Simon Crabb

Year of Call
Devil Masters
Bryan Heaney
Claire Mitchell K.C.
Chris Pirie K.C.
Tony Lenehan K.C.
@simonpcrabb on Twitter

Contact 07796 184309

Practice Profile

Simon has extensive experience of litigating and advising on human rights and equality issues both at home and abroad.

He has particular expertise in prison law, parole and people trafficking. He is also regularly instructed in the Court of Session and Sheriff Court in housing and homelessness cases involving equality issues.

Simon is a Standing Junior to the Advocate General (the UK government’s Scottish legal team). He is also a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Panel of Counsel and is instructed by the Central Legal Office in claims against the NHS.

He is currently instructed in the public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Sheku Bayo. Simon also has experience of both Fatal Accident Inquiries and planning inquiries.

Simon trained as a prosecutor and was a sitting manager for the High Court. He continues to receive instructions in criminal cases both at first instance and appeal.

Between 2012 and 2016, he worked in conflict zones in Colombia. He is a fluent Spanish speaker. He provided training to local lawyers, students and victims on international justice and contributed to legal publications. He also undertook advocacy work before United Nations and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in the Hague and New York. He continues to advise on issues of international law and transitional justice.

Simon lectures at Edinburgh University on the Freedom of Expression elective. In 2016, he was awarded the Faculty of Advocates’ Scholarship.

Education & Professional Career to Date

Advocate (Jul 2017 – present)

Head of Mission and Legal Advisor in Colombia. Lawyers Without Borders (Mar 2013 – Sep 2016)

Human Rights Observer. Peace Brigades International Colombia (Jan 2012 – Nov 2013)

Procurator Fiscal Trainee and Depute. COPFS (Aug 2008 – Oct 2011)

Diploma in Legal Practice, Glasgow Graduate School of Law (2008)

Magister Specialisation in International Law, University Complutense, Madrid (2006)

LLB Hons, Law and Spanish, University of Strathclyde (2004)


  • Standing Junior to the Advocate General for Scotland (2021–present)
  • Member of the Equality & Human Rights Commission Panel of Counsel (2019–present)
  • Lecturer Edinburgh University Freedom of Expression Elective (2019–present)
  • Junior Counsel, First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum), Office of the Advocate General (2018–2021)
  • Member of Human Rights and Rule of Law Committee, Faculty of Advocates (2017–present)

Selected Cases

  • Inner House
  • Brown v. Parole Board for Scotland, 2021 SLT 687

    Junior Counsel for the Reclaimer, reclaiming motion successful

  • Outer House
  • Ryan v. Parole Board for Scotland, [2022] CSOH 82

    Counsel for the petitioner, assessment of unproven allegations and illicit substances in prison, petition successful.

  • O’Leary v. Parole Board for Scotland, [2022] CSOH 13

    Junior Counsel for the Petitioner, procedural fairness and reasons challenge, petition successful.

  • Crawford v. Parole Board for Scotland, 2021 SLT 822

    Counsel for the Petitioner, judicial review, petition successful

  • Dinsmore v. Scottish Ministers, [2019] CSOH 18

    Counsel for the Petitioner

  • Sheriff Court
  • LB v RL, Glasgow Sheriff Court, unreported

    A challenge of letting agent's “no DSS” policy under section 19 of Equality Act 2010, Counsel for the claimant, claim successful and damages awarded

  • Upper Tribunal
  • SSHD v. MAB, App. PA/13491/18 (V)

    Appeal against grant of humanitarian protection, Counsel for the Respondent, appeal refused

  • Inquiries
  • Coul Links Inquiry, NA-HLD-086

    Junior Counsel for a local community group in a four-week planning inquiry. Scottish Ministers refused the application

  • Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Christina Anne Wilson, [2019] FAI

    Represented a care home provider in a Fatal Accident Inquiry heard at Inverness Sheriff Court

  • International
  • Amicus Curiae on Freedom of Expression before the Constitutional Court of Colombia in claim brought by the national army against the San Jose Peace Community, Media Defence, April 2021.

  • Amicus Curiae before the Constitutional Court of Colombia, in respect of Constitutional Reform 01 of 2015 on Military Justice, Lawyers without Borders Canada, July 2015.

  • Amicus Curiae before the Superior Tribunal of Santander, Colombia in respect of the appeal against conviction of human rights defender David Ravelo Crespo. Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, September 2013.

Publications & Seminars

Legal Service Agency, Public Sector Equality Duty Webinar (April 2022)

Justice Human Rights Conference 2021, Housing and Homelessness: a Scottish perspective (Oct 2021)

Roundtable Event with Representatives of the Colombian Truth Commission, Scottish Parliament (Mar 2020)

Human Rights, People Trafficking and Sexual Rights Training, Church of Scotland World Mission and Church and Society Programme, Mzuzu, Malawi (Oct 2019)

International Accompaniment of Victims, Magistrates of the Special Peace Jurisdiction, Colombia (Jul 2019)

Prison Law, Glasgow Bar Association Criminal Day Conference (Oct 2018)

Prison Law: International Perspectives, Arnot Manderson Advocates Conference (Feb 2018)

Eight Trends in Human Rights (and One-Non Trend), Arnot Manderson Advocates Conference (Sep 2017)

Victims' Rights and Complementarity: Paving the Way Towards transition in Colombia, Uganda and the Central African Republic, Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute, The Hague (Nov 2016)

Complementarity: The Situation Relating to International Crimes and Sexual Violence in Colombia, Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute, The Hague (Nov 2015)

Simon has written in a number of legal publications:-

Peace Negotiations: Observations on the Partial Agreements on Victims in Colombia, (Spanish). Lawyers Without Borders Canada, July 2016.

A Case Study on Complementarity: Impunity Mechanisms in Colombian Justice (Spanish). Lawyers Without Borders Canada. April 2016.

Contributions of Justice and Peace Decisions on Women's Rights (Spanish). Lawyers Without Borders Canada. December 2015.

A Look at Enforced Displacement: Criminal Prosecutions, Organised Power Structures and Land Restitution in the Colombian Context (Spanish). Lawyers Without Borders Canada. September 2015.

Peace with Transitional Justice: Contributions for Colombia from International Law (Spanish). Lawyers without Borders Canada. December 2014.

Additional Information

Fluent Spanish speaker.
Faculty of Advocates Scholarship, 2016.
Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service Excellence Award 2010; Fighting serious crime.