Administrative and Public Law

Our leading public law barristers have a long-standing reputation for taking on cutting-edge challenges against public authorities.

To contact the Public Law Clerks, please email or phone 

+44 (0)20 7993 7600

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Top Ranked Chambers UK Bar 2019
The Legal 500 Top Tier Set 2019
Human Rights and Public Law Set of the Year Winner 2016 UK Bar Awards

We help our clients pursue public law challenges against all public authorities including government departments, courts and tribunals, coroners, the police, housing authorities, schools and prisons.

Areas of Expertise

  • Challenges to government policy and secondary legislation
  • Constitutional challenges to all the key departments of state
  • Challenging cuts to public services
  • Access to justice
  • Deaths for which the state could be responsible
  • Public inquiries
  • Human rights and international humanitarian law
  • False imprisonment, administrative detention and prisoners’ rights
  • National security and counter-terror measures
  • Social welfare and health
  • Criminal justice
  • Discrimination
  • Trafficking and modern slavery
  • Environmental and planning

Our public law barristers specialise in bringing challenges that defend the rights of individuals and have a wider lasting and beneficial impact for society and affected groups.

Public law challenges arise in nearly all of Chambers’ specialist areas. Our core strength is the multi-disciplinary expertise we can offer at all levels of seniority. We pursue bold and innovative points of law to secure the best possible outcome for our clients.

Our public law barristers write leading texts on judicial review and regularly train others on how to pursue judicial reviews. We are always happy to discuss creative ways in which we can work with you and add value to your work. 

Garden Court Chambers won the Human Rights and Public Law Set of the Year Award at the Chambers Bar Awards 2016 and was shortlisted for Public Law Set of the Year at the Legal 500 Awards 2017.

Notable Cases


We are known for ground-breaking and successful challenges to government policy in test cases of constitutional importance.

Our barristers regularly appear in the European Court of Human Rights, European Court of Justice, Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court and the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber).

Our team also fights for clients in judicial reviews that may not hit the headlines, but are nonetheless vital for protecting the rights of vulnerable individuals.

Recent high-profile cases include:

R (K and Anor) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 2951(Admin)
High Court strikes down Home Office decision to cut support for victims of trafficking and modern slavery in a claim successfully challenging the policy decision of the Home Office. Reported in the Guardian and Independent

R (DS and Ors) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions UKSC 2018/0074
Challenge to revised benefit cap as unlawfully discriminating against lone parents with children under two. Supreme Court Judgment pending. See Rights Info.

Hussein v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor [2018] EWHC 2013 (Admin)
Permission granted to seek public inquiry into systematic abuse at Brook House immigration removal centre. Reported in the Guardian in February and May 2018.

R (PRCBC) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, CO/2663/2018
High profile challenge concerning the excessive fee charged by the Home Office to children who wish to register for British citizenship. Reported in the Guardian

R (Against Borders for Children) v Secretary of State for Education, CO/8/2018, C1/2018/0763
School census data collection is breach of EU and domestic data protection principles. Further to the litigation, the Education Secretary decided in May 2018 to cease collection of such data in future school census. Reported in the Independent

R( Andrews) v SSBEI and SSHCLG, CO/3256/2018
High Court rules that Mineral Planning Authorities are not bound by statutory definition of fracking and can apply their own wider definitions

R (Medical Justice) v SSHD [2017] CO/5386/2016
High Court rules government redefinition of torture in immigration detention policy is unlawful. Wide reaching findings for hundreds of victims of torture found to have been wrongly detained in immigration detention centres. Reported in the Guardian

R (ota) CL v Greater Manchester Police [2018] CO/3515/2016 & CO/1076/2018
Boy wins right to judicial review in challenge to have details of 'sexting' incident erased by police. Reported in the Guardian.

R (oao Slade & Baxter) v HM Attorney General and the DPP (C1/2018/1351)
Successful test case to challenge the refusal by the Attorney General to conduct independent inquiry of high-profile criminal case. Reported by the BBC.

R(C) v Secretary of State for Justice [2016] UKSC 2
The Claimant successfully challenged a decision by the Home Secretary to refuse him unescorted leave in the community and maintained an order of anonymity to protect his identity. Widely reported, including by the BBC

R (Kiarie; Byndloss) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] UKSC 42; [2017] WLR 2380
Landmark Supreme Court ruling on access to effective remedy for out of country appeals.

R (Joanna Dennehy) v SSJ and Governor of HMP Bronzefield  [2016] EWHC 1219 (Admin)
Successful challenge to the legality of regulations and policies on prolonged segregation of vulnerable prisoners. 

Contact team

What others say

"Garden Court Chambers is very well respected for its work in public law on behalf of claimants seeking to challenge the decisions of central government and local authorities. Its members are highly accomplished in pursuing actions in the context of immigration, national security and social housing."

Chambers UK Bar Guide



Our barristers have contributed to or co-authored many of the leading texts on public law, immigration, housing and criminal justice:

  • Judicial Review: A Practical Guide, 3rd edition 2017 – Amanda Weston QC
  • Judicial Review: A Practical Guide, 2nd edition 2012 – Amanda Weston QC
  • Judicial Review: Law & Practice, 1st edition, 2012 – Amanda Weston QC
  • Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery: Law and Practice, 1st edition 2018 - Michelle Brewer and contributions from other members of the public law team
  • Archbold Criminal Pleading Evidence & Practice – Maya Sikand, Contributing Editor 2015 to date
  • Blackstone’s Guide to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, OUP, 2009 – Maya Sikand
  • Blackstone’s Criminal Practice, OUP – Maya Sikand, Contributing Editor 2009 – 2014
  • Housing Allocation and Homelessness, Jordans, 4th edition, 2016 – Liz Davies
  • Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice – all editions have included contributions from many members of the public law team
  • Butterworths’ Immigration Law Service – Greg Ó Ceallaigh


Associate member expertise

We have strong academic links and boast a number of Associate Members with particular expertise in areas such as discrimination law, race and policing in the EU, gender, equality, sexuality, human rights approaches to legal gender recognition, environmental law and planning law. 


The Team

Stephanie Harrison QC

Year of Call: 1991

Year of Silk: 2013

Marc Willers QC

Year of Call: 1987

Year of Silk: 2014

Leslie Thomas QC

Year of Call: 1988

Year of Silk: 2014

Sonali Naik QC

Year of Call: 1991

Year of Silk: 2018

Amanda Weston QC

Year of Call: 1995

Year of Silk: 2018

Kathryn Cronin

Year of Call: 1980

Stephen Cottle

Year of Call: 1984

Stephen Simblet

Year of Call: 1991

Nicola Braganza

Year of Call: 1992

Liz Davies

Year of Call: 1994

David Jones

Year of Call: 1994

Louise Hooper

Year of Call: 1997

Maya Sikand

Year of Call: 1997

Adrian Berry

Year of Call: 1998

Michelle Brewer

Year of Call: 1999

Ronan Toal

Year of Call: 1999

Felicity Williams

Year of Call: 2000

Tim Baldwin

Year of Call: 2001

Irena Sabic

Year of Call: 2002

Mark Symes

Year of Call: 2004

Joanne Cecil

Year of Call: 2005

Justine Compton

Year of Call: 2005

Sarah Hemingway

Year of Call: 2006

Shu Shin Luh

Year of Call: 2006

Anna Morris

Year of Call: 2006

Greg Ó Ceallaigh

Year of Call: 2006

Anthony Vaughan

Year of Call: 2006

Kirsten Heaven

Year of Call: 2007

Richard Reynolds

Year of Call: 2007

Helen Foot

Year of Call: 2008

Gemma Loughran

Year of Call: 2008

Raza Halim

Year of Call: 2009

Bryony Poynor

Year of Call: 2009

Paul Clark

Year of Call: 2010

Owen Greenhall

Year of Call: 2010

Connor Johnston

Year of Call: 2010

Gráinne Mellon

Year of Call: 2010

Emma Fitzsimons

Year of Call: 2011

Bijan Hoshi

Year of Call: 2011

Tessa Buchanan

Year of Call: 2012

Una Morris

Year of Call: 2012

Susan Wright

Year of Call: 2013

Stephen Clark

Year of Call: 2013

Miranda Butler

Year of Call: 2013

Laura Profumo

Year of Call: 2016

Franck Magennis

Year of Call: 2016

Camila Zapata Besso

Year of Call: 2016

Associate Members

Adrienne Copithorne

Year of Call: 2018

Latest News

Judy Khan QC shortlisted for Crime Silk of the Year and Stephanie Harrison QC shortlisted for Human Rights and Public Law Silk of the Year by Chambers Bar Awards 2019

Winners of the awards will be announced at a ceremony on 31 October 2019 at the Hilton on Park Lane.

6 September 2019

Judicial review challenges refusal of discretionary leave to remain to a victim of trafficking

Maha Sardar of Garden Court represented the applicant in the Upper Tribunal where permission was granted to judicially review the Home Office decision. She was instructed by Duncan Lewis.

2 August 2019

Garden Court Chambers welcomes new tenant Camila Zapata Besso

We are delighted to announce that Camila Zapata Besso has joined Garden Court Chambers as a tenant.

1 August 2019

Joanne Cecil wins Legal Aid Barrister of the Year and Una Morris wins Legal Aid Newcomer of the Year at 2019 LALY Awards

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to announce that two of our barristers won awards at the seventeenth annual Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards.

11 July 2019

Essex County Council admits unlawful practice in turning away homeless children from care

D was represented by Shu Shin Luh and Tessa Buchanan of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Kelly Everett of Coram Children's Legal Centre.

2 July 2019

Home Office concedes that 45-day trafficking support policy is unlawful

Miranda Butler of Garden Court acted for NN and LP, instructed by Duncan Lewis.

1 July 2019

High Court declares Home Secretary’s investigation into immigration detention abuse at Brook House inadequate

Stephanie Harrison QC of Garden Court Chambers represented MA instructed by Lewis Kett and Nicholas Hughes of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

14 June 2019

Landmark Supreme Court ruling on criteria for affordability of accommodation and intentional homelessness

Shu Shin Luh and Connor Johnston of Garden Court were instructed on behalf of the interveners Shelter and the Child Poverty Action Group.

12 June 2019

Leslie Thomas QC appointed as Board member by Bar Standards Board

We are delighted to announce that Leslie Thomas QC, Chair and Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, has been appointed as a new Board member by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

23 May 2019

Home Office publishes additional guidance on how to access Schedule 10 accommodation

MSM was represented by Anthony Vaughan and Connor Johnston of Garden Court Chambers.

9 May 2019

Challenge to Home Office policy concerning victims of trafficking: Interim relief and permission to bring judicial review

Miranda Butler of Garden Court, Chris Buttler and Zoe McCallum, both of Matrix Chambers, were instructed by Duncan Lewis to act for the claimants.

18 April 2019

Court granted injunction today for man facing deportation from UK to DRC

Alex Grigg of the Garden Court Immigration and Public Law Teams was instructed on behalf of Habib Bazaboko by Cyrielle Vallet Simond and Toufique Hossain of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

12 April 2019

Court of Appeal overturns draconian injunctions preventing protests against INEOS fracking activities

Stephanie Harrison QC and Stephen Simblet represented Joe Corré. Henry Blaxland QC & Stephen Clark represented Friends of the Earth.

3 April 2019

Former First Minister of Wales acted unlawfully in setting up inquiry into Carl Sargeant’s death, High Court rules

Mrs Sargeant is represented by Leslie Thomas QC instructed by Neil Hudgell of Hudgell Solicitors.

27 March 2019

Environmental campaigners in court to protect right to free speech threat from oil and gas injunctions

Stephanie Harrison QC is representing Joe Corré, one of the named defendants.

5 March 2019

Home Office concedes that they unlawfully detained a potential victim of trafficking for almost six months in immigration detention day before trial in High Court

The Claimant was represented by Stephanie Harrison QC, Louise Hooper and Emma Fitzsimons of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Shalini Patel at Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

13 February 2019

Oil and gas companies' use of injunctions "a threat to our civil liberties"

Parliamentarians, lawyers and campaigners joined forces on 16 January to warn about the growing threat to civil liberties from injunctions against campaigners who protest against fracking, oil and gas companies.

17 January 2019

Sonali Naik QC announced BSN Lawyer of the Year at UK Diversity Legal Awards 2018

Sonali became a QC in 2018 and is the newly appointed Chair of Liberty.

22 November 2018

High Court strikes down Home Office decision to cut support for victims of trafficking and modern slavery

Shu Shin Luh of Garden Court Chambers represented K, the lead Claimant, led by Nathalie Lieven QC of Blackstone Chambers and instructed by Nusrat Uddin of Wilsons Solicitors LLP.

8 November 2018

High Court rules that Mineral Planning Authorities are not bound by statutory definition of fracking and can apply their own wider definitions

Marc Willers QC represented Councillor Paul Andrews, Mayor of Malton, North Yorkshire. He led his colleague Tim Baldwin, and was instructed by Ricardo Gama of Town Legal LLP.

6 November 2018

Garden Court Chambers ranked in Band 1 in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019

We are delighted to have once again been ranked in Band 1 by Chambers and Partners in the Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019.

5 November 2018

Subsistence cuts for Victims of Trafficking

Shu Shin Luh is instructed by Nusrat Uddin of Wilsons Solicitors, and led by Nathalie Lieven QC of Blackstone Chambers.

29 October 2018

Subsistence payments restored for victim of trafficking following High Court ruling against Home Office application to discharge order for interim relief

Shu Shin Luh represented the claimant (M) instructed by Nusrat Uddin of Wilson Solicitors LLP.

18 October 2018

Home Office in major U-turn agrees to Article 3-compliant investigation by Prisons & Probation Ombudsman into abuse at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre

Stephanie Harrison QC of Garden Court Chambers represented one of the abuse victims (MA).

11 October 2018

Court of Appeal - detention of asylum seekers unlawful under Article 28 Dublin III

In a majority decision, the Court of Appeal (Etherton and Peter Jackson LLJ; Sales LJ dissenting) delivered a significant judgment affecting the lawfulness of detention of asylum seekers subject to the Dublin III Regulation.

8 October 2018

CAN Europe is intervening in the People’s Climate Case

Marc Willers QC of the Garden Court Chambers Environmental and Planning Law Team is the leading barrister representing CAN Europe. Garden Court's Richard Reynolds, Paul Clark and Julia Lowis worked with Marc on the application to intervene. 

20 September 2018

Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal to hear new arguments in Barbudans’ legal action against “unlawful” development of international airport

Leslie Thomas QC, Marc Willers QC, Thalia Maragh and Tihomir Mak are instructed in this case. 

11 September 2018

Garden Court Chambers welcomes Julia Lowis to the Civil Liberties, Public Law and Immigration Teams

We are thrilled to announce that Julia Lowis has joined the Civil Liberties, Public Law and Immigration Teams at Garden Court Chambers.

28 August 2018

The Mayor of Malton takes legal action against planned government changes to how fracking applications are handled

Marc Willers QC has been instructed to represent Paul Andrews, the Mayor of Malton in North Yorkshire, in the legal challenge.

23 August 2018

High Court ruled that Home Office unlawfully detained potential victim of trafficking and breached Article 4 ECHR in failing to protect him

Louise Hooper of Garden Court’s Public Law Team appeared for the successful claimant.  She was instructed by Monika Glowacka and Sulaiha Ali of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

6 August 2018

Barbudans take legal action against Government of Antigua and Barbuda for unlawful development of an international airport

Legal action seeks injunction to immediately halt development; reveals government continued construction despite knowledge of major ecological, archaeological risks and damage to island

2 August 2018

Bail accommodation failures led to unlawful detention of man despite grant of bail in principle

The claimant, Mr Diop, was represented in the High Court by Anthony Vaughan of Garden Court Chambers.

26 July 2018

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