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Ibrahim Olabi


Guernica 37

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Called: 2018

Ibrahim Olabi is a barrister with specialized international law knowledge and experience, with a focus on the Middle East. He works both on international legal cases and lobbying, as well as advocating on policy matters linked to the region.  Ibrahim makes regular media appearance and has been interviewed by the BBC, CNN, The Guardian, The Financial Times, Aljazeera and Al-Arabiya. He is an alumnus of the University of Oxford, where he deepened his knowledge in public policy. 

Ibrahim received personal invitations from Heads of States, delivered statements in international forums such as the United Nations Security Council, and regularly engages with policymakers in different capitals around the world on justice related issues relevant to the Middle East. ​​​

Current work

Part of the legal team advising the Government of the Netherlands on its action to hold Syria accountable over breaches of the Torture Convection, a case which might end up before the International Court of Justice.


Developing tools to address Syria’s readmittance to INTERPOL to mitigate the risk on human rights defenders 


Building international judicial initiatives to hold perpetrators to account for the use of Chemical Weapons in Syria   


Working with The Metropolitan Police Counterterrorism Unit (SO15) on crimes linked to Syria.



















Previous experience

Founder of the Syrian Legal Development Programme (SLDP). SLDP has provided legal expertise to Syrian NGOs, including training that Ibrahim delivered to more than 550 trainees on a range of complex legal issues surrounding forced displacement, torture, UN mechanisms, facilitation of humanitarian aid and other matters. He has trained both in Syria, near the front lines, and in neighbouring countries.  SLDP also works on matters related to Business and Human rights, including sanctions, and has received funding from the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Dutch Ministry. 


Legal consultant on Syria related matters for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the crimes of forced displacement. 


Legal consultant for The International Bar Association on building the capacity of NGOs on UN human rights mechanisms


Master of Public Policy, University of Oxford (2021-2022)

Bar Practice Training Course, University of Law (2016-2018)

LLM, Security and International Law, University of Manchester (2014 – 2015)

LLB, University of Manchester (2011-2014)


The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple

Appointments and Awards

The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple Benefactors Bar Scholarship - 2016 


Distinguished Achievement Award: Postgraduate Student of the Year by the Chancellor of the University of Manchester – 2015 


Distinguished Achievement Award: Undergraduate Student of the Year by the President of the University of Manchester - 2014


Public international law 

International criminal law

International human rights law 

International humanitarian law 


English (Native)

Arabic (Native)

German (Limited working proficiency)  

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