Grace Pelly

Year of Call: 2007
Inn of Court: Lincoln’s Inn

Grace Pelly

Grace is currently Senior Legal Advisor to the Somaliland Justice Sector Project (SJSP), funded by DFID.

SJSP supports Somaliland’s formal justice institutions – the Ministry of Justice, the Attorney General’s Office, the Law Reform Commission, the High Judicial Council and the Lawyers and Licensing Committee – to provide a fair, efficient and effective justice system.

SJSP is working closely with Somaliland’s justice institutions to reform the Penal Code, establish an independent Bar Association, build the skills and capacity of prosecutors, entry-level judges and defence lawyers, develop legal aid services and increase access to justice for children and victims of sexual violence.

Significant Cases


  • MA (Hons) Theology, Cambridge University
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Law, City University
  • LL.M International Human Rights Law (Distinction), London School of Economics,
  • Bar Vocational Course, Inns of Court School of Law
  • 11 King’s Bench Walk prize for Human Rights Law, London School of Economics)
  • Thomas More and Hardwicke Scholarships, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Human Rights Lawyers Association Bursary
  • Human Rights Lawyers Association
  • Young Legal Aid Lawyers

Areas of Specialism


She joined Charter on successful completion of her pupillage in January 2012. She has experience of defending in the Crown, Magistrates and Youth Courts and has dealt with a wide variety of cases, including violent offences (especially domestic violence), sexual offences, drug offences, public disorder, burglary and robbery.

She is a Grade 1 Advocate for the Crown Prosecution Service.

International Criminal Law

She has a particular interest in international criminal law. Prior to pupillage she worked as an Associate Legal Officer at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Tanzania for 18 months where she assisted the Judges of Trial Chamber II to draft the judgment in the case of Prosecutor v. Nyiramsuhuko et al. (‘Butare’) (Case No. ICTR-98-42-T), the largest case ever to come before the ICTR.  She also spent six months an intern in the Appeals Chamber of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Human Rights Law

She has significant international and domestic human rights law experience having spent two years working as a Legal Officer at the Human Rights Law Network in India. She worked on a variety of criminal justice and human rights issues and was the joint coordinator of a nation-wide programme to train grass-roots activists on methods to combat impunity in relation to torture.

She was Greenpeace’s legal representative in Mumbai.

Other Details

Recent publications include:

  • ‘State Terrorism: Torture, Extra Judicial Killings and Forced Disappearances in India’ (2009) – Jain/HRLN
  • ‘The Death Penalty in India’ (2008) – Amicus E-Journal
  • ‘Refugee Populations in India’ (2007) – Human Rights Law Network