Charlene Dempsey

Charlene was educated at Queen's University in Belfast, graduating with a 2:1 LLB. She returned to Queen's in 2004 where she further obtained a Master's degree in Human Rights and Criminal Justice. Charlene has been working in the area of Criminal Law for over 11 years dealing with Magistrate's Court, Crown Court, Judicial Review, Extradition Court of Appeal and Immigration detention and Deportation cases.  Charlene has a particular interest in Court of Appeal cases which may involve miscarriages of justice.  She has had particular success in the following Court of Appeal cases:

R v Paul Hughes [2008] NICA 17 - resulting in her client's conviction being quashed and a leading Court of Appeal authority now exists in respect of Good Character Directions in Criminal Trials.

R v AG [2010] NICA 20 - resulting in her client's conviction being quashed and a leading Court of Appeal authority in respect of Complaint evidence in criminal trials now exists.wrongful arrest solicitor

R v Cyril Hamilton {2011} NICA 56 - resulting in her client's conviction for attempted murder being quashed and a leading Court of Appeal authority now exists in respect of Bad Character Evidence in Criminal Trials.

R v Thomas Graham - Unreported decision of the Court of Appeal in November 2011, resulting in her client's tariff for murder being reduced by a period of two years.

In 2013, Charlene was involved in a miscarriage of justice case referred back to the NI Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.  It was discovered the Complainant's Statement had been edited by the Public Prosecution Service.  Her client had served a 6 year prison sentence prior to the case being referred back.  Reported judgment, R v Tonderai Chakwane [2013] NICA 24.

In 2013 Charlene was involved in one of the leading NI decisions on anonymity.  She successfully secured lifetime anonymity for her client based on human rights grounds.  Reported judgment, ZY v Higgins No. [2013] NIQB 8.

Charlene also has a keen interest in Prison law and has taken many Judicial Reviews challenges against the Prison service on Human Rights grounds.

Charlene is a qualified Solicitor Advocate which enables her to represent clients in the Higher Courts.

Charlene is a member of the Belfast Solicitors Association - www.belfast-solicitors-association.org and serves on the Criminal Law Committee of the Law Society of Northern Ireland - www.lawsoc-ni.org.  She was promoted to Associate solicitor in January 2017. Charlene was Chair of  the Northern Ireland Young Solicitors Association from 2014 to 2015 and regularly continues to support NIYSA by lecturing on relevant areas of law.

If you would like to contact Charlene directly, please send her an e-mail at charlenedempsey@hhdsolicitors.com