 years, Ibrahim has worked extensively on international legal matters related to the Syrian conflict, including international humanitarian law, international criminal law and international human rights law. 

Within Guernica 37, notable work that Ibrahim has been involved with included: 


  • Drafted submissions to the International Criminal Court on Syria.

  • Instructed as part of the legal team advising the Government of The Netherlands in the case involving Syria’s breaches of the UN Torture Convention, which may reach the International Court of Justice. 

  • Drafted submissions to The Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Unit (SO15) on crimes linked to Syria. 


Ibrahim is a strong public advocate on international justice issues. He has spoken and chaired panels in forums such as Chatham House and Amnesty International. Ibrahim makes regular media appearance and has been interviewed by the BBC, CNN, The Guardian, The Financial Times, Aljazeera and Al-Arabiya. He has been asked to deliver presentations at UK universities such as UCL, SOAS, Nottingham and Manchester amongst others. 

Screenshot 2021-06-28 at 20.14.27.png
Screenshot 2021-06-28 at 20.14.34.png
Screenshot 2021-06-28 at 20.14.16.png

Ibrahim has also advocated in Geneva, Brussels, Washington and London on human rights issues relevant to Syria. He received personal invitations from the Heads of States such as Germany and The United Kingdom, and from the UN Secretary General. 


Within the UK, Ibrahim advocates for justice issues with senior politicians. He had meetings with the Minister for the Middle East, Shadow Foreign Secretary, and senior HMG civil servants.     


In addition to Guernica 37, Ibrahim’s legal work on Syria was mainly through the organisation he set up, the Syrian Legal Development Programme (SLDP), which he continues to be the director of. SLDP has provided legal expertise to Syrian NGOs, including training that Ibrahim delivered to more than 550 trainees on a range of complex legal surrounding forced displacement, torture, UN mechanisms, facilitation of humanitarian aid and other matters. He has trained both in Syria, near the front lines, and in neighbouring countries.  SLDP also works on matters related to Business and Human rights, including sanctions, and has received funding from the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Ministry. 


Outside of SLDP, Ibrahim worked as a legal consultant on Syria related matters for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, The International Bar Association and The Open Society Justice Initiative. 


Ibrahim has completed his LLB and LLM (Security and International Law) at the University of Manchester, where he was awarded both the Undergraduate and the Postgraduate Student of the Year. During University, he was the President of the Arab Society and was further elected as National Union of Students Delegate to represent his University. He also received a Middle Temple Scholarship (Benefactors Award).