Administrative and Public Law

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

"Always quick to reply, happy to help and very efficient. I have never experienced a problem and if I cannot instruct my preferred barrister they are good at suggesting a suitable alternative."

Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide

"The clerks are extremely professional - one of the few chambers who will come back to you even if they cannot find counsel to assist. They are very obliging and efficient with the work that we request from them."

Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide

"The set's well-known expertise in areas such as immigration and civil liberties is grounded in a firm command of public law principles and judicial review. Its capability in this area is strongly geared towards safeguarding the rights of vulnerable groups and individuals, in challenging policies of the Home Office and other government departments."

Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide

"In recent months barristers from this set have appeared in numerous high-profile cases on immigration detention, including a successful challenge to the adequacy of a proposed investigation into conditions at Brook House. They also possess notable experience covering policy on human trafficking, mental health and criminal justice."

Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide

To contact the Public Law Clerks, please email publiclawclerks@gclaw.co.uk or phone 

+44 (0)20 7993 7600

C&P 2022 Top Ranked
Legal 500 2022: Top Tier Set
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. We are ranked in the Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide for Public Law.

Recent notable cases and news

Queen’s Speech heralds further attacks on our fundamental rights and freedoms

10 May 2022

Stephanie Harrison QC, Chair and Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, comments on the Nationality and Borders Bill receiving Royal Assent

29 April 2022

High Court grants six mandatory orders against local authority for “serious and substantial” breaches of duty to vulnerable 15-year-old child

Gráinne Mellon, of the Garden Court Chambers Public Law team, acted for the child, on behalf of her litigation friend. She was instructed by Serena Fasso, Public Law solicitor at Simpson Millar.

1 April 2022

Court of Appeal rules unlawfully removed child entitled to damages

Our Sonali Naik QC and Greg Ó Ceallaigh of Garden Court Chambers represented the Appellant, instructed by Hannah Baynes of Duncan Lewis.

1 April 2022

Victims of trafficking secure recognition of their trafficking status, revocation of deportation orders and granted leave to remain

Sonali Naik QC, Louise Hooper and Emma Fitzsimons of the Garden Court Public Law Team acted for the Claimants, instructed by Maria Thomas at Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

10 February 2022

Pandemic problems and discrimination—student finance challenge succeeds (R (Naeem) v Secretary of State for Education)

Co-authored by Gráinne Mellon and Rehab Jaffer, both of Garden Court Chambers. This article was first published by Lexis®PSL on 26 January 2022.

31 January 2022

Do Right and Fear No One - Autobiography by Leslie Thomas QC available to pre-order

An unforgettable account of some of the most significant, controversial & disturbing legal cases of the last 50 years. Do Right and Fear No One presents a blistering argument for a level playing field in the pursuit of justice.

31 January 2022

Helen Foot, Emma Fenn and Gráinne Mellon appointed as Recorders

We are delighted to announce that Helen Foot (Call: 2008), Emma Fenn (Call: 2010) and Gráinne Mellon (Call: 2010) of Garden Court Chambers have been newly appointed as Recorders by the Queen.

26 January 2022

Suspension of DLA after 28 days in hospital did not violate Article 14 ECHR, in case of an adult patient with severe learning disabilities

The Appellant was represented by Amanda Weston QC, Desmond Rutledge and Ollie Persey of Garden Court Chambers instructed by Merseyside Law Centre (Samantha Maher, Trainee Solicitor).

13 January 2022

High Court rules that student finance regulations discriminated against students who were unable to prove their immigration status in time due to pandemic delays

JN was represented by Amanda Weston QC and Gráinne Mellon of the Garden Court Public Law Team. They were instructed by Keith Lomax, solicitor, of Watkins Solicitors on behalf of the Claimant.

7 January 2022

Nicola Braganza, Mark Gatley and Liz Davies of Garden Court Chambers to be appointed Queen’s Counsel

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to announce that Nicola Braganza, Mark Gatley and Liz Davies of Garden Court Chambers will be formally appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2022.

22 December 2021

High Court rules that refusal of British citizenship to Windrush Claimants is in breach of human rights

Grace Brown of Garden Court Chambers represented the Claimants with Chris Buttler QC & Eleanor Mitchell of Matrix Chambers, instructed by Toufique Hossain, Jeremy Bloom and Nina Kamp of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

16 December 2021

Grace Brown wins BSN Lawyer of the Year at UK Diversity Legal Awards 2021

We are delighted to announce Grace Brown is the BSN Lawyer of the Year, in the Chambers category, at the UK Diversity Legal Awards 2021

2 December 2021

High Court quashes negative Conclusive Grounds decision unlawfully rejecting a trafficking victim’s claim

Emma Fitzsimons of the Garden Court Chambers Public Law Team acted for the Claimant, instructed by Shalini Patel of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

11 November 2021

Gráinne Mellon highly commended at Bar Pro Bono Awards 2021 in the 'Junior Pro Bono Barrister of the Year' category

We are delighted to announce Gráinne Mellon of Garden Court Chambers was highly commended in the 'Junior Pro Bono Barrister of the Year' category at the Bar Pro Bono Awards 2021

3 November 2021

Garden Court Chambers welcomes Jodie Blackstock as a new tenant

Jodie was Legal Director of JUSTICE for five years before joining Garden Court Chambers, with a further seven years in criminal justice and EU justice roles. She was called to the Bar of England & Wales in 2003.

1 November 2021

Gráinne Mellon shortlisted for International Bar Association's Pro Bono Award 2021

We are delighted to announce Gráinne Mellon of Garden Court Chambers has been shortlisted for the International Bar Association's Pro Bono Award 2021 for her incredible work helping vulnerable EU children and families apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

28 October 2021

Garden Court Chambers welcomes Eva Doerr as a new tenant

Eva specialises in all areas of public and human rights law, with a focus on immigration and asylum law and challenges based on the Equality Act.

22 October 2021

Garden Court secures number one rankings in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2022

21 October 2021

Supreme Court reaffirms, in the bail context, the constitutional principle that judicial orders must be obeyed unless and until set aside

Representing the Appellant, Amanda Weston QC led Gordon Lee, both of Garden Court Chambers.

20 October 2021

Home Office work policy for asylum seekers breaches s55 of the BCIA 2009

Sonali Naik QC, Ali Bandegani and Ubah Dirie, all of the Garden Court Chambers Public Law Team, instructed by Syed Naqvi of ITN Solicitors acted for R.

4 October 2021

Asylum appeals determined under ultra vires Detained Fast Track Procedure Rules are not automatically unfair - unfairness on individual facts of the case is required

TN was represented in the Supreme Court by David Pannick QC, Stephanie Harrison QC & Anthony Vaughan and before that by Stephanie Harrison QC & Louise Hooper in the High Court & Court of Appeal.

24 September 2021

Amanda Weston QC Shortlisted for Human Rights and Public Law Silk of the Year by Chambers Bar Awards 2021

We are delighted to announce that Amanda Weston QC of Garden Court Chambers has been shortlisted for Human Rights and Public Law Silk of the Year by the Chambers & Partners Bar Awards 2021.

27 August 2021

Court of Appeal to determine if obtaining interim relief in Judicial Review proceedings amounts to success for costs purposes

Raza Halim of the Garden Court Chambers Public Law Team represented the Claimant, led by Tim Buley QC of Landmark Chambers. They were instructed by Ahmed Aydeed, Darren Middleton and Anna Somo of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

21 July 2021

Home Office settles case challenging adequacy of accommodation provided to Asylum Seeker that posed risks to their children

The Claimant is represented by Tim Baldwin instructed by Scott Laing of Bhatia Best solicitors.

7 July 2021

High Court orders expedited “rolled up” hearing for failure of Home Office to disperse vulnerable Asylum seeker to accommodation in Bristol

The Claimant is represented by Tim Baldwin of the Garden Court Chambers Community Care Team and the Garden Court Chambers Public Law Team. Tim is instructed by Scott Laing of Bhatia Best solicitors.

24 May 2021

Gypsy and Traveller injunctions against 'newcomers’ ruled unlawful

Marc Willers QC, Tessa Buchanan, and Owen Greenhall, of the Garden Court Chambers Romani Gypsy and Traveller Rights Team, acted for the three Interveners, instructed by Chris Johnson of the Community Law Partnership.

12 May 2021

High Court finds colossal interference in Windrush rights by Home Office

Ali Bandegani of the Garden Court Chambers Public Law Team, led by Chris Buttler QC at Matrix Chambers, represented the Claimants. They were instructed by Toufique Hossain, Jeremy Bloom, Jonah Mendelsohn and Nina Kamp of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

6 May 2021

Garden Court Chambers Public Law team Respond to Ministry of Justice's proposals for reform of judicial review

4 May 2021

High Court challenge to denial of benefit increases for nearly 2m people with disabilities

Desmond Rutledge of Garden Court Chambers instructed by William Ford of Osbornes Law.

29 April 2021

High Court Finds Home Office’s Restrictive Approach to Windrush Citizenship Applications Is Irrational

Grace Brown of the Garden Court Chambers Public Law Team represented Mr Howard and his daughter

23 April 2021

Home Office held in breach of Article 2 duty concerning death in immigration detention

Sonali Naik QC, Raza Halim and Stephen Clark of the Garden Court Chambers Public Law Team represented the Applicant. They were instructed by Jamie Bell and Toufique Hossain of Duncan Lewis Public Law Team.

14 April 2021

Past 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.

Our recent news items can be viewed above. Past notable historic cases can be viewed below. 

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

"The set's well-known expertise in areas such as immigration and civil liberties is grounded in a firm command of public law principles and judicial review. Its capability in this area is strongly geared towards safeguarding the rights of vulnerable groups and individuals, in challenging policies of the Home Office and other government departments. "

Chambers UK Bar Guide 

 

publications

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

Stephen Simblet QC

Year of Call: 1991

Year of Silk: 2020

Nicola Braganza QC

Year of Call: 1992

Year of Silk: 2022

Liz Davies QC

Year of Call: 1994

Year of Silk: 2022

Kathryn Cronin

Year of Call: 1980

Bethan Harris

Year of Call: 1990

David Jones

Year of Call: 1994

Grace Brown

Year of Call: 1995

Louise Hooper

Year of Call: 1997

Adrian Berry

Year of Call: 1998

Gordon Lee

Year of Call: 1998

Ronan Toal

Year of Call: 1999

Bojana Asanovic

Year of Call: 2000

Felicity Williams

Year of Call: 2000

Tim Baldwin

Year of Call: 2001

Irena Sabic

Year of Call: 2002

Jodie Blackstock

Year of Call: 2003

Mark Symes

Year of Call: 2004

Joanne Cecil

Year of Call: 2005

Justine Compton

Year of Call: 2005

Sarah Hemingway

Year of Call: 2006

Greg Ó Ceallaigh

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

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

Maria Moodie

Year of Call: 2011

Tessa Buchanan

Year of Call: 2012

Grace Capel

Year of Call: 2012

Una Morris

Year of Call: 2012

David Sellwood

Year of Call: 2012

Michael Etienne

Year of Call: 2012

Stephen Clark

Year of Call: 2013

Nick Bano

Year of Call: 2013

Ubah Dirie

Year of Call: 2014

Matthew Ahluwalia

Year of Call: 2015

Laura Profumo

Year of Call: 2016

Franck Magennis

Year of Call: 2016

Zehrah Hasan

Year of Call: 2016

Luke McLean

Year of Call: 2017

Ollie Persey

Year of Call: 2017

Steven Galliver-Andrew

Year of Call: 2018

Ella Gunn

Year of Call: 2018

Eva Doerr

Year of Call: 2019

Fatima Jichi

Year of Call: 2019

Associate Members

Anna Morris

Year of Call: 2006

Adrienne Copithorne

Year of Call: 2018

Latest tweets from Garden Court Chambers

Follow us on Twitter

Tweets by Garden Court Chambers

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

+ View more awards