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CHAMBERS

Omar Soliman (Member) Guernica 37

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Called: 2012
Qualified to accept Public Access instructions
 
Introduction

Omar became a Guernica 37 member, following successful completion of his pupillage in 2020. He is developing a practice across a spectrum of chambers' practice areas, with a particular focus in domestic and international crime, international human rights, extradition and immigration.

Current work

Omar has a busy domestic criminal practice representing clients accused of a wide range of criminal offences and appears regularly in the youth, magistrates' and Crown Court. 

Omar is developing an international law practice, which has included being instructed as a Legal Associate on the Haradinaj defence team at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers. Furthermore, Omar is part of the team at Guernica 37 assisting the Dutch government in holding Syria accountable for breaching its international obligations, particularly under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). This has involved the collection of evidence and ensuring the necessary input from Syrian victims. 

His experience in international human rights includes drafting numerous complaints to United Nations Special Procedures, including the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and various Special Rapporteurs. 

Omar is also developing his extradition practice and played an active role as part of the defence team in the successful case of Slovakia v. Dunford-Wood [2020]. 

He similarly assisted with an international child abduction case before the Family Division of the High Court. 

Omar has also been actively involved in the sphere of asylum and immigration law, including acting in an Iraqi asylum case, where the applicant was a former interpreter who worked with the British army during the Iraq war. ​

 

Previous experience

Prior to commencing his career at the Bar, Omar was a Caseworker in the Middle East and North Africa team at NGO Reprieve where he worked on cases and projects involving people facing the death penalty or execution in Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Casework included conducting interviews and family visits, legal research, drafting legal documents and UN submissions, presenting at UN bodies, liaising with local counsel, Government outreach and MP engagement and coordinating input from experts, pro bono lawyers and other supportive organisations and individuals. 

Omar was a caseworker at Legal Centre Lesbos, defending the rights of asylum seekers and refugees in Greece. Here he managed an extremely busy caseload, drafted family reunification and UNHCR accommodation transfer requests, conducted client meetings (in English and Arabic) involving asylum interview preparation, in addition to other legal research and advocacy tasks on asylum and family reunification cases under Dublin III Regulation. 

Prior to this Omar freelanced as a Barrister’s Assistant to various members with an immigration practice at Garden Court Chambers. In addition to this Omar worked as a Legal Assistant to leading fraud solicitor David Harbron at both Hedleys and Chivers Solicitors and as an immigration paralegal at Lambeth Law Centre. 

Omar has worked on several international teams, including internships on the Nuon Chea defence team at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in Phnom Penh, and the Oneissi defence team at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) in The Hague. Following these, Omar was a Legal Assistant at international consultancy firm Global Diligence LLP, in Paris, where he worked on an International Criminal Court (ICC) communication. 

Omar has volunteered at several different charities including Bail for Immigration Detainees, Detention Action and Equal Rights Trust. 

Education

Executive Course in Public International Law, SOAS 

BPTC, College of Law (Very Competent)

LLM in Law and Development, University of Manchester (Merit)

BA in Law with Politics, University of Manchester (2:1)

Memberships

The Honourable Society of Inner Temple

Criminal Bar Association

Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA)

Association of Young International Criminal Lawyers (AYICL)

Arab Lawyers Forum

Appointments and Awards
Admitted to the List of Specialist Counsel before the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) as Co-Counsel

Guernica 37 Equality & Diversity Officer

Geoffrey Nice Foundation on ‘Law, History, Politics and Society in the Context of Mass Atrocities,’ Dubrovnik and Prishtina – Awarded scholarship from Inner Temple to attend this Master Class and Alumni Conference

Expertise

Domestic Criminal Law 

International Criminal Law 

Public International Law 

International Human Rights 

Extradition & Mutual Legal Assistance

Immigration & Asylum 

Rule of Law Development

Government Advisory Work

Atrocity Crime Prevention

Languages
English

Arabic

Recent Cases
R v. KI - Romford Magistrates' Court (2022) - Secured an acquittal in a case of ABH after getting the Crown to withdraw their case against a defendant with mental health issues. 
 
R v. JA - Westminster Magistrates' Court (2022) - Secured a community order in the sentencing of a defendant indicted on three counts of racially aggravated disorderly behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress. 

 

R v. DH - Stratford Youth Court (2022) - Secured an acquittal for a 13yo indicted on one count of having article with blade or point on school premises (CJA 1988, s.139A(1) and (2)).

 

R v. MS – West Hampshire (Southampton) Magistrates’ Court (2022) – Secured a community order in the sentencing of a defendant indicted on two counts of assault and one count of criminal damage.

R v. VK – Snaresbrook Crown Court (2021) – Represented a defendant indicted on a breach of a Serious Crime Prevention Order. 

R v. MD – St Albans Magistrates’ Court (2021) – Secured an acquittal in a case concerning failure to give information relating to the identification of the driver of a vehicle. 

R v. ECP – Thames Magistrates’ Court (2021) – Secured an acquittal in a case of criminal damage after getting the Crown to withdraw their case against a defendant with mental health issues. 

R v. AL – Romford Magistrates’ Court (2021) – Secured an acquittal in a case of common assault. 

R v. AF – Stratford Magistrates’ Court (2021) – Secured an acquittal in a case of criminal damage and assault by beating.