Sam Wordsworth KC
Essex Court Chambers
Sam Wordsworth specialises in public international law and international arbitration. He is regularly instructed by Governments in international cases and has appeared before numerous international tribunals including the International Court of Justice and Tribunals constituted with respect to the Law of the Sea. He is a Visiting Professor teaching investment arbitration at Kings College, London and is regularly instructed as counsel in investment treaty disputes (he also sits as arbitrator in a limited number of disputes).
Notable cases as counsel that are in the public domain include: before the ICJ, Guatemala’s Territorial, Insular and Maritime Claim (for Belize); the Iran v USA cases concerning Alleged violations of the 1955 Treaty of Amity and Certain Iranian Assets (for Iran); the Ukraine v Russia case concerning alleged financing of terrorism and racial discrimination in Crimea (for Russia) (resigned from case, February 2022); the request for an Advisory Opinion concerning the decolonisation of Mauritius (for the UK); the Bolivia v Chile case concerning the obligation to negotiate access to the Pacific Ocean (for Chile) and the Chile v Bolivia case concerning the Silala river (for Chile); the Peru v Chile and Costa Rica v Nicaragua maritime boundary cases (for Chile, for Costa Rica); the cases concerning Certain Activities and the Road (for Costa Rica); Advisory Opinion concerning the Kosovo case (for the UK); the Diallo case (for Guinea); before the ITLOS and ad hoc tribunals, the Ukraine v Russia cases concerning Coastal State rights in the Black Sea and Detention of Naval Vessels (for Russia) (resigned from case, February 2022); the Mox plant case (for the UK), the Chagos Islands case Mauritius v UK (for the UK), the Kishenganga case (for Pakistan); before the Iran-US Claims Tribunal, Case A15 concerning Iranian property in the USA (for Iran); the European Court of Human Rights, Al-Skeini v UK, Al-Jedda v UK and Hassan v UK (for the UK), the Nada and Al Dulimi cases (for the UK); Hanan v Germany (for Rights Watch UK, intervening); before the UK Supreme Court Serdar Mohammed (concerning legality of UK detention operations in Afghanistan), Belhaj (concerning alleged complicity of the UK in torture); before the Singapore courts: Swissbourgh Diamond Mines and others v Kingdom of Lesotho (for Lesotho).
Sam Wordsworth advises regularly on international law matters, including questions concerning treaty interpretation, international watercourses, maritime boundaries, the Law of the Sea, investment treaty disputes, State immunity, sanctions, dispute settlement procedures. He is co- author of Halsbury’s Vol. 61 “International Law and Foreign Relations” and one of the co- authors of the forthcoming Oppenheim’s International Law 10th ed and the forthcoming Mustill & Boyd, International Commercial and Investment Arbitration, 3rd ed.