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Criminal appeals

Garden Court Chambers has helped shape the foundations of modern criminal appellate law by pursuing criminal appeals to the highest courts. We were involved in the formulation of the now well-known Pendleton test by the House of Lords, the leading case on fresh evidence.

Over the last 40 years, we have played a key role in reversing many of the seminal miscarriages of justice, including: Derek Bentley, the Guildford Four, the Birmingham Six, Judith Ward, Carl Bridgewater, the M25 Three and Sam Hallam.

We continue to be at the cutting-edge of appellate work. Two of our barristers were instructed in the momentous Supreme Court decision on joint enterprise (R v Jogee; Ruddock v The Queen), a judgment with far-reaching ramifications for past convictions for the most serious crimes.

As winners of the Legal 500 Crime Set of the Year Award 2015, we are recognised as leading barristers in the UK for criminal law.

Our appellate expertise

  • Miscarriage of justice cases, including statutory compensation claims
  • Points of law of public importance
  • Advancing protections for victims of trafficking convicted of criminal offences
  • Fresh evidence appeals
  • Complex sentencing cases
  • Representing juvenile defendants
  • Shaken baby syndrome
  • Non-disclosure and participating informants (PIs)
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission applications and referrals to the Court of Appeal
  • Death penalty cases in the Privy Council

Our notable cases

Our recent notable cases include:

  • R v Jogee, Ruddock v The Queen (2016)Supreme Court and Privy Council clarification of joint enterprise
  • R v Ched Evans (2015) CCRC referral of footballer Ched Evans’ rape conviction to Court of Appeal
  • R v L & Ors (2013) – Successful test case creating further protections for trafficked victims under Article 26 of the Anti-Trafficking Convention and the relevant EU Directive, and overturning the convictions of four victims of trafficking, three of whom were children
  • R v McNally (2013)Leading authority on when consent may be vitiated in relation to sexual offences
  • R v Victor Nealon (2013) Overturning rape conviction of Victor Nealon, who was wrongly imprisoned for 17 years, after fresh DNA evidence was considered on appeal
  • R v Sam Hallam (2012) – Widely publicised miscarraige of justice appeal. The case was reported in The Guardian
  • Tabeel Lewis v The State (2011) Reprieve secured in Privy Council death penalty case
  • R v Altaf Hussain (2008)Last in series of CCRC referrals exposing malpractice and the use of PIs by Customs and Excise in the 80s and 90s
  • R v Suzanne Holdsworth (2008) Conviction for toddler murder found unsafe in light of fresh medical evidence
  • R v Derek Bentley (1998) – Earliest case on principle of joint enterprise: Derek Bentley was hanged in 1953 and posthumously vindicated in 1998 when his conviction was set aside

To find out more about our Criminal Appeals Team or how else we can assist you, please contact the crime clerks. Tel: 020 7993 7624, Email:

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