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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

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Legal 500 Top Tier Set 2021
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.

 

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

Ali Bajwa QC

Year of Call: 1993

Year of Silk: 2011

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

Patrick Roche

Year of Call: 1977

Christopher Williams

Year of Call: 1988

Nicola Braganza

Year of Call: 1992

Helen Curtis

Year of Call: 1992

Rajeev Thacker

Year of Call: 1993

Sean Horstead

Year of Call: 1996

Jacqueline Vallejo

Year of Call: 1997

Nick Wrack

Year of Call: 1997

Emma Favata

Year of Call: 1999

Sam Parham

Year of Call: 2000

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

Joanne Cecil

Year of Call: 2005

Stephen Marsh

Year of Call: 2005

Sarah Hemingway

Year of Call: 2006

Alex Grigg

Year of Call: 2007

Kirsten Heaven

Year of Call: 2007

Richard Reynolds

Year of Call: 2007

Shahida Begum

Year of Call: 2008

James Mehigan

Year of Call: 2008

Thalia Maragh

Year of Call: 2009

Jacob Bindman

Year of Call: 2010

Paul Clark

Year of Call: 2010

Owen Greenhall

Year of Call: 2010

Taimour Lay

Year of Call: 2011

Ifeanyi Odogwu

Year of Call: 2011

Tom Stoate

Year of Call: 2011

Una Morris

Year of Call: 2012

Michael Etienne

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

Tihomir Mak

Year of Call: 2016

Franck Magennis

Year of Call: 2016

Camila Zapata Besso

Year of Call: 2016

Fatima Jichi

Year of Call: 2019

Associate Members

Mark George QC

Year of Call: 1976

Year of Silk: 2009

Anna Morris

Year of Call: 2006

Terry McGuinness

Year of Call: 2009

Dr Peter Dunne

Latest News

European Court of Human Rights is fast-tracking a climate case against 33 European States brought by 6 Portuguese youth

Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) instructing Marc Willers QC, Irena Sabic, Richard Reynolds, Paul Clark and Ella Gunn of Garden Court Chambers.

30 November 2020

Jury concludes serious failures amounting to neglect contributed to death of Kimberley Smith

The family is represented by Tom Stoate of the Garden Court Chambers Inquest Team, instructed by fellow INQUEST Lawyers Group member Elaine Macdonald of Tuckers Solicitors. They are working with INQUEST Caseworker Bola Awogboro.

23 November 2020

ECHR 70th Anniversary - Poem by David Watkinson, former Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers

We are hugely grateful to David Watkinson for continuing the longstanding tradition of writing and delivering poems to mark special occasions at Garden Court Chambers.

11 November 2020

Undercover Policing Inquiry - James Scobie QC opening statement

James Scobie QC of Garden Court Chambers leads Piers Marquis of Doughty Street Chambers, instructed by Paul Heron of Public Interest Law Centre, representing Lois Austin, Richard Chessum, 'Mary', Dave Nellist, Hannah Sell & Youth against Racism in Europe.

6 November 2020

Undercover Policing Inquiry - Rajiv Menon QC opening statement

Rajiv Menon QC is instructed by Richard Parry of Saunders Law & Jane Deighton of Deighton Pierce Glynn.

4 November 2020

Inquest concludes that fatal stabbing of Bathsheba Shepherd could have been prevented

The family was represented by Sarah Hemingway of the Garden Court Chambers Inquest and Inquiries Team, instructed by Claire MacMaster and Aimee Brackfield of Simpson Millar.

5 October 2020

Portuguese young people file ground-breaking climate case with European Court of Human Rights against 33 countries

Global Legal Action Network instructing Marc Willers QC, Irena Sabic, Richard Reynolds, Paul Clark and Ella Gunn of Garden Court Chambers.

3 September 2020

Drill music, gangs and prosecutions – challenging racist stereotypes in the criminal justice system

By Shina Animashaun and Russell Fraser of the Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence Team.

28 August 2020

JUSTICE launches timely report on urgent reform for major inquests and inquiries

The organisation Justice launched their latest much anticipated Working Party publication:‘When things go wrong: the response of the justice system’. The Working Party included a number of retired High Court Judges and leading practitioners in the field a

25 August 2020

Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse - children in the care of Lambeth Council - Closing Statement

Stephen Simblet QC of the Garden Court Civil Liberties Team is representing a survivor of abuse from a Lambeth Children’s Home.

30 July 2020

"We can't breathe" - Oral statement by Professor Leslie Thomas QC to the Grenfell Inquiry on behalf of bereaved, residents and survivors

Submission made by Professor Leslie Thomas QC on behalf of bereaved, residents and survivors represented by Allison Munroe QC & Thalia Maragh of Garden Court Chambers and Birnberg Peirce, Saunders Law, Duncan Lewis, Deighton Pierce Glynn, Russell Cooke an

7 July 2020

Grenfell Tower Inquiry - Written submission on behalf of bereaved, residents and survivors

Written submission on behalf of bereaved, residents and survivors represented by Leslie Thomas QC, Allison Munroe QC & Thalia Maragh of Garden Court Chambers and Birnberg Peirce, Saunders Law, Duncan Lewis, Deighton Pierce Glynn, Russell Cooke an

7 July 2020

Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse - children in the care of Lambeth Council - Opening Statement

Stephen Simblet QC of the Garden Court Civil Liberties Team is representing a survivor of abuse from a Lambeth Children’s Home.

30 June 2020

Doctors File Legal Challenge to PPE Guidance

Marc Willers QC of Garden Court Chambers leading Estelle Dehon of Cornerstone Barristers represent Dr Viz and Dr Joshi, instructed by Jamie Potter of Bindmans LLP.

10 June 2020

Leslie Thomas QC appointed Gresham Professor of Law

Leslie Thomas QC of the Garden Court Civil Liberties Team to give first year of lectures on Death, The State, and Human Rights. He will be the first black Gresham Law Professor.

4 June 2020

Doctors to file legal challenge to PPE guidance

Marc Willers QC of Garden Court Chambers and Estelle Dehon of Cornerstone Barristers represent Dr Viz and Dr Joshi, instructed by Jamie Potter and Basmah Sahib of Bindmans LLP.

22 May 2020

High Court rules Home Office 'No recourse to public funds’ policy for migrants en route to settlement is unlawful

Amanda Weston QC of Garden Court Chambers instructed by the intervenor, Project 17.

7 May 2020

High Court legal challenge to No Recourse to Public Funds policy

Amanda Weston QC of Garden Court Chambers leading Bijan Hoshi and Ollie Persey of the Public Law Project instructed by Project 17.

6 May 2020

Legal challenge against UK government’s guidance about personal protective equipment in hospitals

Marc Willers QC of Garden Court Chambers and Estelle Dehon of Cornerstone Barristers represent Dr Viz and Dr Joshi, instructed by Jamie Potter and Basmah Sahib of Bindmans LLP.

23 April 2020

Tribunal’s refusal of hearing overturned by Upper Tribunal - Detained patients entitled to hearing when detention circumstances change

Stephen Simblet QC and Roger Pezzani of the Garden Court Chambers Civil Liberties Team represented the appellant.

9 April 2020

Coronavirus Act 2020 - Implications for detained psychiatric patients

Stephen Simblet QC of the Garden Court Chambers Civil Liberties Team.

27 March 2020

Application to end draconian UKOG injunction banning peaceful protest at oil sites in Surrey and Sussex

Stephanie Harrison QC, Joint Head of Chambers and a member of the Garden Court Chambers Civil Liberties Team is representing five protesters.

24 March 2020

Stephen Simblet and Allison Munroe of Garden Court Chambers appointed Queen’s Counsel today

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to announce that Stephen Simblet and Allison Munroe of Garden Court Chambers have been formally appointed Queen’s Counsel today.

16 March 2020

Inquest jury concludes multiple failures at HMP Nottingham contributed to self-inflicted death of Ben Ireson

Ben’s family is represented by Tom Stoate of Garden Court Chambers' Inquests and Inquiries team, instructed by Jocelyn Cockburn, Claire Brigham and Aston Luff of Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors

9 March 2020

Inquest finds use of Taser by Devon and Cornwall Police contributed to death of Marc Cole when experiencing paranoia

Marc’s mother and sister are represented by Emma Favata of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Leanne Devine and Emily Comer of Broudie Jackson Canter.

30 January 2020

MS patient found not guilty of cultivating cannabis for medical use

Tom Wainwright of Garden Court represented the patient, Lesley Gibson, instructed by Tayab Ali of ITN Solicitors.

6 January 2020

Jury highlights failures at the inquest into death of Chris Carpenter at HMP Woodhill

Maya Sikand of Garden Court was instructed for the family by Jo Eggleton of Deighton Pierce Glynn.

11 December 2019

Maya Sikand shortlisted for Civil Liberties and Human Rights Junior of the Year by Legal 500 UK Awards 2020

We are delighted to announce that Maya Sikand has been shortlisted for Civil Liberties and Human Rights Junior of the Year by the Legal 500 UK Awards 2020.

29 November 2019

Stephanie Harrison QC shortlisted for Civil Liberties & Human Rights Silk of the Year at Legal 500 UK Awards 2020

We are delighted to announce that Stephanie Harrison QC has been shortlisted for Civil Liberties and Human Rights Silk of the Year at the Legal 500 UK Awards 2020.

29 November 2019

Inquest concludes serious failures contributed to self-inflicted death of Beth Tenquist

Allison Munroe of Garden Court represented the family of Beth Tenquist, instructed by Basmah Sahib of Bindmans Solicitors.

27 November 2019

Archie Spriggs Inquest concludes

Archie Spriggs' family were represented by Stephen Clark of Garden Court.

26 November 2019

Ifeanyi Odogwu wins Lawyer of the Year at British Nigeria Law Forum Awards

We are delighted to announce that Ifeanyi Odogwu of Garden Court Chambers has won the award for Lawyer of the Year at the British Nigeria Forum Awards which took place in London on 22 November 2019.

26 November 2019

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