Our members at Garden Court Chambers are widely recognised for their superb work in the area of prison law.
The 'fearless and formidable' Leslie Thomas has a superb reputation for police actions, and inquest and prison work, and is rated for his 'excellent cross-examination skills'. Stephen Simblet is an 'excellent jury advocate' whose 'presence at court shows incredible attention to detail'. The set also receives high praise for its up-and-coming junior juniors.
The Legal 500 2011
We seek to provide the highest quality representation to those detained in prison and subsequently on their release into the community. Garden Court Chambers has long been involved in challenges to the infringement of prisoners' rights and privileges. We regularly advise on potential judicial review challenges in a wide range of areas and represent clients in cases involving:
- re-categorisation decisions
- sentence calculation
- release and recall
- licence conditions
- prison conditions
- Human Rights Act challenges (such as the right to vote)
Our team has a range of senior and junior practitioners (including two senior Manchester-based practitioners) enabling us to offer advice and representation at all levels and through England and Wales. We are experienced in providing representation at all Parole Board and adjudication hearings. Additionally, our Claims against the Police and other Public Authorities team is experienced in advising on damages claims against the Ministry of Justice for unlawful detention arising out of sentence/release date miscalculation and or negligence. Further given the availability of a wide range of experience in Chambers we are also able to advise and represent prisoners in a variety of civil claims, including discrimination and transfers to hospital under the Mental Health Act.
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R (W) v (1) Dr Fintan Larkin, (2) Secretary of State for Justice and others  EWHC 556 (Admin)
Warrants for transfer to prison and the requirements of a Responsible Clinician in completing s50 proforma.
R (Peter Finney) v Parole Board and The Ministry of Justice (2012)
The First Defendant admitted that it did not provide adequate reasons for its decision to refuse to transfer the Claimant to open conditions and agreed to withdraw its decision prior to the substantive hearing. The Second Defendant then agreed to refer the matter back to the First Defendant as a matter of urgency.
R(Noone) v Secretary of State for Justice  UKSC 30
Landmark case on the proper calculation of "mixed Act" sentences and HDC.
R (on the application of Salami) v Parole Board; R (on the application of Robinson) v Secretary of State for Justice  EWHC 2251 (Admin)
The rights of two long-term prisoners under Article 6 of the ECHR were not breached as a result of the amendments to the early release provisions in the CJA 1991 introduced by the CJIA 2008 (the Court of Appeal upheld this decision in R (on the application of Robinson) v Secretary of State for Justice  EWCA Civ 848
Secretary of State for Justice (Respondent) v James (FC) (Appellant) (formerly Walker and another) and R (on the application of Lee) (FC) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for Justice (Respondent)  UKHL 22
Release of IPP prisoners and the provision of courses.
Gibson, Kelly and Bailey v Secretary of State for Justice  EWCA Civ 177
Challenge to the drafting errors in the CJA 2003 relating to early release of certain prisoners.
R (on the application of C) (a child by his litigation friend MS) v Secretary of State for Justice  EWHC 171 (Admin)
Challenge to the amendments made by the Secretary of State for Justice to the Secure Training Centre Rules 1998 allowing for a wider use of physical force to restrain minors in secure training centres.
Seminars and bespoke Training
We regularly hold free, CPD accredited seminars on different aspects of prison law in chambers. For forthcoming events, please see our seminars page.
Members of the team are able to offer training on prison law work to instructing solicitors, tailored to their requirements. For more details please contact our Civil Clerks.
If you would like more information about our Prison Law team email the clerks email@example.com
or call us on 020 7993 7600.
Members of the Prison Law team are listed below - click on their names to go to their profiles.