Celeste is human rights lawyer and activist recently returned to practise here in the UK in family law, specifically public law children cases. She was called to the Bar in 1991 and in 2011, having reached the pinnacle of junior work in her field, decided to follow her dream to work overseas in the international human rights field. Since her return she has seamlessly picked up her practice and is a highly respected and very sought-after advocate regarded as a leader in the public law family field. She brings a wealth of experience, including experience garnered in the criminal jurisdiction augmented by her overseas experience, a feminist and human rights-based approach, intellectual rigour, and passion.
Prior to her sojourn overseas she was regularly the advocate of choice both for the local authority and parents alike in the most serious cases such as shaken baby, FII and baby death cases.
Although often led in such cases she was regularly entrusted by the local authority to take on leading counsel.
Whilst overseas Celeste pursued her passion for the full realisation of the human rights of women and girls and worked with abused girls and issues of access to justice in Tajikistan, led a team of trainers providing human rights training to the range of stakeholders and beneficiaries from small NGOs to Parliamentarians and High Court judges across the Pacific, and working for USAID in Afghanistan on the world’s largest women’s empowerment project. Whilst in the United States she gained her LLM in International Human Rights and Gender then being asked to join the teaching staff of her university.
Since August 2019
For the local authority –
- LCC -v D (hearing in case re child of Vietnamese asylum seeker)
- WBC -v- D and F
For parents –
- Re A and A (a case of significant and ultimately unexplained injury to twins)
- Re KW (alleged shaken baby case)
For children –
- Re LM (a case involving sexual exploitation and coerced prostitution)
- Re J and O (a case involving allegations of sexual abuse of one of the subject children as well as sexual activity between an adult female and her father)
- Re SD (a case of historic sexual abuse and allegations of extreme emotional abuse)
- Re JC (alleged historic sexual abuse)
- Re Y, K and M (three linked cases arising out of an alleged significant non-accidental injury to a child, and allegations of human trafficking)
- Re A and R-S (alleged shaken baby case)
- Re K, I and O (alleged shaken baby case)