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Ayesha Christie
MEET:

Ayesha Christie

"Ayesha is a go-to barrister for judicial review cases where clients have a complex immigration history. She has an eye for detail and her drafting is excellent."

Legal 500, 2022, Immigration
Called: 2014

Ayesha specialises in public law, human rights, immigration and asylum, trafficking, citizenship deprivation, national security, and international law. She is frequently instructed in high profile policy and wider systemic challenges, and is committed to representing individuals who have been subject to human rights abuses, domestically and abroad.

Ayesha worked as an immigration lawyer prior to coming to the Bar, and since then has appeared unled in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.

Ayesha is described in the directories as an “extremely organised and a very impressive advocate” who “never loses sight of the client and always gets the best outcome for them”. Ayesha has “an eye for detail and her drafting is excellent”, she is “careful, well-judged and authoritative”“always five steps ahead” and “really great to work with”.

Ayesha has extensive experience in immigration and asylum law, having worked in the field for the past 16 years. She regularly represents individuals in appeals in the First Tier and Upper Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, as well as in judicial review proceedings. Ayesha has a particular interest in children and vulnerable adults involved in the immigration and asylum process, including victims of trafficking, as well as in working on cases to achieve a sustainable outcome for individuals with complex immigration histories. She has regular experience of asylum and deportation appeals, age assessments, and unlawful detention claims.

Ayesha also advises on nationality issues, family immigration, points-based system claims, and is involved in applications and judicial reviews under the Windrush scheme. She has successfully obtained indefinite leave to remain and British citizenship for a number of individuals who have been subjected to historical injustices by the Home Secretary and other public authorities.

Ayesha regularly provides expert opinions on immigration and nationality issues (including where there is an overlap with family/criminal matters) for Local Authorities, proceedings in the Family Courts, Extradition proceedings, and other civil proceedings.

Ayesha delivers talks and training (to legal and non-legal audiences) in all aspects of UK immigration law, international refugee and human rights law, and the protection of victims of trafficking. She is a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association.

Notable cases include:

  • Home Secretary v EOG & KTT [2022] EWCA Civ 307 – a challenge to the Home Secretary’s policy not to grant potential victims of trafficking discretionary leave to remain during their ‘recovery and reflection’ period. Ayesha represented the AIRE Centre, intervening before the Court of Appeal, in written and oral submissions (unled).
  • Home Secretary v BF (Eritrea) [2021] 1 WLR 3967 (Supreme Court) – an appeal concerning the lawfulness of a policy permitting the age assessments of immigration detainees on the basis of physical appearance and demeanour, and the test to be applied when assessing the lawfulness of policy. Ayesha represented the Equality and Human Rights Commission in written and oral submissions (unled).
  • A v Home Secretary (2022) – a successful challenge to the Home Secretary’s failure to consider granting indefinite leave to the applicant, a former asylum-seeking child who had been trafficked as a child whilst in the care of social services, and subsequently convicted of offences committed whilst under the control of his traffickers.
  • Detention Action v Home Secretary [2020] EWHC 782 (Admin) – a challenge to the immigration detention of persons with increased vulnerability to Covid-19, and persons who could not be removed due to Covid-19 flight restrictions.
  • KA v Home Secretary (2019) – a successful human rights appeal under Articles 3, 4 and 8 ECHR on behalf of an individual who had lived in the UK for around 40 years, having been trafficked as a child as a domestic slave, subjected to sexual abuse whilst in the care of social services, and had spent much of his adult years incarcerated. A subsequent judicial review of the Home Secretary’s decision on leave resulted in him being granted indefinite leave to remain.
  • AL (Albania) v Home Secretary [2019] EWCA Civ 950 – appeal concerning the correct approach to earlier asylum appeal determinations.
  • AS (Guinea) v Home Secretary [2018] EWCA Civ 2234 – intervening on behalf of UNHCR, addressing the standard and burden of proof in statelessness cases.
  • K v Home Secretary – a judicial review challenging the removal of a man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia to Tanzania, which resulted in him being taken off the plane shortly before take-off, and subsequently being granted leave to remain.
  • Medical Justice and others v Home Secretary [2017] 4 WLR 198 (representing five of the claimants) – successfully argued that the definition of torture in the Home Office’s immigration detention policy was unlawful.

Ayesha is a specialist in human trafficking and modern slavery. She is regularly instructed in judicial reviews connected to the identification of individual victims of trafficking, the National Referral Mechanism process, breaches of Article 4 ECHR, and obligations arising under ECAT. She is sought after for asylum appeals with a trafficking element, national security cases involving victims of trafficking, and challenges to NRM decisions, in particular involving clients who have been convicted of criminal offences linked to their trafficking. She has obtained positive outcomes for trafficked individuals who have spent many years unsuccessfully navigating the immigration and criminal justice systems.

Ayesha has also been involved in a number of challenges concerning the financial support entitlements of victims of trafficking, which have resulted in the Home Secretary being required to make backpayments to large cohorts of affected individuals.

Notable cases include:

  • Shamima Begum v Home Secretary [2024] EWCA Civ 152 – representing the appellant in her appeal against deprivation of citizenship, including on grounds that the Home Secretary’s decision to deprive the appellant of citizenship failed to recognise her as a victim of trafficking and breached the legal obligations inherent in Article 4 ECHR. This case explores the scope of the Article 4 ECHR investigative, recovery and restitutionary duties in the context of citizenship deprivation.
  • JB v Home Secretary [2022] EWCA Civ 1392 – a challenge to the underpayment of trafficking support to victims housed in full board asylum accommodation during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s judgment, which found that victims were entitled to a total cash payment of £65/week, and ordered back-payments. The Home Secretary agreed to institute a scheme for the back-payments of persons who had been similarly underpaid.
  • Home Secretary v EOG & KTT [2022] EWCA Civ 307– a challenge to the Home Secretary’s policy not to grant potential victims of trafficking discretionary leave to remain during their ‘recovery and reflectionperiod. Ayesha represented the AIRE Centre, intervening before the Court of Appeal, in written and oral submissions (unled).
  • Home Secretary v MD and EH [2022] EWCA Civ 336 – a challenge to the denial of child trafficking support to asylum-seeking victims of trafficking. The High Court found that this was directly discriminatory, in breach of Article 14 ECHR.
  • B v Home Secretary (2022) – a successful judicial review of a negative conclusive grounds trafficking decision brought by a victim of forced prostitution and forced labour, which resulted in the Home Secretary recognising her as a victim of trafficking.
  • S v Home Secretary (2020) – a successful judicial review of a negative conclusive grounds decision brought by a Polish victim who had been trafficked by the Markowski brothers to work in a Sports Direct warehouse, and subsequently subjected to other forms of forced labour.
  • K and AM v Home Secretary [2018] EWHC 2951 (Admin) – a successful challenge to the decision to cut trafficking support payments for victims of trafficking, resulting in an order requiring the Home Secretary to make back-payments all those whose support had been unlawfully cut.

Ayesha’s national security work includes appeals and associated judicial review concerning the deprivation of British citizenship, judicial reviews challenging the cancellation of passports, human rights and equality challenges arising from airport stops under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, and challenges to the retention of biometric data by the police. She is frequently instructed where there is a cross-over with an immigration/trafficking issue.

Notable cases include:

  • Shamima Begum v Home Secretary [2024] EWCA Civ 152 – representing the appellant in her appeal against deprivation of citizenship.
  • C3 v Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs – [2022] EWHC 2772 (Admin) – an application against for habeas corpus brought by a British woman who is unlawfully detained in Syria.
  • Home Secretary v D4 [2022] EWCA Civ 33 – a challenge to the Secretary of State’s practice of depriving individuals of their British citizenship without giving them written notice, by placing the deprivation decision on an internal Home Office file of which the person affected is unaware, and has no access. The Court of Appeal held that this was unlawful, and that Regulations permitting “service to file” were ultra vires.
  • Shamima Begum v SIAC & Home Secretary [2021] AC 765 (Supreme Court) – intervening on behalf of Liberty in Shamima Begum’s challenge to the deprivation of her British citizenship and refusal of leave to enter the UK.
  • HK v Metropolitan Police – a challenge against the Metropolitan police for forcing a Muslim woman to remove her hijab to be photographed whilst stopped and detained at an airport under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2020, resulting in payment of £15,000 in damages.

Ayesha has an extensive public law and human rights practice, which spans community care and welfare entitlements, age disputes, equality and discrimination, unlawful detention, prison law, actions against the police, and national security cases.

Her prison law practice includes judicial reviews challenging the treatment of children detained in Young Offenders Institutions, including challenges to the use of adult restraint techniques on children, and holding children in solitary confinement.

Ayesha represents individuals and NGOs in public and private law human rights challenges at all levels of the courts and has appeared unled in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. She has also been involved in applications to the European Court of Human Rights.

Notable cases include:

  • Shamima Begum v Home Secretary [2024] EWCA Civ 152 – representing the appellant in her ongoing appeal against deprivation of citizenship.
  • AB v United Kingdom (App. 474/2) – an application to the European Court of Human Right by AB, who whilst detained in a young offenders’ institution as a child of 15 years old, was held in solitary confinement for 55 days. He claimed that his treatment constituted inhuman/degrading treatment and breached Article 3 ECHR. The UK government successfully contested the claim in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. However, following AB’s application to the European Court of Human Rights, the government accepted that there was a breach of Article 3 ECHR in the circumstances of AB’s case, and agreed to pay him compensation.
  • C3 v Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs – [2022] EWHC 2772 (Admin) – an application against for habeas corpus brought by a British woman who is unlawfully detained in Syria.
  • Home Secretary v D4 [2022] EWCA Civ 33 – a successful challenge to the Secretary of State’s practice of depriving individuals of their British citizenship without giving them written notice, by placing the deprivation decision on an internal Home Office file of which the person affected is unaware, and has no access. The Home Secretary withdrew her appeal to the Supreme Court following the introduction of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022.
  • Coughlan v Minister for the Cabinet Office [2022] UKSC 11 (Supreme Court) – intervening on behalf of the Runnymede Trust, Operation Black Vote and Voice4Change England in an appeal concerning the legality of local government voter ID schemes.
  • Home Secretary v BF (Eritrea) [2021] 1 WLR 3967 (Supreme Court) – an appeal concerning the lawfulness of a policy permitting the age assessments of immigration detainees on the basis of physical appearance and demeanour, and the test to be applied when assessing the lawfulness of policy. Ayesha represented the Equality and Human Rights Commission in written and oral submissions (unled).
  • AB v Secretary of State for Justice [2021] 3 WLR 494 (Supreme Court) – an appeal concerning the treatment of a 15 year old child detained at Feltham Young Offenders Institution, who was locked in conditions of solitary confinement for a period of 55 days.
  • Shamima Begum v SIAC & Home Secretary [2021] AC 765 (Supreme Court) – intervening on behalf of Liberty in Shamima Begum’s challenge to the deprivation of her British citizenship and refusal of leave to enter the UK.
  • Detention Action v Home Secretary [2020] EWHC 782 (Admin) – a challenge to the immigration detention of persons with increased vulnerability to Covid-19, and persons who could not be removed due to Covid-19 flight restrictions.
  • KS v Chief Magistrate; KS v Ministry of Justice – successful challenge to the imposition of 14 days additional imprisonment as punishment for a child with Aspergers Syndrome and PTSD who was alleged to have assaulted a prison officer whilst he was resisting an unlawful restraint by prison officer; this resulted in a successful claim for damages.
  • HK v Metropolitan Police – a challenge against the Metropolitan police for forcing a Muslim woman to remove her hijab to be photographed whilst stopped and detained at an airport under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2020, resulting in payment of £15,000 in damages.

Ayesha holds a First Class degree in Philosophy from Bristol University and a Masters with Distinction in Social and Global Justice. She studied the Graduate Diploma in Law at Nottingham Law School, obtaining a Distinction, and was awarded prizes for achieving the highest marks in the year, and for Best Private Law student. She was a semi-finalist in the 2013 European Court of Human Rights moot.

Before coming to the Bar, between 2008-2014, Ayesha worked at Refugee and Migrant Justice and the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities, and interned at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Ecuador. She speaks Spanish to an advanced level.

Ayesha was awarded the Queen Mother Scholarship from Middle Temple. She won the 2014 Middle Temple Rosamund Smith moot, judged by Lord Dyson MR, and also won the prize for Best Oralist. She was awarded the 2015 Peter Duffy human rights scholarship by the Bar European Group, and a 2016 Pegasus scholarship for a judicial assistant exchange visit to the United States Supreme Court.

Ayesha was a Supreme Court Judicial Assistant to Lord Reed and Lord Carnwath from 2015-2016.

Ayesha is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to her clients, including advice and representation services, Ayesha needs to collect and hold personal data. Ayesha’s Privacy Notice contains full details of when, why and how she will store and process personal data. To read her Privacy Notice, please click here.

Ayesha is regulated by the Bar Standards Board and accepts instructions under Standard Contractual Terms. To find out more information on this and the way we work at Matrix, including our fee transparency statement, please see our see our service standards

DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS

"She is a hard-working junior and is speedy in her output of work. She turns things around really quickly." "Ayesha is super clever, writes really well and has a really good sense of the law."

Chambers & Partners, 2024, Administrative & Public Law

"She has real breadth of expertise in immigration and asylum law as well as judicial review and civil damages, all of which really helps in our trafficking work. She has great attention to detail and takes the trouble over every case."

Legal 500, 2024, Administrative Law and Human Rights

"Extremely bright and hard-working." "She is a hard-working junior and is speedy in her output of work."

Chambers & Partners, 2024, Civil Liberties & Human Rights

"‘Ayesha has impressive attention to detail combined with excellent legal analysis and drafting. She has achieved some brilliant outcomes in a number of reported public law trafficking cases."

Chambers & Partners, 2024, Immigration

"Incredibly hard-working and committed to doing an excellent job." "She knows the law and legislative history well."

Legal 500, 2024, Immigration

"She is always five steps ahead and is great to work with. She is a top choice of junior for age assessment, trafficking and judicial review policy challenges." "Ayesha is careful, well judged and authoritative." "She is a very hard-working junior and is gaining experience in very high-profile cases."

Chambers & Partners, 2023, Immigration

"A junior of choice in matters of age assessment, trafficking and other policy challenges." "One to watch."

Chambers & Partners, 2023, Civil Liberties & Human Rights

"She is extremely organised and a very impressive advocate. She never loses sight of the client and always gets the best outcomes for them."

Legal 500, 2022, Immigration (Including Business Immigration)2023

"Ayesha really makes a difference helping with strategic decisions, perfecting evidence and ensuring cases make it to final hearing." "She is really great to work with and I highly recommend her."

Chambers & Partners, 2022, Civil Liberties & Human Rights

"Ayesha is a go-to barrister for judicial review cases where clients have a complex immigration history. She has an eye for detail and her drafting is excellent."

Legal 500, 2022, Immigration (Including Business Immigration)
Matrix Chambers
24 HOUR ASSISTANCE
+44 (0)20 7404 3447
Ayesha Christie
Called: 2014

"Ayesha is a go-to barrister for judicial review cases where clients have a complex immigration history. She has an eye for detail and her drafting is excellent."

Legal 500, 2022, Immigration

MAIN AREAS OF PRACTICE

  • Education Law
  • Civil Liberties and Human Rights
  • Immigration, Asylum and Free Movement
  • Public Law
  • Public International Law
  • Police, Inquests and Prison
  • Health and Social Care (including welfare benefits)
  • Commercial Public Law
  • Private International Law
  • Equality and Discrimination Law

Ayesha Christie

Contact Ayesha: ayeshachristie@matrixlaw.co.uk | +44 (0)20 7404 3447

Contact Ayesha's Practice Team (Team X): TeamX@matrixlaw.co.uk


Ayesha specialises in public law, human rights, immigration and asylum, trafficking, citizenship deprivation, national security, and international law. She is frequently instructed in high profile policy and wider systemic challenges, and is committed to representing individuals who have been subject to human rights abuses, domestically and abroad.

Ayesha worked as an immigration lawyer prior to coming to the Bar, and since then has appeared unled in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.

Ayesha is described in the directories as an “extremely organised and a very impressive advocate” who “never loses sight of the client and always gets the best outcome for them”. Ayesha has “an eye for detail and her drafting is excellent”, she is “careful, well-judged and authoritative”“always five steps ahead” and “really great to work with”.

Immigration, Asylum, Nationality, Deportation and Detention

Ayesha has extensive experience in immigration and asylum law, having worked in the field for the past 16 years. She regularly represents individuals in appeals in the First Tier and Upper Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, as well as in judicial review proceedings. Ayesha has a particular interest in children and vulnerable adults involved in the immigration and asylum process, including victims of trafficking, as well as in working on cases to achieve a sustainable outcome for individuals with complex immigration histories. She has regular experience of asylum and deportation appeals, age assessments, and unlawful detention claims.

Ayesha also advises on nationality issues, family immigration, points-based system claims, and is involved in applications and judicial reviews under the Windrush scheme. She has successfully obtained indefinite leave to remain and British citizenship for a number of individuals who have been subjected to historical injustices by the Home Secretary and other public authorities.

Ayesha regularly provides expert opinions on immigration and nationality issues (including where there is an overlap with family/criminal matters) for Local Authorities, proceedings in the Family Courts, Extradition proceedings, and other civil proceedings.

Ayesha delivers talks and training (to legal and non-legal audiences) in all aspects of UK immigration law, international refugee and human rights law, and the protection of victims of trafficking. She is a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association.

Notable cases include:

  • Home Secretary v EOG & KTT [2022] EWCA Civ 307 – a challenge to the Home Secretary’s policy not to grant potential victims of trafficking discretionary leave to remain during their ‘recovery and reflection’ period. Ayesha represented the AIRE Centre, intervening before the Court of Appeal, in written and oral submissions (unled).
  • Home Secretary v BF (Eritrea) [2021] 1 WLR 3967 (Supreme Court) – an appeal concerning the lawfulness of a policy permitting the age assessments of immigration detainees on the basis of physical appearance and demeanour, and the test to be applied when assessing the lawfulness of policy. Ayesha represented the Equality and Human Rights Commission in written and oral submissions (unled).
  • A v Home Secretary (2022) – a successful challenge to the Home Secretary’s failure to consider granting indefinite leave to the applicant, a former asylum-seeking child who had been trafficked as a child whilst in the care of social services, and subsequently convicted of offences committed whilst under the control of his traffickers.
  • Detention Action v Home Secretary [2020] EWHC 782 (Admin) – a challenge to the immigration detention of persons with increased vulnerability to Covid-19, and persons who could not be removed due to Covid-19 flight restrictions.
  • KA v Home Secretary (2019) – a successful human rights appeal under Articles 3, 4 and 8 ECHR on behalf of an individual who had lived in the UK for around 40 years, having been trafficked as a child as a domestic slave, subjected to sexual abuse whilst in the care of social services, and had spent much of his adult years incarcerated. A subsequent judicial review of the Home Secretary’s decision on leave resulted in him being granted indefinite leave to remain.
  • AL (Albania) v Home Secretary [2019] EWCA Civ 950 – appeal concerning the correct approach to earlier asylum appeal determinations.
  • AS (Guinea) v Home Secretary [2018] EWCA Civ 2234 – intervening on behalf of UNHCR, addressing the standard and burden of proof in statelessness cases.
  • K v Home Secretary – a judicial review challenging the removal of a man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia to Tanzania, which resulted in him being taken off the plane shortly before take-off, and subsequently being granted leave to remain.
  • Medical Justice and others v Home Secretary [2017] 4 WLR 198 (representing five of the claimants) – successfully argued that the definition of torture in the Home Office’s immigration detention policy was unlawful.

Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery

Ayesha is a specialist in human trafficking and modern slavery. She is regularly instructed in judicial reviews connected to the identification of individual victims of trafficking, the National Referral Mechanism process, breaches of Article 4 ECHR, and obligations arising under ECAT. She is sought after for asylum appeals with a trafficking element, national security cases involving victims of trafficking, and challenges to NRM decisions, in particular involving clients who have been convicted of criminal offences linked to their trafficking. She has obtained positive outcomes for trafficked individuals who have spent many years unsuccessfully navigating the immigration and criminal justice systems.

Ayesha has also been involved in a number of challenges concerning the financial support entitlements of victims of trafficking, which have resulted in the Home Secretary being required to make backpayments to large cohorts of affected individuals.

Notable cases include:

  • Shamima Begum v Home Secretary [2024] EWCA Civ 152 – representing the appellant in her appeal against deprivation of citizenship, including on grounds that the Home Secretary’s decision to deprive the appellant of citizenship failed to recognise her as a victim of trafficking and breached the legal obligations inherent in Article 4 ECHR. This case explores the scope of the Article 4 ECHR investigative, recovery and restitutionary duties in the context of citizenship deprivation.
  • JB v Home Secretary [2022] EWCA Civ 1392 – a challenge to the underpayment of trafficking support to victims housed in full board asylum accommodation during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s judgment, which found that victims were entitled to a total cash payment of £65/week, and ordered back-payments. The Home Secretary agreed to institute a scheme for the back-payments of persons who had been similarly underpaid.
  • Home Secretary v EOG & KTT [2022] EWCA Civ 307– a challenge to the Home Secretary’s policy not to grant potential victims of trafficking discretionary leave to remain during their ‘recovery and reflectionperiod. Ayesha represented the AIRE Centre, intervening before the Court of Appeal, in written and oral submissions (unled).
  • Home Secretary v MD and EH [2022] EWCA Civ 336 – a challenge to the denial of child trafficking support to asylum-seeking victims of trafficking. The High Court found that this was directly discriminatory, in breach of Article 14 ECHR.
  • B v Home Secretary (2022) – a successful judicial review of a negative conclusive grounds trafficking decision brought by a victim of forced prostitution and forced labour, which resulted in the Home Secretary recognising her as a victim of trafficking.
  • S v Home Secretary (2020) – a successful judicial review of a negative conclusive grounds decision brought by a Polish victim who had been trafficked by the Markowski brothers to work in a Sports Direct warehouse, and subsequently subjected to other forms of forced labour.
  • K and AM v Home Secretary [2018] EWHC 2951 (Admin) – a successful challenge to the decision to cut trafficking support payments for victims of trafficking, resulting in an order requiring the Home Secretary to make back-payments all those whose support had been unlawfully cut.

Citizenship Deprivation and National Security

Ayesha’s national security work includes appeals and associated judicial review concerning the deprivation of British citizenship, judicial reviews challenging the cancellation of passports, human rights and equality challenges arising from airport stops under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, and challenges to the retention of biometric data by the police. She is frequently instructed where there is a cross-over with an immigration/trafficking issue.

Notable cases include:

  • Shamima Begum v Home Secretary [2024] EWCA Civ 152 – representing the appellant in her appeal against deprivation of citizenship.
  • C3 v Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs – [2022] EWHC 2772 (Admin) – an application against for habeas corpus brought by a British woman who is unlawfully detained in Syria.
  • Home Secretary v D4 [2022] EWCA Civ 33 – a challenge to the Secretary of State’s practice of depriving individuals of their British citizenship without giving them written notice, by placing the deprivation decision on an internal Home Office file of which the person affected is unaware, and has no access. The Court of Appeal held that this was unlawful, and that Regulations permitting “service to file” were ultra vires.
  • Shamima Begum v SIAC & Home Secretary [2021] AC 765 (Supreme Court) – intervening on behalf of Liberty in Shamima Begum’s challenge to the deprivation of her British citizenship and refusal of leave to enter the UK.
  • HK v Metropolitan Police – a challenge against the Metropolitan police for forcing a Muslim woman to remove her hijab to be photographed whilst stopped and detained at an airport under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2020, resulting in payment of £15,000 in damages.

Public Law and Human Rights

Ayesha has an extensive public law and human rights practice, which spans community care and welfare entitlements, age disputes, equality and discrimination, unlawful detention, prison law, actions against the police, and national security cases.

Her prison law practice includes judicial reviews challenging the treatment of children detained in Young Offenders Institutions, including challenges to the use of adult restraint techniques on children, and holding children in solitary confinement.

Ayesha represents individuals and NGOs in public and private law human rights challenges at all levels of the courts and has appeared unled in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. She has also been involved in applications to the European Court of Human Rights.

Notable cases include:

  • Shamima Begum v Home Secretary [2024] EWCA Civ 152 – representing the appellant in her ongoing appeal against deprivation of citizenship.
  • AB v United Kingdom (App. 474/2) – an application to the European Court of Human Right by AB, who whilst detained in a young offenders’ institution as a child of 15 years old, was held in solitary confinement for 55 days. He claimed that his treatment constituted inhuman/degrading treatment and breached Article 3 ECHR. The UK government successfully contested the claim in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. However, following AB’s application to the European Court of Human Rights, the government accepted that there was a breach of Article 3 ECHR in the circumstances of AB’s case, and agreed to pay him compensation.
  • C3 v Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs – [2022] EWHC 2772 (Admin) – an application against for habeas corpus brought by a British woman who is unlawfully detained in Syria.
  • Home Secretary v D4 [2022] EWCA Civ 33 – a successful challenge to the Secretary of State’s practice of depriving individuals of their British citizenship without giving them written notice, by placing the deprivation decision on an internal Home Office file of which the person affected is unaware, and has no access. The Home Secretary withdrew her appeal to the Supreme Court following the introduction of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022.
  • Coughlan v Minister for the Cabinet Office [2022] UKSC 11 (Supreme Court) – intervening on behalf of the Runnymede Trust, Operation Black Vote and Voice4Change England in an appeal concerning the legality of local government voter ID schemes.
  • Home Secretary v BF (Eritrea) [2021] 1 WLR 3967 (Supreme Court) – an appeal concerning the lawfulness of a policy permitting the age assessments of immigration detainees on the basis of physical appearance and demeanour, and the test to be applied when assessing the lawfulness of policy. Ayesha represented the Equality and Human Rights Commission in written and oral submissions (unled).
  • AB v Secretary of State for Justice [2021] 3 WLR 494 (Supreme Court) – an appeal concerning the treatment of a 15 year old child detained at Feltham Young Offenders Institution, who was locked in conditions of solitary confinement for a period of 55 days.
  • Shamima Begum v SIAC & Home Secretary [2021] AC 765 (Supreme Court) – intervening on behalf of Liberty in Shamima Begum’s challenge to the deprivation of her British citizenship and refusal of leave to enter the UK.
  • Detention Action v Home Secretary [2020] EWHC 782 (Admin) – a challenge to the immigration detention of persons with increased vulnerability to Covid-19, and persons who could not be removed due to Covid-19 flight restrictions.
  • KS v Chief Magistrate; KS v Ministry of Justice – successful challenge to the imposition of 14 days additional imprisonment as punishment for a child with Aspergers Syndrome and PTSD who was alleged to have assaulted a prison officer whilst he was resisting an unlawful restraint by prison officer; this resulted in a successful claim for damages.
  • HK v Metropolitan Police – a challenge against the Metropolitan police for forcing a Muslim woman to remove her hijab to be photographed whilst stopped and detained at an airport under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2020, resulting in payment of £15,000 in damages.

Education and Awards

Ayesha holds a First Class degree in Philosophy from Bristol University and a Masters with Distinction in Social and Global Justice. She studied the Graduate Diploma in Law at Nottingham Law School, obtaining a Distinction, and was awarded prizes for achieving the highest marks in the year, and for Best Private Law student. She was a semi-finalist in the 2013 European Court of Human Rights moot.

Before coming to the Bar, between 2008-2014, Ayesha worked at Refugee and Migrant Justice and the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities, and interned at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Ecuador. She speaks Spanish to an advanced level.

Ayesha was awarded the Queen Mother Scholarship from Middle Temple. She won the 2014 Middle Temple Rosamund Smith moot, judged by Lord Dyson MR, and also won the prize for Best Oralist. She was awarded the 2015 Peter Duffy human rights scholarship by the Bar European Group, and a 2016 Pegasus scholarship for a judicial assistant exchange visit to the United States Supreme Court.

Ayesha was a Supreme Court Judicial Assistant to Lord Reed and Lord Carnwath from 2015-2016.

Articles and Downloads


Ayesha's Privacy Notice

Ayesha is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to her clients, including advice and representation services, Ayesha needs to collect and hold personal data. Ayesha’s Privacy Notice contains full details of when, why and how she will store and process personal data. To read her Privacy Notice, please click here.


DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS

"She is a hard-working junior and is speedy in her output of work. She turns things around really quickly." "Ayesha is super clever, writes really well and has a really good sense of the law."

Chambers & Partners, 2024, Administrative & Public Law

"She has real breadth of expertise in immigration and asylum law as well as judicial review and civil damages, all of which really helps in our trafficking work. She has great attention to detail and takes the trouble over every case."

Legal 500, 2024, Administrative Law and Human Rights

"Extremely bright and hard-working." "She is a hard-working junior and is speedy in her output of work."

Chambers & Partners, 2024, Civil Liberties & Human Rights

"‘Ayesha has impressive attention to detail combined with excellent legal analysis and drafting. She has achieved some brilliant outcomes in a number of reported public law trafficking cases."

Chambers & Partners, 2024, Immigration

"Incredibly hard-working and committed to doing an excellent job." "She knows the law and legislative history well."

Legal 500, 2024, Immigration

"She is always five steps ahead and is great to work with. She is a top choice of junior for age assessment, trafficking and judicial review policy challenges." "Ayesha is careful, well judged and authoritative." "She is a very hard-working junior and is gaining experience in very high-profile cases."

Chambers & Partners, 2023, Immigration

"A junior of choice in matters of age assessment, trafficking and other policy challenges." "One to watch."

Chambers & Partners, 2023, Civil Liberties & Human Rights

"She is extremely organised and a very impressive advocate. She never loses sight of the client and always gets the best outcomes for them."

Legal 500, 2022, Immigration (Including Business Immigration)2023

"Ayesha really makes a difference helping with strategic decisions, perfecting evidence and ensuring cases make it to final hearing." "She is really great to work with and I highly recommend her."

Chambers & Partners, 2022, Civil Liberties & Human Rights

"Ayesha is a go-to barrister for judicial review cases where clients have a complex immigration history. She has an eye for detail and her drafting is excellent."

Legal 500, 2022, Immigration (Including Business Immigration)