Alex Tinsley

Called in 2011

About Alex Tinsley

Called in 2011

Alex is a public access barrister practising in extradition, immigration, INTERPOL and international matters. He was formerly Head of EU Office at Fair Trials International (2012-16) and much experience in EU law from prior work at the Court of Justice of the EU and European Commission Legal Service.


Alex acts regularly in European Arrest Warrant (EAW) matters before Westminster Magistrates Court and the High Court, for both judicial authorities and the defence. He has much experience working with foreign justice systems and draws on access to a network of trusted working relationships with over 150 criminal lawyers across every EU state. He is a co-author of the European Criminal Bar Association’s handbook on EAW defence and has unique insight into this area from Fair Trials.

Immigration & asylum

Alex accepts instructions in matters before the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and High Court, including appeals, error of law hearings, emergency injunctions, substantive judicial review matters and unlawful detention. He has experience handling a range of delicate asylum cases involving unaccompanied minors, sexual orientation claims, human trafficking and religious persecution. He also appears regularly in appeals on standard immigration and entry clearance cases.

INTERPOL red notice work (including public access)

Alex has unique experience in INTERPOL ‘red notice’ matters. From 2012 to 2016 he led Fair Trials’ INTERPOL campaign and contributed to recent reforms of the organisation. He has made numerous challenges to red notices before the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files, both at Fair Trials and in private practice. He has given expert evidence on the topic before the Federal Court of Canada and has been quoted as an “expert” on the subject by the Council of Europe (2017). Alex accepts instructions in this area on a public access basis directly from clients overseas, where appropriate.

International, NGO & consultancy work

With a background international human rights law, Alex is regularly called upon to assist foreign lawyers with European (EU/ECHR) arguments in cross-border cases. He also undertakes pro bono work assisting non-governmental organisations in bringing their expertise to bear in amicus curiae submissions before the European Court of Human Rights. He also undertakes consultancy work for international organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme.

Recent work and cases

  • X v INTERPOL / Russia (CCF): assistance to Ukrainian and English solicitors with submissions challenging an INTERPOL red notice based on a private dispute affecting a Russian businessman.
  • Sayed Abdellatif v INTERPOL / Egypt (CCF): successful challenge to a controversial INTERPOL red notice based on Egyptian terrorism conviction founded on a torture-tainted evidence.
  • Prisacaru v Belgium and Romania (ECHR): instructed by Fair Trials (pro bono) to draft third-party intervention on the European Arrest Warrant and conditions in European prisons.
  • United Nations Development Programme (Consultancy): assignment to assist with reform of Georgian plea-bargaining system, involving analysis of international and comparative standards.
  • Romania v CP (Westminster Magistrates Court): successful representation of a person wanted under an arrest warrant issued by Romania, involving expert evidence and legal argument.
  • NM and NK v SSHD (First-Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)): successful representation in an asylum appeal (with dependent claim) based on sexual orientation

Recent publications / seminars

  • “Guest post: Three issues with the arrest warrant for Carles Puigdemont”, Free Movement, November 2017 (available here)
  • “Legal aid and negotiated justice: European perspectives”: presentation to the UN / USAID Regional Conference on Legal Aid, Tbilisi, Georgia, September 2017.
  • “How to defend a European Arrest Warrant case” (general content and chapter on INTERPOL red notices and Schengen alerts), European Criminal Bar Association handbook, October 2017, with Vania Costa Ramos, Edward Grange, Rebecca Niblock and Jodie Blackstock (available here).
  • “Echoes of Kadi: reforms to internal remedies at INTERPOL”, blog of the European Journal of International Law, 20 January 2017 (available here), cited by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee) report on INTERPOL (2017).
  • “Rights of the defence under Article 6(3) ECHR”, guest lecture to prosecutors, judges and lawyers for the Academy of European Law, Strasbourg, November 2017.
  • “The Roadmap Directives in UK criminal proceedings: now and post-Brexit”, Archbold Review, August 2016 (available here).


  • University College London (BA Italian & French, 1st Class)
  • University of Law (Graduate Diploma in Law and Bar Vocational Course)


  • French: near-native standard orally and in writing (including legal)
  • Italian: business proficiency
  • Spanish: business proficiency
  • Russian: intermediate level

Qualifications / training

  • Public access (2017)
  • Vulnerable witnesses (2017)
  • Open Society Justice Initiative, Human Rights Litigation (2012)

Awards / honours

  • Sir Peter Bristow Scholarship, Honourable Society of Middle Temple, 2010
  • Wilfred Watson Award, Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, 2009
  • Human Rights Lawyers’ Association bursary, 2010


  • Legal Experts Advisory Panel
  • Defence Extradition Lawyers Forum
  • Editorial board of the New Journal of European Criminal Law (since 2014)
  • European Criminal Bar Association: member of the Human Rights Committee