"An absolute star of the Bar in this area." "Absolutely exceptional, a pre-eminent silk in immigration."
Raza specialises in public law, with an emphasis on immigration and human rights. Raza was appointed silk in 2010, and nominated in 2013 year as Human Rights Silk of the Year, having previously been awarded Human Rights and Public Law Junior of the Year by Chambers Bar Awards in 2007. In 2013 Raza was listed among the top 100 silks practising in all fields at the UK bar.
Raza has appeared in over 30 cases in the Supreme Court or House of Lords. In the last 14, he has appeared as leading advocate, on each occasion successfully save once. Raza has a significant international practice. He regularly appears before the Court of Justice in Luxembourg and the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. He regularly advises and is instructed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Raza was instructed in the successful extradition defence of David Kezerashivili, former Defence Minister for Georgia, before the French Courts. He appeared in the first successful judicial review challenge in the British Virgin Islands to the refusal of a work permit (Citco and Gillespie). He successfully challenged a refusal of permanent residence in the Cayman Islands by the owner of the largest hotel chain in Europe.
Raza regularly acts for high profile individuals and has a particular expertise in the interface between extradition, the political motivation bar, and asylum. He has successfully appeared in a number of such cases brought by Russian nationals.
He is also regularly instructed and NGOs such as Amnesty International and the AIRE Centre, as well as premiership footballers.
Raza retains a deep commitment to and heavy involvement in publicly funded work.
Raza has given lectures in refugee and immigration law at the University of Oxford (All Souls’ College and the Refugee Studies Centre), the University of London (Institute of Advanced Legal Studies) and Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA.
Raza is presently instructed in pending two Supreme Court cases, concerning religious persecution under the Refugee Convention and administrative detention. Last year, Raza appeared in four Supreme Court cases: Ali (Article 8 and deportation); MP (EU Qualification Directive and subsidiary protection); FV (Italy) (EU Citizen’s Directive and enhanced protection); SXH (UNHCR intervention in challenge to prosecutorial discretion and Article 31 Refugee Convention). Raza also successfully acted in 2016 in CS, where the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the EU strengthened the Zambrano principle.
In 2014, Raza successfully appeared before the Supreme Court in EM (Eritrea) (February 2014), a case concerning the relationship between fundamental rights and the Dublin II Regulation. He successfully appeared in Tarrakhel v Switzerland (November 2014), where the Grand Chamber of the ECHR reduced the presumption of compliance with legal obligations amongst EU and CoE member states to zero and held that a return without specific assurances of an Afghan family to Italy under the Dublin II Regulation would violate Article 3 ECHR. In 2013, Raza successfully appeared before the Court of Justice of the EU on behalf of the AIRE Centre in MA and BT, where the Court ruled that the Dublin II Regulation had to be read subject to the best interests of the child.
In 2012, Raza successfully appeared in the seven-member Supreme Court decision in RT (Zimbabwe) (July 2012) where the Supreme Court affirmed that the right not to hold a political opinion was protected by both international human rights law and the Refugee Convention. Raza also successfully appeared before the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice in Luxembourg in NS v UK on behalf of the UNHCR, a case concerning the Dublin II Regulation and the right to asylum (December 2011). He successfully appeared in JD and Others (March 2012), a test case on the second appeals test in the Court of Appeal which refined to the point of effectively overruling the previous Court of Appeal authority of PR (Sri Lanka). He successfully appeared before the Court of Appeal in KA and Others (July 2012), a test case on the tracing duty owed in EU law to unaccompanied minors. He successfully appeared before the Court of Appeal in AH (Algeria) (April 2012), the first case to consider the meaning of “serious” in Article 1F(b) Refugee Convention.
Former Executive Committee of Immigration Law
Advisory Board of Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford
Administrative Law Bar Association
Co-author, with Nicholas Blake QC, Immigration, Asylum and Human Rights (Oxford University Press, 2003)
University of Oxford, LSE, UCL, Georgetown University, Washington DC
Philosophy, Politics and Economics Exeter College, Oxford (1987-90)
2 Garden Court 1994-2000
Founder member of Matrix, 2000
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