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

"A highly experienced claimant set, Garden Court Chambers regularly handles complex and high-profile human rights disputes, typically against public bodies. Members at the set have expertise across prison law, protest law, immigration detention and inquiries."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

"The clerks always get back to you very quickly, they're always happy to help"

Chambers UK Bar Guide

"Recently appeared in INEOS v Persons Unknown [2019], wherein the Court of Appeal overturned sweeping injunctions preventing protests against fracking activities."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

To contact the Civil Liberties Clerks, please email civillibertiesclerks@gclaw.co.uk or phone

+44 (0)20 7993 7600

Legal 500 2022: Top Tier Set
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’.

Garden Court Chambers were shortlisted for the Civil Liberties and Human Rights Set of the Year Award 2020 by the Legal 500.

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.

 

Recent notable cases and news

Franck Magennis receives compensation and apology from Metropolitan Police following unlawful arrest

The Metropolitan Police has issued a formal apology and paid £3,000 to Franck Magennis, barrister at Garden Court Chambers and former Legal Officer of trade union United Voices of the World (UVW), following his unlawful arrest in 2020.

26 July 2022

Presentations to the Grenfell Inquiry on behalf of bereaved families

Presentations by Allison Munroe QC of the Garden Court Chambers on behalf of bereaved families she represents.

22 July 2022

Garden Court Chambers shortlisted in four categories at The Legal 500 Bar Awards

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to have been shortlisted for Public Law Set of the Year. Amanda Meusz, Colin Yeo and Ollie Persey are shortlisted for Junior of the Year Awards.

6 July 2022

"The Gypsy and Traveller way of life is being legislated out of existence" - Legal opinion commissioned by Good Law Project

30 June 2022

“Racism & discrimination played a very real part in the response to this tragedy" - Grenfell Inquiry closing statement

Alison Munroe QC and Thalia Maragh of Garden Court Chambers.

27 June 2022

Garden Court Barristers secure injunctions from the Court of Appeal for last few asylum seekers on Rwanda Flight

The Garden Court team who secured consisted of Sonali Naik QC, Adrian Berry, Grace Brown, Mark Symes, Alex Grigg, Maha Sardar, Ella Gunn, Eva Doer, and Stephen Clark.

15 June 2022

Amanda Weston QC successfully defends in Court of Appeal a declaration that leaving vulnerable man in protracted immigration ‘limbo’ breached Article 8 ECHR

AM was represented by Amanda Weston QC of Garden Court Chambers, leading Mikhil Karnik of Garden Court North Chambers, Manchester and Karen Halliwell of Paragon Law, Nottingham.

14 June 2022

Coroner concludes death of Blessing Olusegun was accidental with no way of ruling out third-party involvement

25 May 2022

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

OUT TODAY - Leslie Thomas QC's autobiography 'Do Right and Fear No One' hits shelves

Inspired from a young age to help the marginalised and voiceless, Leslie Thomas QC has dedicated his career to fighting for the underdog and holding the State to account.

14 April 2022

Inquest finds care home provider's actions caused vulnerable resident’s death after tragic fire in supported living accommodation

Patrick Roche, of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests & Inquiries Team, represented the family of Ashlie Timms, instructed by Aston Luff of Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors.

12 April 2022

High Court discharges injunctions in INEOS protestor cases

Stephen Simblet QC, of the Garden Court Chambers Civil Liberties and Protest Teams, represented Joe Corré in the most recent proceedings.

25 March 2022

Garden Court Chambers submits response to Government’s consultation ‘Human Rights Act Reform: A British Bill of Rights’

Garden Court Chambers has been at the forefront of human rights issues arising in litigation for the past 40 years. We reject the Consultation Paper’s premise of over-reliance upon Strasbourg authority by domestic courts in relation to rights-based claim

17 March 2022

Bristol ‘Kill the Bill’ protester acquitted of riot

Russell Fraser, of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Team, represented JY instructed by Freya Colvin of Hodge Jones and Allen.

8 February 2022

High Court dismisses contempt of court against Insulate Britain activists

Owen Greenhall, joint-convenor of the Garden Court Protest Rights Team, represented three defendants in these committal proceedings.

4 February 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

Tom Wainwright secures acquittal for Black Lives Matter protestor after prosecution drop charge of violent disorder

Tom Wainwright, of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Team, was instructed by Alexandra Riddington of Traymans Solicitors.

17 January 2022

XR protestors cleared by jury in DLR trial

Owen Greenhall joint-convenor of the Garden Court Protest Rights Team represented all three of the defendants. He was instructed by Mike Schwarz at Hodge Jones and Allen. Tom Wainwright acted for a fourth defendant whose case was discontinued.

14 January 2022

Family wins High Court challenge following inquest into prison death where jury were not properly directed as to their conclusions

Stephen Simblet QC and Sarah Hemingway, of the Garden Court Chambers Inquest Team, were instructed by Bhaskar Banerjee of GT Stewart solicitors.

14 January 2022

Colston statue topplers acquitted

Tom Wainwright of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Team represented Milo Ponsford, the first of four defendants charged with criminal damage for toppling the statue of Edward Colston, the notorious 17th century slave trader.

5 January 2022

Kirsten Heaven appointed Assistant Coroner for Swansea Neath and Port Talbot

5 January 2022

Stephen Simblet QC interviewed on Times Radio about autistic man detained under the Mental Health Act for four years

Stephen Simblet QC, of the Garden Court Chambers Mental Health Law and Civil Liberties Teams, spoke to Times Radio about a young autistic man detained under the Mental Health Act for over four years.

5 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

Fresh Inquest Into the Death of Jessie Earl

Stephen Kamlish QC and Christopher Williams of Garden Court Chambers represented the family of Jessie Earl in the Divisional Court on 14 December 2021.

17 December 2021

Lamont Roper: Family of Black student who drowned in canal following police pursuit demand answers after inquest

Allison Munroe QC, of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests and Inquiries Team, represents Lamont’s family instructed by Eva Luna Roszykiewicz of Bhatt Murphy solicitors.

2 December 2021

Tom Wainwright successfully appeals conviction of HS2 protestor for protecting wildlife

Tom Wainwright, of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Team, represented the appellant. Tom was instructed by Simon Natas and Anna Renou of ITN Solicitors.

17 November 2021

Court of Appeal hearing for climate campaigner battling development of Surrey oil wells

Sarah Finch, a climate campaigner fighting to prevent the drilling of new oil wells at Horse Hill in Surrey, has a hearing at the Court of Appeal. Sarah is represented by Marc Willers QC of the Garden Court Chambers Environmental Law Team.

15 November 2021

Greek authorities urged to review the criminal case against search and rescue volunteer

The criminal case against search and rescue volunteer Seán Binder, brought by the Greek authorities, breaches international human rights law, according to a legal opinion by Gráinne Mellon, of the Garden Court Chambers International Human Rights Team.

15 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

The Team

Stephanie Harrison QC

Year of Call: 1991

Year of Silk: 2013

Henry Blaxland QC

Year of Call: 1978

Year of Silk: 2002

Dexter Dias QC

Year of Call: 1988

Year of Silk: 2009

Rajiv Menon QC

Year of Call: 1993

Year of Silk: 2011

Peter Wilcock QC

Year of Call: 1988

Year of Silk: 2012

Marc Willers QC

Year of Call: 1987

Year of Silk: 2014

Leslie Thomas QC

Year of Call: 1988

Year of Silk: 2014

Amanda Weston QC

Year of Call: 1995

Year of Silk: 2018

Brenda Campbell QC

Year of Call: 2002

Year of Silk: 2018

Stephen Simblet QC

Year of Call: 1991

Year of Silk: 2020

Allison Munroe QC

Year of Call: 1992

Year of Silk: 2020

Nicola Braganza QC

Year of Call: 1992

Year of Silk: 2022

Patrick Roche

Year of Call: 1977

Christopher Williams

Year of Call: 1988

Helen Curtis

Year of Call: 1992

Rajeev Thacker

Year of Call: 1993

Jacqueline Vallejo

Year of Call: 1997

Nick Wrack

Year of Call: 1997

Emma Favata

Year of Call: 1999

Marina Sergides

Year of Call: 2000

Felicity Williams

Year of Call: 2000

Kate Aubrey-Johnson

Year of Call: 2001

Tim Baldwin

Year of Call: 2001

Irena Sabic

Year of Call: 2002

Abigail Smith

Year of Call: 2003

Jodie Blackstock

Year of Call: 2003

Joanne Cecil

Year of Call: 2005

Sarah Hemingway

Year of Call: 2006

Greg Ó Ceallaigh

Year of Call: 2006

Alex Grigg

Year of Call: 2007

Kirsten Heaven

Year of Call: 2007

Richard Reynolds

Year of Call: 2007

Thalia Maragh

Year of Call: 2009

Jacob Bindman

Year of Call: 2010

Paul Clark

Year of Call: 2010

Owen Greenhall

Year of Call: 2010

Gráinne Mellon

Year of Call: 2010

Taimour Lay

Year of Call: 2011

Una Morris

Year of Call: 2012

Michael Etienne

Year of Call: 2012

Stephen Clark

Year of Call: 2013

Audrey Cherryl Mogan

Year of Call: 2014

Tihomir Mak

Year of Call: 2016

Franck Magennis

Year of Call: 2016

Danielle Manson

Year of Call: 2016

Zehrah Hasan

Year of Call: 2016

Luke McLean

Year of Call: 2017

Rachel Schon

Year of Call: 2018

Rehab Jaffer

Year of Call: 2019

Eva Doerr

Year of Call: 2019

Fatima Jichi

Year of Call: 2019

Alex Schymyck

Year of Call: 2020

Isaac Ricca-Richardson

Year of Call: 2020

Associate Members

Mark George QC

Year of Call: 1976

Year of Silk: 2009

Anna Morris

Year of Call: 2006

James Mehigan

Year of Call: 2008

Terry McGuinness

Year of Call: 2009

Dr Peter Dunne

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