Shanthi Sivakumaran


Year of Call: 2015

Practice Group(s): Crime, Immigration, Public & Regulatory

Portrait of Shanthi Sivakumaran

2015 Bar Professional Training Course, University of Law
2010 LLM International Human Rights Law, SOAS, University of London
2009 LLB European and English Law, University of Leeds
2008 Erasmus Study Programme, Universite de Jean-Moulin III

Practice Profile:
Shanthi accepts instructions in public law, immigration and asylum and crime.

Shanthi has a strong immigration and asylum practice and is experienced in acting in both statutory appeals and judicial review challenges predominantly in international protection claims and EU free movement cases.

Shanthi has also built a reputation representing vulnerable clients, particularly youths and people with mental health vulnerabilities in the criminal courts.

Notable Cases:

Public Law

Grenfell Tower Inquiry
In 2017, Shanthi was instructed as Junior Counsel to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. She is working closely with lead counsel to the Inquiry analysing the evidence from bereaved family members, survivors and residents.

Immigration law

R (oao Gureckis & ors) [2017] EWHC 3298 (Admin)
Led by Marie Demetriou QC in a major strategic judicial review challenge to the Home Office policy of treating rough sleeping as an abuse of treaty rights. AIRE Centre intervened in the case. The High Court found that the Home Office policy of treating rough sleeping as an abuse of treaty rights was unlawful and constituted unlawful, systematic verification of treaty rights.

Criminal Law

R v Wilkinson [2018] EWCA Crim 2154
Represented the Defendant at trial and then on appeal against conviction to the Court of Appeal. The Defendant was a taxi driver who was charged with false imprisonment for driving the complainant back to the pick up point after a dispute about the fare. Advanced a novel argument, described by the Court of Appeal as "presented attractively and with ingenuity," that the Defendant had a defence under section 3 of the Criminal Law Act 1967 by driving the Complainant back to the starting point.

R v OC [2018]
Represented a 16 year old charged with offences under section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (GBH) where he was accused of causing life changing injuries to his mother. Successfully made a half time submission after succeeding in section 78 PACE 1984 application to exclude key prosecution evidence and successfully resisting prosecution applications to admit bad character evidence and hearsay evidence. Certificate of counsel case.

R v DN [2017]
Represented 13 year old defendant charged with section 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (GBH) where the complainant had been burnt by an iron. Prosecution offered no evidence after the defence team obtained exculpatory evidence and the Complainant failed to attend. Certificate of counsel case.

Further Professional Information:
Prior to pupillage, Shanthi assisted the Defence Team for Mustafa Baddredine, the former military leader of Hezbollah, at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

She has also worked with the Legal Protection Team at UNHCR London assisting on legal interventions in the UK Courts.

Before turning to the law, Shanthi had a previous career in international development policy and human rights advocacy. She previously worked at IBON International in the Philippines, working with civil society from Africa and Asia to ensure local voices were represented in international forums.

Shanthi was regularly invited to be a Panel Speaker on human rights and development by UN agencies and International NGOs and has spoken at events held in Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand, Switzerland and Vietnam.

Shanthi is also a Trustee for Akwaaba, a grassroots Sunday community centre for vulnerable migrants.

Criminal Bar Association (CBA)
Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA)
Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA)
Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers




2018 UKLGIG, Still Falling Short, The standard of Home Office decision-making in asylum claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity. (Researcher)

2016 Refugee Law Initiative Conference, presentation titled: "A race to the bottom: Creating unfavourable reception conditions for refugees - the deprivation of property of refugees."

2015 Human Rights Lawyers Association Journal, The Year of Reckoning of the International Criminal Court

2015 TRIAL, FIDH, ECCHR, Universal Jurisdiction Annual Review 2015 (contributor)

2014 Asia-Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, Internal Report: Reviewing monitoring and accountability mechanisms for the Beijing Declaration and Plan of Action

2013 IBON International, Policy Brief: On Democratising Global Governance