Garden Court Chambers is the only top-ranked set for immigration law in Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500, where our barristers are also highly ranked for their expertise in civil liberties and human rights.
When our clients are unlawfully detained, we are committed to securing their release. We have a reputation for obtaining substantial compensation in the most difficult cases and for being at the cutting edge of immigration detention law.
We work with NGOs and charities on test cases, policy work, campaigns and events. These include the Immigration Law Practitioners Association, the Anti Trafficking Legal Project,, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Bail for Immigration Detainees, UNHCR UK, All Party Parliamentary Group on Visas & Immigration, Amnesty International, Equality & Human Rights Commission, Medical Justice, Young Roots, the Helen Bamber Foundation. Liberty and the Trafficking Law and Policy Forum.
Our team draws on its considerable expertise across immigration, civil actions against public authorities and public law. We have significant experience of pursuing civil damages claims on behalf of individuals held in immigration detention. This includes claims for false imprisonment, breaches of their human rights and other actions related to their treatment in detention.
We work closely with non-governmental organisations and solicitors to bring litigation strategically and on an individual basis to call to account the way immigration detention powers are exercised. Since aspects of the detention estate have been outsourced to different statutory agencies, we have inevitably built up expertise in bringing damages claims against multiple defendants.
Our barristers are committed to achieving an outcome in the best interests of clients whether it be through the courts or via formal and informal means of mediation and alternative dispute resolution.
Given some of the very real difficulties in obtaining public funding, we do our best to provide flexible fee arrangements, including Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs) where appropriate.
Garden Court Chambers won Human Rights and Public Law Set of the Year at the Chambers and Partners UK Bar Awards 2016.
We have been at the forefront of many leading cases over the past two decades, making significant contributions to establishing limits to the lawful use of immigration detention in respect of vulnerable people: victims of torture and serious ill-treatment; those who suffer from mental impairment or ill-health; children; pregnant women; victims of trafficking and modern slavery, as well as those who have suffered gender-based violence.
Supreme Court rules against Home Office on SIAC powers to impose bail conditions
Represented the respondent, B, in his challenge against the Home Office/Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC). In a major ruling on powers to restrict the liberty and freedoms of those who cannot lawfully be detained, the Supreme Court rejected the Home Secretary’s argument that strict conditions of bail under Schedule 2 of the Immigration Act 1971 could be imposed indefinitely.
Supreme Court rules ‘deport first, appeal later’ system unlawful
Represented the intervener, Bail for Immigration Detainees, in a successful landmark appeal against the Home Office ‘deport first, appeal later’ power. See coverage in The Guardian.
High Court rules government redefinition of torture in immigration detention policy is unlawful
Represented the charity, Medical Justice, and two victims of gender-based violence who were detained in immigration detention. This test case challenged the adoption by the Home Secretary of a more restrictive definition of torture in breach of Articles 3 and 5 ECHR. The High Court found the Home Office policy to be unlawful. The judge ruled that hundreds of victims of torture have been wrongly locked up in immigration detention centres. See coverage in The Guardian.
R (on the application of BA (Eritrea)) v SSHD : R (on the application of ST (Sri Lanka)) v SSHD (2016) EWCA Civ 458
The Court of Appeal provided guidance on the correct approach to evaluating the circumstances in which a doctor’s report under the Home Office’s Enforcement Instructions and Guidance Chapter 55 rule 35 could amount to independent evidence of torture for the purposes of deciding whether a failed asylum seeker should be detained pending deportation.
ZSS v SSHD  EWCA Civ 1137
Guideline case arising from two linked appeals on the correct construction of the Home Office’s policy on detaining children whose age are disputed. In dismissing the Home Office’s appeal, the Court of Appeal upheld the findings of the trial judge that the Home Office policy required the Secretary of State to make necessary inquiries into the reasons for the conclusion of a local authority age assessment and to satisfy herself that it is a lawful assessment of age before she is entitled to treat the putative child as an adult.
Das v SSHD  EWCA Civ 45;  1 WLR 3538
The Court of Appeal held that the threshold for the Home Office’s Enforcement Instructions and Guidance Chapter 55 for detaining those with a serious mental illness does not require the individual’s mental health to be so serious that it requires in-patient hospitalisation. In overturning the High Court’s decision, the Court of Appeal held that such a threshold, as held by the court below, was contrary to the humane objects and purpose of the policy.