×
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, and international law. She is frequently instructed in complex policy 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. She is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Panel of preferred counsel.

Ayesha has extensive experience in immigration and asylum law, having worked in the field for the past 14 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. Ayesha is regularly instructed in judicial reviews connected to the NRM process, challenges to the support entitlements of victims of trafficking, asylum appeals with a trafficking element, Dublin III transfers, 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 provides expert opinions on immigration and nationality issues for Local Authorities, proceedings in the Family Courts and Extradition 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, 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.
  • 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).
  • JB v Home Secretary [2021] EWHC 3417 (Admin) – a challenge to the underpayment of trafficking support to victims housed in full board asylum accommodation during the Covid-19 pandemic. The High Court 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.
  • 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
  • AL (Albania) v Home Secretary [2019] EWCA Civ 950 – appeal concerning the correct approach to earlier asylum appeal determinations
  • 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 to back-pay all those whose support had been unlawfully cut
  • AS (Guinea) v Home Secretary [2018] EWCA Civ 2234 – intervening on behalf of UNHCR, addressing the standard and burden of proof in statelessness cases
  • 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 has a wide-ranging public law practice, which spans community care, age disputes, equality and discrimination, social welfare, prison law, actions against the police, and national security cases. She is frequently instructed in complex cases which involve issues of mental capacity or a trafficking element.

Ayesha’s 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.

Her national security work involves human rights and equality challenges arising from airport stops under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, the retention of biometric data by the police, the cancellation of passports and the deprivation of British citizenship on national security grounds.

Notable cases include:

  • Home Secretary v D4 [2022] EWCA Civ 33 – the Court of Appeal held that the British Nationality Act 1981 requirement to “give written notice” before a person can be deprived of British citizenship cannot be satisfied by placing the “notice” on an internal Home Office file, of which the person is unaware and has no access, and that Regulations permitting “service to file” were ultra vires.
  • 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
  • Coughlan v Minister for the Cabinet Office (Supreme Court; judgment pending) – 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.
  • 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
  • B and ND v Home Secretary [2018] EWHC 2651 (Admin) – challenge to the cancellation of the claimants’ British passports on grounds of national security

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

"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

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, and international law. She is frequently instructed in complex policy 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. She is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Panel of preferred counsel.

Immigration, asylum, deportation, detention and trafficking

Ayesha has extensive experience in immigration and asylum law, having worked in the field for the past 14 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. Ayesha is regularly instructed in judicial reviews connected to the NRM process, challenges to the support entitlements of victims of trafficking, asylum appeals with a trafficking element, Dublin III transfers, 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 provides expert opinions on immigration and nationality issues for Local Authorities, proceedings in the Family Courts and Extradition 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, 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. 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). JB v Home Secretary [2021] EWHC 3417 (Admin) – a challenge to the underpayment of trafficking support to victims housed in full board asylum accommodation during the Covid-19 pandemic. The High Court 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. 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 AL (Albania) v Home Secretary [2019] EWCA Civ 950 – appeal concerning the correct approach to earlier asylum appeal determinations 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 to back-pay all those whose support had been unlawfully cut AS (Guinea) v Home Secretary [2018] EWCA Civ 2234 – intervening on behalf of UNHCR, addressing the standard and burden of proof in statelessness cases 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

Public law and human rights

Ayesha has a wide-ranging public law practice, which spans community care, age disputes, equality and discrimination, social welfare, prison law, actions against the police, and national security cases. She is frequently instructed in complex cases which involve issues of mental capacity or a trafficking element. Ayesha’s 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. Her national security work involves human rights and equality challenges arising from airport stops under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, the retention of biometric data by the police, the cancellation of passports and the deprivation of British citizenship on national security grounds. Notable cases include: Home Secretary v D4 [2022] EWCA Civ 33 – the Court of Appeal held that the British Nationality Act 1981 requirement to “give written notice” before a person can be deprived of British citizenship cannot be satisfied by placing the “notice” on an internal Home Office file, of which the person is unaware and has no access, and that Regulations permitting “service to file” were ultra vires. 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 Coughlan v Minister for the Cabinet Office (Supreme Court; judgment pending) – 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. 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 B and ND v Home Secretary [2018] EWHC 2651 (Admin) – challenge to the cancellation of the claimants’ British passports on grounds of national security

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

Joining the EEA and the implications for free movement of persons
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

"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)