Sonia Burgess

From LGBT Archive
Jump to: navigation, search
Sonia Burgess
Sonia Burgess (1947–2010)[1] was an immigration lawyer, who obtained a number of landmark decisions from British courts and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on behalf of immigrant clients. As a result of an ECHR decision[2] in favour of 52 Tamil asylum seekers represented by Burgess, British law was changed to allow asylum seekers to appeal against refusal of asylum before having to leave the country.[1]

She was born David Burgess, was married for 20 years with two children. In 2005 she and her wife separated, and she began transition from male to female. She continued to use the name David in her legal career.

In 2010 she died after being pushed under a train at King's Cross Underground station. He friend Senthooran Kanagasingham, a trans woman known as Nina, whom Sonia Burgess had befriended, was jailed for life for manslaughter in December 2011.[3]


Partly based on a Wikipedia article.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Fiona Bawdon, "David Burgess obituary: Influential lawyer and tenacious defender of asylum seekers' rights" The Guardian 2 November 2010
  2. Vilvarajah and others v. The United Kingdom, application no. 13163/87.
  3. "Man jailed for killing Sonia Burgess at King's Cross station" BBC News 22 December 2011