Ranked in the Legal 500, Sultana is a highly experienced human rights, international law and criminal justice barrister.
Criminal Justice, Civil and Public Law
Sultana regularly appears in high profile and landmark cases (see selection of cases below). Her criminal defence practice encompasses terrorism, homicide, and white-collar crime where she is often instructed to defend those accused of the most serious and complex crime. She has extensive experience in advising and successfully representing lay clients in appeals against conviction and sentence before the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal. Her public law cases practices include prison law, inquests & enquiries, and actions against the police and other State authorities. Sultana regularly advises corporate clients, in particular, large multi-national corporations, on a wide range of matters including regulatory, privacy, data protection and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion.
Counter Terrorism, National Security & Radicalisation
Sultana acts in high profile counter terrorism and national security cases. She is one of the foremost experts in this area. Her experience in this area is unique in that her caseload spans the Criminal Courts, Coronial Courts, Administrative and Family Divisions of the High Court and the Appellate Courts. Sultana has significant experience of the diverse legal, religious and strategic complexities that arise in these cases. They often involve cutting edge law, evidential and factual complexities, ideological/ theological material, highly sensitive secret material, complex disclosure issues, and human rights dimensions.
Some of the landmark and guideline cases she has acted in include:
• Criminal cases: such as, R v Boular and Others (2018) (first all-female ISIS cell dubbed ‘The Tea Party’); R v Rahman and AC (2016) (along with Anjum Choudhury, charged with inviting support for ISIS); R v Shakeel and Others (2008) (conspiracy to cause explosions with intent to endanger life – the 7/7 bombings of the London transport system).
• Appellate level: Cases in which she has appeared before the Court of Appeal include R v Kahar  EWCA Crim 568 (represented Ziamani in landmark guideline case on sentences for preparation for acts of terrorism - Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006); and R v HA  1 WLR 6105 (definition of “terrorist publication” and interplay between Article 10 and section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006).
• High Court proceedings: She has acted in Terrorism Prevention & Investigations Measures (TPIMs), such as, EB v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2017) (evidence of such a sensitive nature that it was almost exclusively heard in closed proceedings); Radicalisations cases in the High Court Family Division; and Inquiries & Inquests, such as, the London Bridge Inquests (2019).
• Advisory: She is part of the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Roster of Criminal Justice Sector Experts dealing with Counter-Terrorism; and a Member of the Legal Advisory Panel on the People’s Review of Prevent.
International Human Rights, Criminal and Humanitarian Law
Sultana has a strong commitment to the protection of human rights and civil liberties both internationally and domestically. She advises individuals, non-governmental organisations and multinational corporations on international human rights, international criminal law and humanitarian law issues. She has worked with organisations such as the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre and the Latin American Centre for Human Rights (CLADH) on issues ranging from the rights of prisoners to the right to freedom of expression. She is currently a Special Advisor on Human Rights to the Oxford Initiative for Global Ethics and Human Rights; a member of Legal Expert Advisory Panel for Fair Trials International; Member of the Detention ExPEERience of Avocat Sans Frontieres; Head of Strategic Litigation for the Muslim Lawyers Action Group (MLAG).
Sultana has previously worked at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International (AI) in the Africa Program; the Middle East Program; and the International Justice Project of the International Law Program. Her work included investigation and intervention in ‘urgent action’ cases of arbitrary arrests and detentions, disappearances, torture, extrajudicial killings, violence against women in conflict settings, and children in armed conflict. She worked on projects including the War on Terror, post conflict Iraq, the Darfur Crisis, and the Rome Statute. She worked with Redress on International Criminal Court implementing legislation, universal jurisdiction, amnesties and immunities under international law.
Training, Conferences and Seminars
The Measures and Impact of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act (2021), Crime & Human Rights, JUSTICE Human Rights Conference 2021
Visible Justice: Embodied Activism Symposium, ‘How the black/ brown injured body is represented in contemporary media and art, and legal frameworks’, LCC, University of the Arts London, May 2019.
LEAP Annual Conferences, Fair Trials International: Netherlands (Feb 2015), Greece (March 2017), Bulgaria (Feb 2018).
‘Charades’, video collaboration between David Birkin and Reprieve on the Third Directive, 2018. https://www.davidbirkin.net/charade/
Strategic litigation workshop with focus on counter-terrorism, Sciences- Po Paris, School of International Affairs & Open Society Justice Initiative, Paris, July 2017.
‘Raising the Bar’ with Rob Rinder, Discussion on terrorism law, BBC Radio 5 Live, 2016.
'Race Equality: “Removing Barriers”, Home Office, The Network's 15th Annual General Meeting, London, March 2015.
Designed and delivered Advocacy training for NGOs, attended by Oxfam, London, 2014.
Advocacy training programme for NGOs, Amnesty International, London, 2014.
Advocacy training programme for NGOs, Women For Women International, London, 2014.
Designed and delivered Advocacy training for NGOs, attended by Oxfam, London, 2014.
Advocacy training programme for Amnesty International, London, 2014.
R v AK (2021-ongoing)
Several counts of dissemination of terrorist publications and possession of terrorist material.
R v AS (2021-ongoing)
Several counts of possession of material likely to be useful for terrorist purposes.
SSHD v KG (2020-ongoing)
Imposition of Terrorism Prevention & Investigation Measure.
London Bridge Inquests (2019)
Representing wife of one of the attackers.
TC v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (2019)
Civil claim arising out of unlawful and discriminatory application of counter terrorism Prevent policy.
R v A (2019)
Charged with possession of items likely to be useful for terrorist purposes.
R v A (2019)
Charged with dissemination of terrorist publication.
R v HR
Appeal against sentence for six terrorism offences including; preparing to carry out offences of terrorism in Syria, assisting others to commit acts of terrorism and encouraging others to commit acts of terrorism on the UK mainland. Accused of calling for Prince George to be targeted. Sentenced reduced. Attracted national press.
R v RB (2019)
Appeal against sentence.
R v RB and Others (2018)
Defendant charged with conspiracy to murder and engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts, namely by carrying out knife attacks in Westminster Bridge. Part of first all-female cell dubbed ‘The Tea Party’. Attracted national press.
R v IA (2018)
Defendant accused of 12 counts of dissemination of terrorist publications dubbed the ‘WhatsApp Terrorist’. Attracted national press.
R v HA  1 WLR 6105
Appeal concerning the definition of “terrorist publication” and interplay between Article 10 and section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006.
R v C
Family law case in High Court alleging radicalisation, involving secret evidence.
R v Choudhary and Rahman  EWCA Crim 1606;  4 W.L.R. 204
Appeal against conviction of inviting support for a proscribed organisation contrary to section 12(1) of the Terrorism Act 2000.
R v Anjem Choudhary and Rahman  EWCA Crim 61
Interlocutory appeal of the legal ingredients of section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000 as to what amounts to “inviting support for a proscribed organisation ISIL”. Arguments relating to freedom of expression.
R v R and AC (2016)
Landmark case. Along with ‘hate preacher’ Anjum Choudhury, charged with inviting support for ISIL. First ever prosecution under this provision. Attracted national press.
R v HA and Another (2016)
Defendant accused of preparation of acts of terrorism in planning to go to Syria to join IS and disseminating terrorist publications. Attracted national press.
R v Kahar  EWCA Crim 568
Landmark guideline case on sentences for Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 - preparation for acts of terrorism. Represented Ziamani on appeal against sentence of extended sentence of 27 years of 18 year old revert accused of planning to behead a soldier. Reduced. Attracted national press.
EB v The Secretary of State for the Home Department (2017)
Landmark case. Junior Counsel contesting TPIM imposed by the Home Secretary. Involved consideration of highly sensitive national security evidence. SSHD created a new category of ‘in-camera’ evidence and the hearing was almost exclusively held in closed proceedings.
EB v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 137 (Admin)
Applications in relation to Section 16 appeal of TPIM measures and disclosure.
R v J and Another (2015)
Charged with s.5 of the Terrorism Act 2006, preparation for acts of terrorism, amongst others. Brothers of Jihadi who was killed in battle in Syria. Attracted national press.
R v C and Others (2015)
Defendant charged with preparing for acts of terrorism, namely planning to go to Syria to fight alongside ISIS. Acquitted. Attracted national press.
R v SH (2012)
Defendant accused of engaging in terrorism in Somalia. He was charged with 7 counts of fundraising and 4 counts of engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism. Attracted national press.
R v AH and others (2011)
Counter-terrorism prosecution for grievous bodily harm against a religious education teacher. Attracted national press.
R v WA and Another (2008)
Defendant accused of possessing ‘bomb-making manuals’ and chemicals for the purpose of terrorism, to ‘blow up the BNP’. Unanimously acquitted of all three counts. Attracted national press.
R v S and Others (2008)
Landmark case. Defendant alleged to have been involved in the conspiracy to cause explosions with intent to endanger life – the 7/7 bombings of the London transport system. Attracted national press.
Advise MNCs on issues where regulatory matters and criminal law intersect with human rights, employment, privacy and data protection issues.
R v H
Attempted Murder involving gangs.
R v R
Money laundering conspiracy involving GBP200 million derived from drug dealing on a national scale. 30,000 pages of exhibits consisting of complex financial evidence.
R v M and Others
High profile conspiracy to murder where defendant was accused of commissioning hit-men to assassinate the victim after a long-running feud.
R v K and Others
Multi-handed case involving firearms, drugs and money laundering in the context of gang-related violence and allegations of “set-up” by Flying Squad officers.
R v A and Another
Multiple firearms and drugs-related offences.
• Chair of Bar Standards Board (BSB) Taskforce on Religion & Belief
• Head of Pro Bono Projects for Counsel for Leadership (CFL)
• Chair of the Muslim Lawyers Action Group (MLAG)
• Special Advisor on Human Rights for the Oxford Initiative for Global Ethics and Human Rights
• Head of Strategic Litigation for Muslim Lawyers Actions Group (MLAG)
• HERoes Top 100 Women Future Leaders, 2021
• Winner, Profession Category, Asian Women of Achievement, 2021
• Finalist, BSN Lawyer of the Year (Chambers), UK Legal Diversity Awards
• Finalist, Outstanding Woman in Professional category sponsored by Baker McKenzie, Precious Awards 2021
• OSCE Roster of Criminal Justice Sector Expert dealing with Counter-Terrorism
• Member of the Legal Advisory Panel on the People’s Review of Prevent
• Member of Legal Expert Advisory Panel for Fair Trials International (LEAP)
• Member of the Detention ExPEERience community of Avocat Sans Frontieres
LLM (Human Rights Law) (London)
MSt (International Human Rights Law) (Oxon)
Called to the Bar 2005