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New Park Court Chambers

"Regarded as ‘one of the most prominent sets for crime in the North of England’."
- Legal 500 2015

Private Client

"Clients 'would strongly recommend New Park Court Chambers to anyone looking for a strong criminal or regulatory lawyer'."
- Chambers and Partners 2016

David Young 1986

David Young

Called 1986

david young picture


Having practised in the UK for over 20 years, as a Specialist Criminal law Defence Barrister, David is now based in the Hague, and travels widely in Europe and the Middle East in particular. He is a highly experienced trial lawyer, noted for his courtroom skills, and for his professional representation of persons involved in high profile, complex criminal litigation. He is currently the only UK lead Counsel instructed for the Defence in the Hariri assassination case at The Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which is currently in trial. He will be been named as a Leader in International Criminal Law in Chambers and Partners 2015.

International Criminal Practice

Advocacy and Advisory services

David can offer clients’ strong representation before courts, tribunals or   regulatory bodies both internationally and domestically. He is able to receive instructions from private individuals, corporate entities, foreign lawyers, NGO’s, and States. Some examples of his advocacy work are set out below. In addition, he receives instructions to advise clients in international situations.

The Office of the Prosecutor v. Ayyash and others, The Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Since 2010 he has been significantly involved in the Special Tribunal for the Lebanon, based in the Hague. In 2010 he was instructed as a Legal Consultant to the Defence Office of the STL, and took part in a delegation to Lebanon. In October 2011 he was appointed Lead Duty Counsel for Assad Hassan Sabra, who is one of four persons who have been accused of involvement in the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri. The accused are alleged to be members of Hezbollah. The assassination was said to have occurred by the means of an explosion, caused allegedly by a two to three metric tonnes of a TNT type explosive substance. His client faces charges relating to a Conspiracy to commit a Terrorist Act, the pre-meditated intentional homicide of 22 persons, and the Attempted homicide of some 231 persons. On the 2nd February 2012 he was appointed as Assigned Lead Counsel to represent Assad Hassan Sabra, following the Trial Chamber’s decision to commence in absentia trial proceedings. David now leads a multi-lingual defence team of highly respected international criminal lawyers, with New York and Swiss qualified Co-Counsel, and other team members coming from Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, China, Lebanon and England/Yemen. He is the only English Barrister to have been instructed as Lead Counsel for one of the five accused. In the course of the proceedings to date, the Defence have challenged both the legality of the Tribunal, and the decision to hold an In Absentia trial, and have secured for the first time orders from the Trial Chamber requiring the Lebanese Government to co-operate with the Defence.  The proceedings are unique in the development of international criminal law and are being widely followed by the world’s media. Commentators have described the court as the first ever International Tribunal to preside over an International Terrorism case. The trial  commenced on the 16th January 2014, and is expected to last a significant period of time. The court works in 3 languages, being Arabic, French and English.


Other International Criminal work

David is also currently advising as a Consultant, in a Defence team, in relation to other International terrorism proceedings, which concern events in Ethiopia and Kenya. This has resulted in communications and petitions to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the UN Rapporteur on Torture[ David is instructed with Toby Cadman by Cage Prisoners].

Some Notable UK International Cases

Since the year 2000, David has been instructed to defend in a number of the most significant terrorist cases to be prosecuted in the UK.


R v Bourgass & others:

Defended Sidali Feddag in the 2005 Ricin poison trial (a 9 month trial at the Old Bailey). Client alleged to have been part of a Conspiracy to murder as part of an Algerian terrorist cell. The client’s premises were alleged to have been used for the preparation and production of the deadly Ricin poisin. The case was alleged to be the first in the UK’s ‘war on terror’, because the principal defendant, said to be a member of Al Qaida,  murdered DC Steven Oakes, an English detective . Acted as led Junior. Client successfully acquitted at trial.

R v Safi & others:

Acted for one of the Afghan Hijackers, Abdul Ghayur, in both Old Bailey trials. Junior Counsel acting alone in the second trial. The case involved the armed hijacking of an airplane, which was diverted from Afghanistan to England via Russia, and the longest ever hostage siege at an airport, namely Stansted. The client relied upon the defence of Duress of circumstance. He and a number of the other accused were members of an underground group in Afghanistan, called ‘The Young Intellectuals of Afghanistan’, who were a pro-democracy group at a time of Taliban rule. Their case was that they were fleeing from the Taliban. Two three month trials. Client successfully acquitted on appeal.

R. v Aabid Khan:

Acted for principal defendant in 3 month trial. At trial the Client was accused of organising and maintaining an Al Qaida website, of seeking to recruit terrorists for both Pakistan terror training camps, and for suicide missions. The defendant was originally linked to a 16 strong alleged Al Qaida group operating in Canada and the USA, who were allegedly targeting the Canadian Prime Minister.  Aabid Khan was said to possess the largest electronic collection of terrorist materials ever found by the UK’s anti-terrorist squad. Blackfriars CC 2008. Convicted.

R v. L & S

Defended Goldan Lambert in the first  prosecution of Tamil Tiger related terrorism in the UK. Case is also the first prosecution under s.12 Terrorism Act 2000.Kingston CC 2009. The defence made a successful interlocutory appeal to the Court of Appeal pre trial, and the  Lambert decision is now a guideline CA judgement on the timing of AG’s consents to prosecute. The Defence argued that the Prosecution had failed to secure the necessary consent. Client successfully acquitted.

Secretary of State v. Janus Khan

Instructed for JK in a SIAC case against the Secretary of State for the Home Department. Client is one of a number of young Pakistani nationals arrested, in Manchester and Liverpool, in Operation Pathway under the Terrorism Act 2000. Proceedings against JK on grounds of national security were discharged, and he was released from custody in 2009.


Iqtidar Dara v. Germany:

Acted as Junior Counsel in the High Court extradition appeal of an appellant wanted under a European Arrest Warrant for exporting the component parts of a nuclear weapon to Pakistan, 2009;

He is an approved Counsel for the following courts:

The International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

The Special Tribunal for the Lebanon

Associated Legal Work

2001- Speaker at ‘L’Ecole Nationale de la Magistrature’, Paris;

2002- Speaker at The Bar Conference on ‘European Criminal Law’;

2003-2007  Member Bar European Group Committee ;

2005- Member of the United Kingdom’s Team of Barristers at The International Moot Court in The Hague;

2006- Member of the Criminal Bar Association’s Working Party which drafted the CBA response to The Home Office’s Draft Code of Practice for the Terrorism Act. The Code relates to the detention, treatment and questioning of persons arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000.

2006 – One of the organiser’s of; ‘ The State’s Reaction to Terrorism; A Tripartite Comparison’, which was jointly organised as between the German and French Embassies, DAAD, UCL, Kings College London, and L’Institut Francais.

2007- Organised the CBA  Conference on the International Criminal Court.

2008-2010 – Appointed to the Bar Council’s ‘International Committee’, as a representative for the Criminal Bar Association of England  & Wales;

2010- Speaker at the Association of Sri Lankan Lawyers Conference on International Criminal Law;

2010- Speaker at the Beirut Bar Association, Beirut, on behalf of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s Defence Office;

2012- Pannelist at a Chatham House, 9 Bedford Row Conference, ‘Revolution in the air’ on the Arab Spring;

2013- Speaker in Berlin at The Annual Conference of the International Criminal Defence Lawyers of Germany[ 26th January 2013];

2013 Speaker in London at a Criminal Bar Association Seminar, along with Maitre Francois Roux [Head of the STL Defence Office], and Joeri Maas[ STL Defence Office Chef de Cabinet] ‘Special Tribunal for Lebanon- Challenges for the Defence’[ 1st October 2013];

2014- September 2014. Book launch for the 4th edition of Young, Summers and Corker on Abuse of Process, Bloomsbury Professional. October 2014- aiming to co-present the 1st ever published chapter on International Abuse of Process in the Hague;

2014- Presenting a lecture on Recent developments in Abuse of Process to the South Eastern Circuit on 8th December 2014. Also lecturing that month on Abuse of process in the contexts of CHIS and Probe evidence;


European Criminal Bar Association

Bar European Group

European Circuit

Association des jurists Franco-Brittanique

Member of Chatham House

International Bar Association[Linked In]



The Bar European Committee (2003-2007)

Criminal Bar Association Committee (2007-2010)

Member of the Bar Council’s International Committee (2008- 2010)

Consultant to the Defence Office for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Hague, Holland (2010)

International Criminal Court list of Defence Counsel, The Hague;

Special Tribunal for Lebanon List of Lead Defence Counsel, The Hague;


Author of “Abuse of Process in Criminal Proceedings”, Bloomsbury Professional, 3rd Edition 2009 (with David Corker of Corker Binning Solicitors and Mark Summers QC, Matrix) Foreword to the 3rd edition written by Professor Ormerod, Law Commissioner. The 4th edition is due for publication in September 2014.


Fluent in English and French. David is learning Arabic, but is at a basic level to date.


David is Scottish by birth, and lived in Dundee and Glasgow, before moving to London, where he attended secondary education [ A De La Salle College in London] and then University. He has a LLM from London University which specialised in International Human Rights Law [ under Professor Rosalyn Higgins and Peter Duffy at the LSE] and European Institutional law with Professor Usher at UCL.

He is married, with four sons.

David’s Email Contact Details

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Email: young@stl-tsl.org