Civil Liberties and Human Rights

"Garden Court Chambers boasts an impressive selection of silks and juniors offering broad-ranging expertise in the field of civil liberties and human rights."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

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

Garden Court is recognised as one of the leading chambers in the UK specialising in civil liberties and human rights. We are highly ranked in both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners for our expertise in this area of law and we have a large number of individual barrister rankings, including Band 1 rankings.

Over 40 years ago, Garden Court Chambers was founded on a commitment to hold state agents to account and promote fundamental human rights and freedoms. These principles are reflected throughout our work and embodied in our motto, ‘Do right, fear no-one’.

the work we do

We have a proud history of winning contested cases on behalf of claimants in domestic, pan-European and international courts. Our cases have advanced the law and we have overturned great injustices in landmark, often controversial decisions, including the Hillsborough inquests, the suspension of the Detained Fast Track for asylum-seekers and the Supreme Court case on anonymity for detained mental health patients.

We are instructed on high profile cases such as the Grenfell Inquiry, the Undercover Policing Inquiry and the Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry.

Working with our public law barristers, we also bring related judicial review challenges to individual decisions made by public bodies as well as wider public law and human rights challenges to published policy.

Garden Court Chambers won the Human Rights and Public Law Set of the Year Award at the Chambers Bar Awards 2016. Our team includes those who have been shortlisted and won awards such as the Liberty Human Rights Award and the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards.

 

our expertise

Garden Court’s strength lies in our inter-disciplinary expertise. As the largest chambers in London with over 180 barristers, we can offer an unrivalled breadth and depth of related expertise from our core civil liberties practice areas: claims against the police and public authorities, inquests and inquiries, prison law and immigration detention civil claims.

 

our commitment to civil liberties and human rights

Our civil liberties and human rights barristers have long worked with campaigning and other organisations such as INQUEST, Liberty, JUSTICE, Just for Kids Law, and the British Institute of Human Rights. A number of barristers are approved counsel for the Equality and Human Rights Commission. 

In addition, every member of chambers contributes to a ‘Special Fund’, which provides financial support for smaller organisations to carry out legal, campaigning or charitable work in defence of civil liberties, human rights and social justice.

 

The Team

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Latest News

Police officers found guilty of gross misconduct for failing to protect victim of domestic homicide

Rajeev Thacker was instructed by Sophie Naftalin of Bhatt Murphy to represent the family of Linah Keza.

13 March 2019

High Court quashes conclusion in Carl Bibby inquest following successful challenge by family

Ifeanyi Odogwu was instructed by Leanne Devine of Broudie Jackson Canter for the family.

13 March 2019

Fresh inquest concludes finding actions of Metropolitan Police contributed to the 1997 death of Onese Power

Sean Horstead of Garden Court was instructed by Daniel Machover of Hickman and Rose solicitors for the family. The family are also represented by INQUEST.

13 March 2019

The Birmingham Pub Bombings Inquest into the deaths of 21 victims resumes this week

Leslie Thomas QC and Tom Stoate are representing families of victims of the Birmingham Pub Bombings 1974 in the resumed inquests into the deaths of their loved ones. They are instructed by KRW Law LLP along with Kevin Morgan and Malachy McGowan of the Bar

1 March 2019

Inquest jury find that neglect contributed to death of a prisoner in privately run HMP Peterborough

Sean McCann’s family were represented by Stephen Simblet of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Cormac McDonough of Hodge Jones and Allen solicitors.

14 February 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

The 'Stansted 15' have today been kept out of prison following their conviction last year for Endangering Safety at an Aerodrome

Nine of the Defendants were represented by members of the Garden Court Crime Team – Dexter Dias QC, Tom Wainwright, Owen Greenhall, Terry Munyard, Susan Wright, Abigail Bache and Jacob Bindman, all instructed by Raj Chada of Hodge, Jones and Allen.

6 February 2019

The Guildford Pub Bombings 1974: decision to resume the inquest

Brenda Campbell QC of Garden Court Chambers instructed by Christopher Stanley of KRW LAW LLP represent the family of Ann Hamilton, one of the victims of the Guildford Pub Bombings 1974, and they also represent Yvonne Tagg, a survivor of the bombings.

31 January 2019

Tom Stoate appointed as Assistant Coroner for Luton and Bedfordshire

We are delighted to announce that Tom Stoate has been appointed Assistant Coroner for Luton and Bedfordshire.

30 January 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

Adjourned inquest into death of Michael Hoolickin resumes on 9 January

Garden Court's Anna Morris, instructed by Kelly Darlington of Farleys Solicitors LLP, is representing the family.

8 January 2019

Claimant awarded damages by jury for his false imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution by the Metropolitan Police

Sarah Hemingway represented Mr O'Connor and was instructed by Elaine MacDonald of Tuckers Solicitors.

29 November 2018

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

Ballymurphy killings inquest opens in Belfast

Brenda Campbell QC is representing the families of Father Hugh Mullan and Francis Quinn.

14 November 2018

Inquest concludes into self-inflicted death of Ellie Brabant in mental health unit run by Southern Health

Ellie Brabant's family were represented by Sarah Hemingway of the Garden Court Chambers Civil Liberties Team.

13 November 2018

High Court issues guidance on use of case management information in criminal trials

Owen Greenhall acted for the successful appellant KM. He was instructed by Mark Ashford of TV Edwards Solicitors LLP.

12 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

Inquest jury concludes that multiple failures by NHS Trust contributed to death of detained psychiatric patient

Tom Stoate represented the family, instructed by Clair Hilder of Deighton Pierce Glynn Solicitors.

30 October 2018

Murder of Birmingham woman Jacqueline Oakes: Inquest concludes unlawful killing

Kirsten Heaven represented Jacqueline's family at the inquest, instructed by Andrew Petherbridge of Hudgell Solicitors.

12 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

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

'Licensed to Kill' - Granada Reports exclusive on those killed by offenders under the supervision of the probation service

Una Morris instructed by Kelly Darlington at Farleys LLP to act for Michael Hoolickin and Matthew McKenzie's families.

10 September 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

Inquest concludes death of Leon Evans contributed to by failings of community mental health services

The family of Leon Evans were represented at the inquest by Taimour Lay of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests & Inquiries Team.

20 July 2018

Medical examination failures led to torture victim’s unlawful detention by Home Secretary

KG was represented by Anthony Vaughan and Miranda Butler instructed by Ahmed Aydeed of Duncan Lewis.

13 July 2018

A woman's fundamental right to choose: the Supreme Court's decision on abortion in Northern Ireland

Miranda Butler is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Civil Liberties and Human Rights Team.

13 July 2018

Home Office admits it unlawfully detained and separated a father from his daughter, who remained in care and at imminent risk of adoption

The father and daughter are represented by Stephanie Harrison QC and Shu Shin Luh of Garden Court Chambers.

11 July 2018

Three men win malicious prosecution claim against police over Daniel Morgan murder

Stephen Simblet was instructed by Guile Nicholas Solicitors to represent Garry Vian.

5 July 2018

Six environmental campaigners appear in High Court this week to challenge broad injunction sought by UK Oil and Gas (UKOG)

Garden Court's Stephanie Harrison QC, Tim Baldwin, Stephen Simblet and Owen Greenhall are instructed in the case by Michael Oswald of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors. 

4 July 2018

Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield to go on trial for manslaughter by gross negligence

The trial of Mr Duckenfield is currently listed to start on 10 September.

29 June 2018

High Court rules defence of another a defence to contempt of court

Owen Greenhall of Garden Court Chambers acted for the defendant, instructed by Ben Manovitch of Lloyds PR Solicitors. 

22 June 2018

Independent Panel finds that more than 450 patients died as a result of dangerous and inappropriate prescribing practices at Gosport War Memorial Hospital

In 2013 James Mehigan of Garden Court Chambers’ Inquests Team represented the daughter of Gladys Richards at the inquest .

20 June 2018

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