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

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

+44 (0)20 7993 7600

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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

Henry Blaxland QC

Year of Call: 1978

Year of Silk: 2002

Dexter Dias QC

Year of Call: 1988

Year of Silk: 2009

Ali Naseem 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

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

Amanda Weston QC

Year of Call: 1995

Year of Silk: 2018

Brenda Campbell QC

Year of Call: 2002

Year of Silk: 2018

Patrick Roche

Year of Call: 1977

Christopher Williams

Year of Call: 1988

Stephen Simblet

Year of Call: 1991

Nicola Braganza

Year of Call: 1992

Helen Curtis

Year of Call: 1992

Allison Munroe

Year of Call: 1992

Rajeev Thacker

Year of Call: 1993

Sean Horstead

Year of Call: 1996

Maya Sikand

Year of Call: 1997

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

Shu Shin Luh

Year of Call: 2006

Anna Morris

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

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

Associate Members

Mark George QC

Year of Call: 1976

Year of Silk: 2009

Terry McGuinness

Year of Call: 2009

Dr Peter Dunne

Latest News

Death of immigration detainee Bai Bai Ahmed Kabia could have been prevented, inquest concludes

Owen Greenhall of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests and Inquiries Team represented the family.

10 September 2019

Judy Khan QC shortlisted for Crime Silk of the Year and Stephanie Harrison QC shortlisted for Human Rights and Public Law Silk of the Year by Chambers Bar Awards 2019

Winners of the awards will be announced at a ceremony on 31 October 2019 at the Hilton on Park Lane.

6 September 2019

Garden Court barristers appointed to advise JUSTICE on reform of institutional responses to deaths or other serious incidents

Leslie Thomas QC, Thalia Maragh and Una Morris of the Garden Court Inquests and Public Inquiries Team have been appointed to the JUSTICE Working Party, 'When Things Go Wrong'.

7 August 2019

Supreme Court challenge to lawfulness of UK facilitation of the death penalty in the US

Jacob Bindman is representing the intervener, Reprieve, led by Mark Summers QC at Matrix Chambers. They are instructed by Rosa Curling of Leigh Day in the expedited appeal at the Supreme Court.

5 August 2019

Garden Court Chambers welcomes new tenant Camila Zapata Besso

We are delighted to announce that Camila Zapata Besso has joined Garden Court Chambers as a tenant.

1 August 2019

Six figure damages award in malicious prosecution claim against Metropolitan Police

Stephen Simblet of the Garden Court Chambers Civil Liberties team represented Gary Vian, one of the claimants.

31 July 2019

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse publishes damning report on sexual abuse of children in the care of Nottinghamshire councils

Stephen Simblet and Laura Profumo, instructed by Chris Ratcliffe of Uppal Taylor Solicitors, Nottingham, represented 34 victims/survivors of sexual abuse.

31 July 2019

Ministry of Defence can be vicariously liable for rape committed on base

Una Morris and Camila Zapata Besso successfully acted for the Claimant in TPKN v Ministry of Defence [2019]. Read about the legal implications of the recent judgment.

26 July 2019

Inquest into death of Michael Hoolickin, young father stabbed by repeat offender, to resume on Monday

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

19 July 2019

Family express concern as inquest concludes into death of Nuno Cardoso following arrest by Thames Valley Police

Una Morris and Laura Profumo of Garden Court are instructed by Ruth Mellor of Saunders Law for the family. Una, Laura and Ruth are members of the INQUEST Lawyers Group.

18 July 2019

Family statement following inquest conclusion into death of former Welsh Government Minster, Carl Sargeant

Leslie Thomas QC of Garden Court was instructed by Neil Hudgell of Hudgell Solicitors for the Sargeant family.

11 July 2019

Family statement on Anthony Grainger police shooting: Public Inquiry finds police operation breached Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights

Leslie Thomas QC of Garden Court represented the family, instructed by Farleys Solicitors.

11 July 2019

Joanne Cecil wins Legal Aid Barrister of the Year and Una Morris wins Legal Aid Newcomer of the Year at 2019 LALY Awards

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to announce that two of our barristers won awards at the seventeenth annual Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards.

11 July 2019

'For once, a bad case does not make bad law'

Stephen Simblet of Garden Court Chambers comments on GN and CN v Poole Borough Council [2019] UKSC 25.

24 June 2019

Politicians to bring a claim against Metropolitan Police over June 2016 Brexit Referendum campaign expenses

Joanne Cecil of Garden Court Chambers is instructed by Saimo Chahal QC of Bindmans LLP.

19 June 2019

Inquest identifies missed opportunity by Kent Police to seek medical treatment for Carl Maynard after suspected drug swallowing

Stephen Simblet of Garden Court was instructed by Sophie Naftalin and Anastasia Solopova of Bhatt Murphy for the family.

12 June 2019

Inquest into death of Leroy Junior Medford in Thames Valley police custody, opens Monday

Sean Horstead of Garden Court is instructed by Rachel Harger of Bindmans LLP for Marilyn Medford-Hawkins, the sister of Leroy Junior Medford.

7 June 2019

Leslie Thomas QC appointed as Board member by Bar Standards Board

We are delighted to announce that Leslie Thomas QC, Chair and Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, has been appointed as a new Board member by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

23 May 2019

Jury concludes neglect contributed to death of Norman Dunwell in mental health unit after observation records falsified

Maya Sikand of Garden Court was instructed for the family by Fleur Hallett of MW Solicitors.

13 May 2019

Man murdered by convicted killer let down catastrophically, family says

Anna Morris of Garden Court was instructed by Kim Harrison of Slater and Gordon Solicitors to represent John Gogarty's family.

26 April 2019

Family of murdered school girl Elsie Frost win High Court bid for new inquest into her death

Garden Court’s Anna Morris is representing Colin Frost, brother of Elsie Frost, instructed by Gemma Vine at Minton Morrill.

17 April 2019

Jury concludes neglect contributed to Duncan Tomlin's death following police restraint

Ifeanyi Odogwu of Garden Court represented Duncan Tomlin's partner Ann-Marie Botting in the inquest. He was instructed by Anna Thwaites of Bindmans LLP.

10 April 2019

Inquest jury finds police failings led to death of detained man

The family of Lee Sparks was represented by Owen Greenhall of the Garden Court Crime and Civil Liberties teams. He was instructed by Lochlinn Parker of ITN Solicitors.

3 April 2019

Court of Appeal overturns draconian injunctions preventing protests against INEOS fracking activities

Stephanie Harrison QC and Stephen Simblet represented Joe Corré. Henry Blaxland QC & Stephen Clark represented Friends of the Earth.

3 April 2019

Former First Minister of Wales acted unlawfully in setting up inquiry into Carl Sargeant’s death, High Court rules

Mrs Sargeant is represented by Leslie Thomas QC instructed by Neil Hudgell of Hudgell Solicitors.

27 March 2019

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

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