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Catriona Murdoch

Call:  2009


Catriona joined Chambers in 2011 following the successful completion of pupillage.

Catriona specialises in human rights and criminal law both domestically and internationally. She is based in The Hague appointed to the defence team of Jovica Stanišić and Alfred Musema before the UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT). Catriona is currently instructed in a range of civil ECHR claims. She continues to accept instructions in the UK in all practice areas.


Catriona is appointed to the defence of Jovica Stanišić in the case of The Prosecutor v Stanišić and Simatović (MICT-15-96) for his re-trial, led by Wayne Jordash QC and Iain Edwards. Catriona also acts for Alfred Musema before the MICT in his review proceedings following his life sentence imposed by the ICTR; she is led by Steven Kay QC and Gillian Higgins.

Catriona is a Senior Legal Consultant for Global Rights Compliance ( researching and drafting issues relating to international humanitarian law in Ukraine and business and human rights law in Bangladesh, led by Wayne Jordash QC and Scott Martin.

For most of 2013 Catriona was based in Nairobi and Arusha working on the appeal of The Prosecutor v Nteziryayo (ITCR-98-42-A), returning for the oral submissions in April 2015. The Appeals Chamber ordered a substantial reduction to sentence resulting in Nteziryayo’s release in 2016, 18 years after his initial arrest.

Catriona was previously based in The Hague whilst she worked on the defence trial of The Prosecutor v Prlic et al (IT-04-74) at the ICTY. She also assisted lead counsel Karim Khan on several of his other cases at the ICC and ICTY, including the contempt case against Hartmann (iT-02-54-r77.5). Following that she worked in Rwanda at a Legal Advice Clinic affiliated with the African Justice Foundation, advising clients on issues of HIV/AID’s discrimination, property rights and sexual offences.

Human Rights:
Catriona has a flourishing civil liberties, she is currently instructed in ECHR claims, actions against the police, prisons, local authorities and the NHS. Catriona offers expertise in complex mental-health related issues and is developing a niche practice in the emerging field of misuse of private information claims.

Domestically Catriona is frequently instructed in magistrates’ trials (private and legally aided), crown court mentions, sentences, and bail applications, for the defence and prosecution. Catriona is building up a successful RSPCA practice and has been engaged in hunting matters and general animal welfare trials in 2015.

Public Inquiries and Inquests:

For eighteen months Catriona was legal assistant to HHJ Michael Topolski QC on The Baha Mousa Inquiry, representing Corporal Payne, the first British soldier to be convicted of a war crime. She assisted in drafting submissions to the Chairman on a range of legal and military matters including the appropriate standard of proof in Public Inquiries.

Catriona is currently instructed in a complex Article 2 Inquest arising out of the sudden death of a man with schizophrenia who was under the care of adult mental-health services. Investigations and expert evidence is likely to be led on potential links between anti-psychotic medication and incidents of sudden death.

Catriona represented the family at a two-day hospital death inquest with complex medical and human rights issues.

Catriona is experienced in contested Emergency Protection Orders, Interim and Final Care Orders, acting for all parties. In Private Law she deals effectively with contact and relocation cases, fact-findings and has had success on appeal.

Pro Bono:

Catriona accepts instructions through the Bar Pro Bon Unit.

Catriona has worked pro-bono for Amicus, Liberty, Advocates for International Development and the Immigration for Bail Detainee Scheme where she made a bail application at the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.

In her spare time, Catriona enjoys watching and playing rugby, travelling, reading and spending time with her family.


“Very attentive and willing to go the extra mile. She is able to work to tight timescales and is not afraid of good old hard graft.” (Chambers & Partners 2018) 


College of Law, London BVC (2008/2009) - Very Competent
University of Sussex LLB (Hons) Law with American Studies (2003/2007) – 2:1
University of Santa Cruz, California Legal and Political Studies (2005/2006) – 1st Class

Scholarships and Prizes

First Prize, Kalisher Essay Competition (2011)
Finalist, Plea in Mitigation Competition, College of Law and 25 Bedford Row (2009)
Graham Challis European Scholarship (2009)


Porous Borders: Prosecuting at Source, Counsel Magazine, March 2016

Living on Death Row, Criminal Bar Quarterly, Issue 3, Autumn 2014

International Criminal Justice, Criminal Law and Justice Weekly, Vol 176, December 15/22 2012

The Oath and the Internet, Criminal Law and Justice Weekly, Vol 176, March 10 2012

Advice to the Attorney General on Assisted Suicide (Kalisher Essay Competition 2011) Criminal Bar Quarterly, Issue 1 - Spring 2012

Co-editor of Judge Reinardus’s and the Institute of Legal Practice and Development Rwandan Bench Book on Gender Based Violence (2010)

Contributor to 1 Crown Office Row’s Human Rights Blog.


Catriona has given legal seminars in the UK. In November 2016 she delivered training on behalf of the Association of Defence Counsel at the UN ICTY on drafting before the international tribunals. She also leads monthly advocacy training sessions with Wayne Jordash QC, Iain Edwards and Joe Holmes for interns and pro-bono consultants on the Stanišić defence team in The Hague.


Human Rights Lawyers Association
International Criminal Court Bar Association
International Bar Association
Criminal Bar Association

Significant cases include the following


Defence: International

The Prosecutor v Stanišić and Simatović (MICT-15-96) – present

The Prosecutor v Musema (MICT-12-15) - present

The Prosecutor v Nteziryayo (ITCR-98-42-A) – appeal (2013-2015) (released)

The Prosecutor v Prlić et al (IT-04-74 – trial 2010

The Prosecutor v Hartmann (iT-02-54-r77.5) – contempt trial 2010

Defence: Youth Court

P v H (2012) Assault PC and possession of an offensive weapon trial. Acquitted after trial of all charges.
P v G (2011) Three day GBH double-handed trial. Defendant accused of stabbing the complainant in the neck with a bottle.
P v C (2011)  Assault PC. In light of the defence’s challenge to, and media interest in the legality of the arrest, all charges dropped following the first appearance. See Telegraph Article. Girl, 14, arrested by four police for 'assaulting’ them

Defence: Driving Offences

P v S (2012) Special Reasons trial – unfit through prescription drugs.  Three medical experts.
P v S (2011) Careless driving and racially aggravated s.5 Public Order Offence.  Acquitted of all charges.
P v N (2011) Special Reasons trial - laced drinks. Special Reasons accepted in full, no disqualification.

Crown Court

R v T (2011) supply of Class A and Class B - suspended sentence and POCA confiscation order.

Private Prosecution

Buckinghamshire County Council v K (2012) Unfair Trading Regulations (Crown Court).
Eastbourne Borough Council v K (2012) Benefit Fraud sentence (Crown Court).
Child Support Agency v L (2011). Liability Agreed.
Crawley Borough Council v S (2011) Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order granted, restaurant closed.  Acted for the prosecution.

Coroners Courts

Re: O’Connor (2017)

Re: Stankey (2012)



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Global Rights Compliance Lobbies Hong Kong To Ban The Commercial Trade Of Ivory. Catriona Murdoch consults with Global Right
First full re-trial in international criminal law history opens today
Catriona Murdoch Appointed Legal Assistant to Stanisic Defence Team
Catriona Murdoch to deliver training at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia

Primary areas of Practice

Regulatory Crime
Coroners Inquests and Public Inquiry Work
Children and Domestic Violence
Personal Injury