Human rights from East-West perspectives

11 July, 2022

As the government begins its ‘overhaul’ of human rights, an article by Professor Surya P. Subedi QC, a member of Three Stone Chambers, published in the latest issue (July 2022) of Counsel magazine, the flagship publication of the Bar Council of England, invites us to look at the wider and historic  context and how Eastern and Western civilisations and values have contributed to their development.

His article entitled ‘Human rights from East-West Perspectives’ makes a contribution to the ongoing debate about decolonising the curriculum in universities around the globe and a call for the use of more inclusive and diverse sources for teaching. International human rights law literature and United Nations human rights reports and publications are replete with assertions that human rights are universal. Yet how ‘universal’ are these human rights? What is the basis of the assertion of the universality of human rights? Are they universal because the Universal Declaration says so; or because the Declaration and the core UN human rights treaties have received near-universal acceptance? Do they emanate from all major civilisations or religions of the world to qualify as universal? And if so, what contributions have the Eastern civilisations made to the universality of human rights?

Professor Subedi argues that these are the questions that need to be answered with reference to the values of the major civilisations of the world.

Read the article in full here.

Professor Surya P. Subedi QC, DCL, OBE

The Legal 500 Bar Awards 2022

7 July, 2022

We are delighted to announce that Three Stone has been short-listed for the award of Chancery Set of the Year in the Legal 500 Awards 2022. These awards are based on the Legal 500’s independent research for its annual directory. The winners will be announced on 5 October 2022.

For more information see:

We are grateful to our clients for their support and wish all short-listed sets and individual barristers the best of luck.

Invitation for Applications for Third Six Pupillage

23 June, 2022

Chambers are looking to recruit a Third Six Pupil from October 2022. The successful applicant will have successfully completed 1st and 2nd Six Pupillage in Chancery / Commercial Chambers.

Please write to:

Justin Brown
Senior Clerk
3 Stone Buildings
Lincoln’s Inn
London WC2A 3XL


The closing date is 31 August 2022.

Professor Surya P. Subedi’s Memoir Published in London and New York

3 March, 2022

We are pleased to announce that the memoir of Professor Surya P. Subedi QC, a member of our Chambers,  has been published by the major British publishing house, Routledge, in London and New York.  “The Workings of Human Rights, Law and Justice: A Journey from Nepal to Nobel Nominee” is an intriguing account of the personal experience and insight of Professor Subedi, a leading international jurist.

The memoire traces the author’s remarkable journey from a simple village in Nepal to becoming an international jurist acclaimed for his innovative academic and influential practical legal work at senior level positions in the UN and in various governments, leading to his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. It offers insights into the powers bearing on international policy making, the dynamics of human rights negotiations with governments and the effects of their outcomes on the lives of their citizens. It is an empowering narrative offering a story of complex experiences and perspectives where individual commitment and advocacy makes a real difference to our world.

Drawing on the author’s lifetime of experience in international law and human rights, this book provides rare glimpses of a personal journey in the pursuit of justice through the development and practice of international law. It offers an insight into the workings of international law and international institutions through the eyes of someone who has navigated the system and has been able to achieve meaningful and impactful outcomes. While much has been written on international human rights law, this inspirational memoir casts a new light on the working of human rights, law, and justice through the eyes of a leading actor.

The book presents an accessible source for current debates around the rules of international law, democracy, and human rights. It gives hope and inspiration for future generations that individual action is meaningful despite the trials and tribulations inherent in life. It is thus a valuable contribution to the study of justice and human rights and the importance of individual action.

Professor Subedi is Professor of International Law at the University of Leeds and a member of the Institut de Droit International. He served as the United Nations special rapporteur for human rights in Cambodia for six years (2009-2015) and as a member of the advisory group on human rights to the British Foreign Secretary for five (2010-2015). In 2021, he was appointed legal procedural advisor to the World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature held in Marseille, France. He has acted as a counsel in a number of cases before the international courts and tribunals, including the International Court of Justice.

Her Majesty the Queen of the UK made Professor Subedi an OBE in 2004 and appointed him a QC (Hon) in 2017 for his contribution to the development of international law and the advancement of human rights. His alma mater, the University of Oxford, where he obtained his DPhil (PhD) in 1993, awarded him the highest accolade – the degree of Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) – in 2019 for his contribution to international law and human rights.

The book is available to order from: Taylor & Francis

It also is available on Amazon and many other outlets.

Triannual Review: Issue 5, February 2022

21 February, 2022

Please find below a link to Issue 5 of the new Three Stone Triannual Review, where you will find articles on current issues, case reviews, and a practice update that we hope will be of interest and of use to you.

The topics covered in this edition include:

  • Compelling Agreement?Matthew Marsh and Stephen Baister consider whether compulsory mediation should be ordered in Chancery proceedings
  • Papering over the cracksSimon Hunter explores the problems with the taking control of goods legislation after Hamilton
  • Case Reviews
  • Practice Update
  • Chambers News

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Professor Subedi furthers human rights education in Nepal

7 January, 2022

We are pleased that one of our barristers, Professor Surya P. Subedi, QC, OBE, DCL, has donated his personal library to his alma mater, the Nepal Law Campus of Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu.

Professor Subedi explained “having witnessed first-hand the impact that an education in human rights, democracy and the rule of law can have on young minds (as also reflected by the key role played by the youth in struggles for democracy around the globe) I decided to donate my personal library to the Nepal Law Campus of Tribhuvan University”.

“My personal library comprises a large number of books on international law and human rights gathered over three decades of learning, teaching and practising in the UK.”

Professor Subedi thought that his donation would help equip current and future generations of students to contribute to the protection and promotion of human rights in Nepal – just as he has tried to do throughout his career. He also has set up a sizeable endowment so that the library can continue to expand its collection going forward.

Professor Surya P. Subedi QC, DCL, OBE

Important decision on Taking Control of Goods

8 October, 2021

Hamilton v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
[2021] EWHC 2647 (QB)
On 6 October 2021 the High Court handed down an important decision on the interpretation of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, read with the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013.

The basic facts of the case were these. The first respondent (the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) obtained costs decrees against the appellant (Mr Hamilton) in directors’ disqualification proceedings in Scotland. Those decrees were registered in England and Wales. A High Court Enforcement Officer (the HCEO) was instructed to obtain and enforce writs of control. The asset concerned was a boat, MV Samara, moored in St Katherine Dock in London.

On 10 April 2019 two writs of control were issued. On 18 April 2019 notices of enforcement were given to Mr Hamilton. On 30 April 2019 the second respondent (Mr Lucas Jones, an Enforcement Agent) attended at the MV Samara, and entered into two controlled goods agreements (the CGAs) with Mr Hamilton. Under the relevant legislation a CGA (what used to be called a walking possession agreement) is a form of taking control of the goods.

A Mr Newett made an application under CPR, r 85.4 alleging that it was he, and not Mr Hamilton, who had the relevant interest the MV Samara, which (it was said) was standing as security for a loan. That application, made late, eventually came on for hearing before Master Cook on 22 May 2020. It was dismissed on its merits. In his order dismissing the application Master Cook expressly ordered the HCEO to sell the MV Samara “pursuant to paragraph 60 of Schedule 12” of the 2007 Act.

Mr Hamilton applied to set aside the order made by Master Cook, but his application was dismissed in June 2020 and marked as being totally without merit. It was against those two orders of Master Cook that Mr Hamilton appealed. Mr Hamilton’s grounds of appeal did not themselves find favour with the court hearing the appeal (Mr Justice Lane). The applications for permission to appeal were described as having “no arguable merit”: [134], and as “unarguable”: [135]. They do not take up much of the judgment (only [126]-[135]).

The main issue on the appeal turned out to be whether the MV Samara had been abandoned by the Enforcement Agent, and what the court could do about it if it had been. This issue arises in this way. By reason of paragraphs 40(6), 53 and 54 of Schedule 12, the Enforcement Agent must give a notice of sale within 12 months of taking control, and if he does not give such a notice, the goods are abandoned and must be returned to the judgment debtor. Astute readers will note that the hearing in front of Master Cook was more than 12 months after the CGAs had been entered into. No notices of sale had been given. Prima facie, the vessel had been abandoned on 30 April 2020.

That 12 month period can be extended, but only by written agreement between the Enforcement Agent and the judgment debtor. It seems likely that this ability to extend will be used in vanishingly few cases: it is almost never in the judgment debtor’s interest to agree. Importantly the court is not given a residual power to extend the 12-month period for giving notice of sale.

What the court is given is a brace of powers to order sale attendant upon third party applications such as that made by Mr Newett in this case, by paragraphs 60(3) and 60(6) of Schedule 12. But both are tightly constrained, and their interaction with paragraphs 40(5), 53 and 54 is not at all clear on the face of the legislation. Although Master Cook had made an order for sale “pursuant to paragraph 60” it was not at all clear which of those powers he still had available to him having already determined Mr Newett’s application.

The Enforcement Agent argued, by extensive submissions on the interpretation of the legislation and the court’s ability to read in powers which are not express, that there must be a power to order sale at the end of a third party application. Lane J disagreed, holding (in effect) that at the date of abandonment the enforcement was at an end so there was nothing to sell. His Lordship partially allowed the appeal, but only to remove Master Cook’s order for sale and replace it with a declaration that the vessel had been abandoned.

This decision shows, perhaps more than any other, that Schedule 12 is not the most wonderful piece of drafting to have come from the usually excellent pen of the Parliamentary Draftsman’s office. The effect of this decision is that canny judgment debtors and third parties can spin out third party ownership applications until the 12 month period is up and then reap the consequences of the abandonment.

A fuller analysis of the judgment will appear in the Three Stone Review.

Simon Hunter

Triannual Review: Issue 4, September 2021

28 September, 2021

Please find below a link to Issue 4 of the new Three Stone Triannual Review, where you will find articles on current issues, case reviews, and a practice update that we hope will be of interest and of use to you.

The topics covered in this edition include:

  • Setting the bar high –  Sebastian Kokelaar explores the Supreme Court’s recent decision on lawful act duress in the Pakistan International Airlines case
  • How (not) to avoid paying business rates –  Stephen Ryan takes us through three seasons of business rates mitigation schemes, via the Supreme Court
  • Case Reviews
  • Practice Update
  • Chambers News

Download pdf

Regulating the distributed ledger: the EU’s attempt

27 September, 2021

In this article ([2021] 10 JIBFL 648), Richard Nowinski considers some of the shortcomings of the EU’s attempt to regulate distributed ledgers.


  • It is clear from the text of the EU proposal that only permissioned networks will be permitted within the remit of the regulation.
  • Under the proposal, both legal and computer codes will need to be considered by both the member state regulator and ESMA in the approval process – but do they have the skill and capacity to assess computer code?
  • The regulator may require an assessment of reliability of the IT and cyber arrangements by an independent auditor but there are no criteria against which these arrangements are to be assessed.

Richard Nowinski

Professor Subedi appointed Advisor to the IUCN

16 September, 2021

We are pleased to announce that a member of Three Stone Chambers Professor Surya P. Subedi QC, OBE, DCL has been appointed by the Bureau of the IUCN Council as Legal Procedural Adviser to the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2021.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is also known in short as the World Conservation Union, is a prestigious international organisation. Professor Subedi was appointed to advise them on legal and procedural matters during their World Congress which takes place every four years. This year the event took place in the French city of Marseille between 3 – 11 September 2021.

The Congress was inaugurated by French President Emmanuel Macron. A number of other heads of states or governments also addressed the Congress. Professor Subedi attended the opening ceremony, as well as the full proceedings of the Congress.

IUCN is a membership Union composed of both governments and civil society organisations. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its more than 1,400 member organisations and the input of more than 18,000 experts. This diversity and vast expertise makes IUCN the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.

Professor Surya P. Subedi QC, DCL, OBE