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Isabella Kirwan
Guernica 37

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Called 2022


Isabella is a Barrister with a mixed domestic and international practice. She accepts instructions in most of Chambers’ practice areas.

Internationally, Isabella specialises in Public International Law, International Human Rights Law, International Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law and Transitional Justice.

Domestically, Isabella specialises in strategic human rights litigation and individual complaints under the Human Rights Act 1998, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Equality Act 2010.

International instructions

Isabella has worked on cases before international courts and tribunals, including the International Criminal Court and the Kosovo Specialist Chambers. She has also worked on matters before the UN Human Rights Council and UN Special Mechanisms, including the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Committee Against Torture. 


Isabella advises individuals and non-governmental organisations on international law issues, as well as engagement and advocacy before United Nations treaty bodies and mechanisms.

Domestic instructions 


Public law/judicial review

Isabella brings claims against public authorities on behalf of individuals, including claims under the Human Rights Act 1998, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Equality Act 2010.


Immigration and asylum

Isabella also represents clients in immigration and asylum cases, including asylum and deportation appeals. 


Crime and extradition

Isabella regularly represents clients in the Magistrates Court and Crown Court for both crime and extradition matters.



Before transferring to the Bar, Isabella was a qualified Solicitor before the Senior Courts of England and Wales.   Prior to joining Chambers, Isabella worked at the United Nations’ Migration Agency, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR, Human Rights Council) in Geneva, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in London, and as a Trainee Lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg.

Isabella has also worked for various non-governmental organisations, both as an employed lawyer and consultant. Notably, in 2022, the Equal Rights Trust appointed her to a team of specialist human rights lawyers to analyse the issues surrounding the realisation of the legal right to non-discrimination. In 2019, Isabella was on Amnesty International UK’s Children’s Human Rights Committee.


During her studies, Isabella specialised in International Criminal Law and International Human Rights Law. She received the highest mark in her cohort for criminology of mass violence (war crimes, crimes against humanity, transitional justice) and was awarded an award for her distinguished contribution to international criminal law for her work on the effectiveness of late transitional justice measures in post-conflict states.

Isabella studied part of her law degree in France, at the University of Lorraine in Nancy, where she received the highest grade in her cohort. She studied French, European and International Law, in French. Isabella was also awarded a scholarship to study at East China Normal University in Shanghai, China.


The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple

Human Rights Lawyers Association

LLB Law (Hons.), The University of Manchester, with study abroad at the University of Lorraine, France; French Law & International Law
LLM Public International Law, The University of Manchester
LPC, BPP Law School

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