In a landmark moment in the case of Ryan Cornelius, a British national imprisoned in the UAE, the United Nations has ruled that Mr Cornelius has been arbitrarily detained.

Mr Cornelius was arrested in 2008 and has been held in custody ever since. Following submissions filed by Ben Keith (5 St Andrew’s Hill) and Rhys Davies (Temple Garden Chambers), the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has found that Mr Cornelius’s fundamental rights have been breached and that his ongoing detention is arbitrary and in contravention of articles 2, 3,6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The United Nations has called for the immediate release of Mr Cornelius and has urged the Emirati government to ensure a full and independent investigation takes place into the circumstances surrounding the arbitrary deprivation of Mr Cornelius’s liberty.

Ben Keith and Rhys Davies were named International Pro Bono Barrister of the Year in November 2021 as a result of their pro bono work on the Ryan Cornelius case.

Ben Keith is a leading barrister specialising in Extradition and International Crime, as well as dealing with Immigration, Serious Fraud, and Public law. He has extensive experience of appellate proceedings before the Administrative and Divisional Courts, Criminal and Civil Court of Appeal as well as applications and appeals to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and United Nations.

Ben is top-ranked as a junior in Extradition in The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guides. He also sits as a Deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).