Barrister at Garden Court Chambers, and School of Law alumnus, Shina Aminashaun returned to play a key part in a mock admissibility hearing on open source evidence, hosted by Professor Yvonne McDermott Rees, at the School of Law, on 19 February 2021.

Shina graduated from the School of Law in 2014, with first class honours, and has since gone on to forge a successful career as a barrister, practising across the spectrum of general and international crime.

He was featured in a recent Channel 4 documentary, as part of their Black History Month, and is the subject of a video, ‘Young Black Barrister’, which focuses on his experiences; including working with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and advising the government on deportation. He also speaks on his hope for a bright future, working in a diverse legal system that is representative of all backgrounds.

Shina returned to the School of Law to act in his professional role as a barrister, in a mock trial, which could shape the future use of digital open source information in criminal proceedings. He joined the School of Law as part of a panel of legal experts, which included:

  • H. Judge Joanna Korner CMG QC
  • Andrew Cayley QC, Temple Garden Chambers
  • Helen Malcolm QC, Three Raymond Buildings
  • Shina Animashaun, Garden Court Chambers
  • Joshua Kern, 9 Bedford Row

Together, they held a mock hearing that explored the admissibility of a piece of online open source evidence from the conflict in Yemen, testing GLAN and Bellingcat’s methodology. As part of his involvement in the hearing, Shina has also worked closely with five of our Criminal Evidence students, who have provided excellent research assistance to the lawyers working on the hearing.

Speaking on returning to the School of Law, and working with current students, Shina said:

“Collaborating with the law school triggered feelings of nostalgia. It was this law school that greatly fostered my understanding of the law, and this is clearly the case for the students too, who were not only well prepared, but were creative in their approach. I am grateful that it was this important project that brought us back together.”

Speaking on having the opportunity to be involved with the project, student Rhiannon Smith said:

“'Being able to be part of this project was really great experience on a number of levels: I had the opportunity to learn more about a new area of law, enhance my legal research skills and work with some really talented barristers. The subject area was also extremely interesting, and it's great to see developments taking place in this sphere which can hopefully be used for the furtherance of international criminal justice. Seeing a Swansea Law alumnus such as Shina doing so well is really inspiring as a current undergraduate and definitely motivates me even more to pursue my goals.”

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