Ife Thompson is a distinguished Movement Lawyer and UN Fellow, specialising in criminal defence, family law, and actions against police misconduct. Her work often intersects with cases involving racial injustice, and she employs innovative legal strategies, drawing from UN International Human Rights Law, community-based issues to actively challenge these matters within her criminal defence practice.
As a UN Fellow for the international decade for people of African descent, Ife passionately advocates for the human rights of Black individuals in the UK. In the courtroom, she disrupts the biased narratives that prosecutors attach to Black language terms, frequently calling for Black language experts to challenge these stereotypes. She firmly believes that racial justice is intricately connected to language justice and that Black liberation includes normalizing communication and perspectives.
Ife has accumulated a diverse portfolio of Criminal Defense work, appearing in Crown, Magistrates, and Youth Courts. Her extensive experience includes handling first appearances, PTPH's, sentences, trials, bail applications, legal arguments and successful applications in the Family Courts.
In Youth Court, Ife has effectively raised issues of racial trauma, while in Crown Court, her persuasive advocacy and negotiation skills have led to many cases being dropped by the Crown due to flaws she highlighted through oral and written submissions. She has also successfully defended clients facing charges and excluded evidence under s.78 at trial.
One notable achievement was securing the dismissal of an assault against an Emergency Worker charge for a client with paranoid schizophrenia. Ife's proactive approach in engaging the court, requesting a review of the case in open court, and emphasizing the effects of racial discrimination on her client played a pivotal role in the case being dropped.
In another case, Ife secured a lenient custodial sentence for a young adult client with previous drug convictions, emphasizing racial discrimination's impact personally and systematically on her client's life and arguing successfully for the court to see this as mitigation.
Throughout her career, Ife has consistently demonstrated her dedication to justice, successfully challenging the Crown's evidence, and raising crucial issues like racial discrimination and language injustice, ultimately leading to favorable outcomes for her clients.
Ife Thompson is a globally renowned Movement Lawyer and sought-after speaker, recognized for her expertise in the intersection of law, digital freedom, and human rights. Her international acclaim recently led to an invitation from the Digital Freedom Fund to speak at a prestigious event in Berlin. Here's a glimpse of her insightful seession:
At the heart of Ife's talk was the exploration of building effective movements against digital policing, delving into critical questions that shape our understanding of this complex issue. You can watch the livestream of her session : (https://digitalfreedomfund.org/another-tech-is-possible/), where she passionately advocates for a more just and liberated digital future.
Ife is a frequent television and radio commentator who offers incisive insights on the criminal legal system, courtroom injustices and anti-Blackness.
She was also a 2023 Legal Aid Lawyer on the Year finalist in the category of 'Legal Aid New Comer'.
Ife Thompson is also an award-nominated UK-based Community Activist, Black History Expert, Curator and Writer. She was also recently crowned Miss Ebony UK Culture and Tourism 2023. She campaigns for the rights of people of African Descent in the UK, as she believes we should live in a world where Black people can live free from Racism and Oppression.
She has founded two civil society organisations to further these pursuits. The first being BLAM UK- an award-winning Non-profit that provides educational, advocacy and well-being support for Black people living in Britain.
The second being Black Protest Legal Support UK a hub of UK-based Lawyers willing to provide Pro-bono support to BLM Activists. Since its inception in June 2020, they have able to ensure that there are Independent Legal observers at every London BLM protests- to monitor police intimidation and to provide protesters with bustards containing their legal rights. BPLS has also been able to facilitate legal support for BLM activists.
Ife was recently selected by the United Nations Office of Human Rights Commission, as the United Nations Fellow for the Decade for People of African Descent. Ife aims to ensure the activities of the Decade are properly recognised and furthered in the United Kingdom. She wants to ensure that the human rights of Black people locally and globally are better protected.
In October 2020 Ife was nominated for CJA Awards Outstanding Individual of the year for her work in making the Criminal Justice System a fairer place.
BLACK HISTORY EXPERT
Ife is also a Black history expert. She has used this expert knowledge to curate visual and audio projects focusing on African cultural retention in Afro-descendant communities. Ife recently curated a project for The London Metropolitan Archives called 'Black Organising in the UK- Caribbean homes as a site of Black Joy and Resistance', she did this through looking at the life work of Jessica and Eric Huntley. She has also been the external Black history moderator for schools in the Lambeth Borough. She was the editor of BLAM UK Primary Teacher Resource Pack on Black history and contributed to many key chapters in the book alongside the BLAM UK Team.