Barrister Gemma Lindfield

Gemma Lindfield

Year of call: 2002  

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“We have complete trust and faith in the quality of her work”

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Overview


Gemma is an experienced extradition, family, criminal and public law practitioner with a particular focus on human rights. Her practice has a significant international element.

In extradition, Gemma has been involved in some of the most important cases in recent years. She frequently appears in the High Court on matters of some complexity. She also has experience of the Supreme Court.

Gemma is instructed in public and private law children cases in the County Court and High Court and is particularly skilled at dealing with the heightened emotions such cases may cause.  Gemma undertakes child abduction and forced marriages cases.

Gemma has considerable experience advising on judicial review in respect of many reviewable decisions and omissions, including family, prison law, extradition and human rights.

Gemma first established her career in criminal law before moving in to other areas. She has prosecuted and defended in a wide range of offences and is particularly skilled with cases involving vulnerable witnesses. She has been involved in a number of complex abuse of process applications.

 

Child & Family Complex Fraud Crime Offshore & International Public Law

Child & Family


Gemma is instructed in public and private law children cases in the County Court and High Court and is particularly skilled at dealing with the heightened emotions such cases may cause.  Gemma acts for parents, other family members, NYAS, CAFCASS and Local Authorities.

In care and adoption proceedings, Gemma has been engaged in cases of neglect, non-accidental injury (including multiple injuries and “baby shaking”) and allegations of sexual abuse.

Gemma represents children in complex residence and contact proceedings where children have been made party to the proceedings.

Gemma has advised on the impact of immigration status in the context of family proceedings and appeared in the High Court on this issue.

Gemma advises and appears in family finance and divorce cases.

Gemma undertakes child abduction work, involving the use of the 1980 Hague Convention, Brussels II Revised regulation and the UK-Pakistan Judicial protocol. Gemma’s knowledge of the law and practices of many jurisdictions from her extradition practice gives her a particular edge in this field.

Gemma has provided a report on Rwandan law for a case in the Family Division.

Memberships


Family Law Bar Association.

Care proceedings and Adoption International Family Law Forced Marriage Protection Orders

Care proceedings and Adoption


Gemma has been engaged in cases of neglect, non-accidental injury (including multiple injuries and “baby shaking”) and allegations of sexual abuse. Gemma represents both Local Authorities and parents.

Gemma also represents police authorities who are subject to disclosure requests by the family court.

International Family Law


Gemma undertakes child abduction work, involving the use of the 1980 Hague Convention, Brussells II Revised regulation and the UK-Pakistan Judicial protocol. Gemma’s knowledge of law and practices of many jurisdictions from her extradition practice gives her a particular edge in this field.

Forced Marriage Protection Orders


Gemma has experience in Forced Marriage cases and was instructed for a Respondent in the first ever committal for breach of a Forced Marriage Protection Order.

Child & Family Cases


  • Waltham Forest LBC v F [2014] EWFC 13: Advising on the procedure to be followed in Rwanda where a Special Guardianship Order was made in respect of child’s relatives there.
  • Bedfordshire Police v RU and another (2013): Acted for a respondent in the first ever committal proceedings for breach of a Forced Marriage Protection Order.
  • B v A (2013): Advising on the impact of immigration status in the context of family proceedings and appearing in the High Court on this issue.
  • Enfield v A and M (2013): Successfully representing a Respondent Mother in care proceedings that involved complex allegations of sexual abuse.
  • Lincoln CC v S and L (2012): Representing a Respondent Mother in lengthy care proceedings concerning a baby with a non-accidental brain injury.

Complex Fraud


Gemma is an experienced extradition practitioner and has been involved in some of the most important cases in recent years. She frequently appears in the High Court on matters of some complexity. Gemma was recently junior counsel for Rwanda in an interlocutory hearing concerning the defence argument that a reverse closed material procedure could be deployed in extradition proceedings.

Gemma has appeared in numerous cases where a prima facie case must be shown and where it is being actively contested. These include cases of fraud. Gemma is particularly skilled at liaising with foreign authorities and advising them on all aspects of extradition law.

Gemma has deployed various methods in representing those resisting extradition, such as utilising FOI requests from UK authorities and Interpol, investigations in the requested countries, arguing a common law basis for defence witness evidence via Skype which led to a change in statute.

Gemma has represented the Crown in a number of complex Bennett style abuse cases where it has been alleged that the UK authorities have colluded in the illegal extradition of defendants to face trial.

Extradition & Mutual Legal Assistance

Complex Fraud Cases


  • Rwanda v Brown and others (on-going): Junior counsel for Rwanda in on-going extradition proceedings where five men are sought so that they may be prosecuted for genocide and crimes against humanity.
  • Richards v Ghana [2013] EWHC 1254 (Admin): Successful representation of Ghana in arguments concerning prison conditions.
  • Sadiku v Albania (2013): Successfully represented the requested person who was convicted of murder in Albania and sentenced to 23 years imprisonment. The court found that the requested person’s confession had been elicited through torture and discharged him on the basis that extradition would be oppressive by reason of his mental health, namely PTSD.
  • Sweden v Assange [2010] EWHC 3473 (Admin): Represented the Swedish Judicial Authority in this high profile case.
  • Asztalos v. Hungary [2010] EWHC 237 (Admin), [2011] 1 W.L.R. 252: Represented the Respondent in the unusual situation where the Appellant had been extradited in error prior to appeal.
  • Patel v Office of the Attorney General [2011] EWHC 155 (Admin): Represented the Respondent where it was argued that the Appellant was not an accused person.
  • Rozanski v District Court of Suwalki [2014] EWHC 135 (Admin): Successfully sought late admission of a psychological report on the Appellant’s daughter resulting in discharge under Article 8.

Crime


Gemma prosecutes and defends in a wide range of offences and is particularly skilled with cases involving vulnerable witnesses. She has been involved in a number of complex abuse of process applications.

Gemma is a Grade 3 prosecutor on the CPS list.

Offshore & International


Gemma has comprehensive experience of European Human Rights Law, being regularly engaged in such arguments in the course of her extradition practice. She has successfully resisted extradition on a number of occasions by arguing that her client’s extradition would be incompatible with their human rights.

Gemma has been instructed as junior counsel for Rwanda in ongoing extradition proceedings where five men are sought so that they may be prosecuted for genocide and crimes against humanity. In connection with this work, Gemma has amassed significant knowledge of international criminal law. In 2011, Gemma was an Assistant Trial Attorney in the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

International Criminal Law European Human Rights Law

International Criminal Law


Gemma has been instructed as junior counsel for Rwanda in ongoing extradition proceedings where five men are sought so that they may be prosecuted for genocide and crimes against humanity. In this matter, Gemma has provided ongoing advice in the Brown case on whether there was a prima facie case against the defendants and how to deal with their defence evidence. A significant knowledge base was gained in international criminal law and of the rules of the UN ICTR as a result of liaison with them. Gemma visited Rwanda on six occasions to advise Government of Rwanda on the extradition proceedings and on the prima facie case.

Gemma assisted in the preparation of amicus briefs before the UN ICTR in the application by the Prosecutor of the Tribunal to transfer cases to Rwanda.

Gemma was appointed Assistant Trial Attorney in the Office of the Prosecutor at the UN ICTR in the case of Prosecutor v Ildephonse Nizeyimana (ICTR- 2000-55). She assisted with preparing cross-examination of defence witnesses and appeared before the Tribunal. She drafted written submissions and acquired a detailed knowledge of the Rules and Procedure and law of the Criminal Tribunals.

European Human Rights Law


Gemma has an in depth knowledge of European Human Rights Law, dealing with human rights arguments in the context of extradition law. On numerous occasions, Gemma has successfully argued for her client’s discharge in extradition proceedings on the basis of it being incompatible with their human rights.

Gemma successfully applied for Rule 39 interim relief from the European Court of Human Rights to prevent the removal of a Polish single mother sought on an EAW for possession of 5 grammes of amphetamine. Gemma argued that it would be disproportionate for her to be extradited and that her Article 8 rights would be breached.

Offshore & International Cases


  • Prosecutor v Ildephonse Nizeyimana (ICTR- 2000-55): Appointed Assistant Trial Attorney in the Office of the Prosecutor at the UN ICTR.
  • G v UK: Successfully obtained Rule 39 interim relief in respect of a Polish single mother on the basis that extradition would be a disproportionate interference with her Article 8 rights.

Public Law


Considerable experience in advising on judicial review in respect of many reviewable decisions and omissions, including family, prison law, extradition and human rights. Gemma has represented the DPP in several Judicial Review proceedings.

Public Law Cases


  • Salazar-Duarte v United States [2010] EWHC 3150 (Admin): Successfully defending a judicial review in connection with disclosure challenges.
  • R v Malone (2009): An application for leave to judicially review the legality of extradition was successfully resisted, the High Court deciding that the Crown Court ought to hear the complaint in a Bennett style abuse of process application.
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