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 are very responsive, organised, friendly and helpful."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

"Recently several members appeared in the Undercover Policing Inquiry, examining the targeting of political activists, grassroots organisations, justice campaigns and politicians by undercover police officers since 1968."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

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

+44 (0)20 7993 7600

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

Keir Monteith KC appointed Honorary Senior Lecturer at University of Manchester

We are delighted to announce that Keir Monteith KC has been appointed as an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Manchester within the School of Social Sciences.

15 February 2024

Kane Boyce: Coroner raises serious concerns about risk of future deaths at HMP Lowdham Grange

Kane's fiancée, Kate, is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Taimour Lay of Garden Court Chambers and Amalia King of Deighton Pierce Glynn.

5 February 2024

Greenpeace activists acquitted in trial alongside Greta Thunberg

Owen Greenhall, of the Garden Court Protest Team, was instructed be Mike Schwarz of Hodge Jones and Allen solicitors. Raj Chada also of Hodge Jones & Allen represented the co-defendants.

2 February 2024

Garden Court responds to Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights' Call for Evidence on Safety in Rwanda (Asylum & Immigration) Bill

This consultation response is submitted by Garden Court Chambers, which is a multi-disciplinary Chambers based in London. It has over 190 barristers (including 30 King’s Counsel) and is one of the largest in the country with over 40 years of experience in

12 January 2024

High Court finds detention to be unlawful with substantial and aggravated damages awarded for breach of Hardial Singh principles

The Claimant was represented by Greg Ó Ceallaigh of the Garden Court Chambers Civil Liberties Team and Irène Nembhard of Birnberg Peirce.

12 January 2024

Climate campaigner acquitted of conspiring to shut down Heathrow Airport

Michael Goold of the Garden Court Protest Law Team acted for the client, instructed by Raj Chada of Hodge, Jones & Allen Solicitors.

5 January 2024

Michael Ivers KC elected chair of Bar Human Rights Executive Committee

We are delighted to announce that Michael Ivers KC has been elected as chair of Bar Human Rights Committee of England & Wales (BHRC) Executive Committee from 1 January 2024.

22 December 2023

Mark Robinson successfully obtains a Writ of Habeas Corpus

Mark Robinson of the Garden Court Crime Team, instructed by MMA Solicitors, was successful in obtaining a Writ of Habeas Corpus in the High Court (Administrative Court - Kings Bench Division).

20 December 2023

Seán Binder interviewed on his humanitarian work which nearly cost him his career in The Times and Law Society Gazette

Garden Court's client Seán Binder interviewed in The Times and the Law Society Gazette on his ordeal of nearly being denied entry to the legal profession due to his ongoing prosecution in Greece for his humanitarian work.

18 December 2023

Garden Court counsel make closing submissions to UK Covid Inquiry Module 2

Garden Court counsel make closing submissions for Module 2 of the Covid-19 Inquiry.

15 December 2023

Rajiv Menon KC and Leslie Thomas KC question Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Public hearings for Module 2 of the the UK Covid-19 Inquiry continued. Our Rajiv Menon KC and Leslie Thomas KC questioned Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

11 December 2023

Garden Court counsel question Boris Johnson at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Rajiv Menon KC, Leslie Thomas KC, Brenda Campbell KC, Liz Davies KC & Bethan Harris questioned Boris Johnson at UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2.

7 December 2023

Humanitarian Seán Binder cleared to continue his legal training despite controversial Greek prosecution

Gráinne Mellon and Emma Fitzsimons acted for Seán Binder in fitness to practice matters pro bono, also led by Edward Fitzgerald KC. They are instructed by Andrew Katzen, Hickman and Rose.

4 December 2023

Garden Court counsel question Matt Hancock at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Rajiv Menon KC, Leslie Thomas KC, Liz Davies KC & Bethan Harris questioned Matt Hancock at UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2.

1 December 2023

Garden Court counsel question Professor Dame Jenny Harries and Sajid Javid at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Our Peter Wilcock KC, Leslie Thomas KC, Marina Sergides & Kirsten Heaven questioned Professor Dame Jenny Harries and Sajid Javid MP at UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2.

29 November 2023

Liz Davies KC and Kirsten Heaven question Dominic Raab MP at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Our Liz Davies KC and Kirsten Heaven questioned Dominic Raab MP at UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2.

29 November 2023

Supreme Court rules wide injunctions have negative impact on Gypsies and Travellers' ability to pursue traditional nomadic way of life

Marc Willers KC, Tessa Buchanan & Owen Greenhall represented London Gypsies and Travellers (LGT), Friends Families and Travellers (FFT) and the Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group (DGLG). Stephanie Harrison KC, Stephen Clark & Fatima Jichi represented FFT.

29 November 2023

Rajiv Menon KC, Peter Wilcock KC and Kirsten Heaven question Michael Gove at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Our Rajiv Menon KC, Peter Wilcock KC and Kirsten Heaven questioned Michael Gove MP at UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2.

28 November 2023

Leslie Thomas KC and Brenda Campbell KC question Sadiq Khan at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Our Brenda Campbell KC and Leslie Thomas KC questioned the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, at the UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2.

27 November 2023

Oscar Davies joins Garden Court Chambers as new tenant

We are delighted to announce that Oscar Davies has joined Garden Court Chambers as a new tenant.

27 November 2023

Leslie Thomas KC questions Kemi Badenoch at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Our Leslie Thomas KC questioned Kemi Badenoch MP at the UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2.

23 November 2023

Peter Wilcock KC, Leslie Thomas KC, and Kirsten Heaven question Professor Sir Chris Witty at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Peter Wilcock KC, Leslie Thomas KC, and Kirsten Heaven question Professor Sir Chris Witty at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

22 November 2023

Art Not Evidence Launches Campaign to Stop Rap Lyrics Being Used as Evidence

Keir Monteith KC, of the Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence Team, is a member of Art Not Evidence. Keir is frequently instructed in trials and appeals where rap evidence is prejudicially used.

22 November 2023

High Court Dismisses DPP's Appeal Against Acquittal of Protestors Who Called Iain Duncan Smith “Tory Scum”

Tom Wainwright led Elena Papamichael. Owen Greenhall led Mira Hammad. Tom, Elena and Owen are members of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Rights Team.

21 November 2023

Extinction Rebellion activists cleared of £500,000 damage to HSBC

Owen Greenhall, of the Garden Court Protest Team, acted for an Extinction Rebellion protestor, instructed by Jane Cleasby of Kellys Solicitors.

17 November 2023

Extinction Rebellion protestors cleared of criminal damage to Treasury building

Michael Goold, of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Rights Team, was instructed by Jenny Winter of Birds Solicitors.

17 November 2023

Tom Wainwright acts for defendant cleared of violent disorder at protest

Tom Wainwright of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Rights Team acted for the defendant, instructed by Hester Cavaciuti of Bindmans LLP, who was assisted by Shivani Soni, trainee solicitor.

16 November 2023

Leslie Thomas KC and Liz Davies KC question Dame Priti Patel at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Last week, our Leslie Thomas KC and Liz Davies KC questioned Priti Patel at Module 2 of the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

13 November 2023

Russell Fraser acts in successful appeal against ‘Kill the Bill’ protestor's sentence

Russell Fraser, of the Garden Court Protest Team, acted for the Appellant. He was instructed by Laura O’Brien of Hodge Jones & Allen.

10 November 2023

Barbuda runway challenge to be heard by the Privy Council

Marc Willers KC, Leslie Thomas KC, Stephen Cottle and Thalia Maragh, of Garden Court Chambers’ Environmental Law and Climate Justice Team, represent John Mussington and Jacklyn Frank pro bono.

2 November 2023

Rajiv Menon KC submits questions at UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2

Rajiv Menon KC, Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, submitted questions on behalf of children's rights organisations Just for Kids Law, Save the Children UK and Children's Rights Alliance for England.

1 November 2023

Inquest concludes ‘stark’ failures by probation service led to death of family

Kirsten Heaven and Paul Clark of Garden Court Chambers represented some of the family members of the victims at the inquest.

24 October 2023

The Team

Henry Blaxland KC

Year of Call: 1978

Year of Silk: 2002

Dexter Dias KC

Year of Call: 1988

Year of Silk: 2009

Rajiv Menon KC

Year of Call: 1993

Year of Silk: 2011

Peter Wilcock KC

Year of Call: 1988

Year of Silk: 2012

Stephanie Harrison KC

Year of Call: 1991

Year of Silk: 2013

Marc Willers KC

Year of Call: 1987

Year of Silk: 2014

Leslie Thomas KC

Year of Call: 1988

Year of Silk: 2014

Amanda Weston KC

Year of Call: 1995

Year of Silk: 2018

Brenda Campbell KC

Year of Call: 2002

Year of Silk: 2018

Stephen Simblet KC

Year of Call: 1991

Year of Silk: 2020

Allison Munroe KC

Year of Call: 1992

Year of Silk: 2020

Nicola Braganza KC

Year of Call: 1992

Year of Silk: 2022

Irena Sabic KC

Year of Call: 2002

Year of Silk: 2023

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

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

Maha Sardar

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

Hannah Wyatt

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

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

Natasha Shotunde

Year of Call: 2013

Audrey Cherryl Mogan

Year of Call: 2014

Franck Magennis

Year of Call: 2016

Zehrah Hasan

Year of Call: 2016

Luke McLean

Year of Call: 2017

Oscar Davies

Year of Call: 2018

Steven Galliver-Andrew

Year of Call: 2018

Elena Papamichael

Year of Call: 2021

Rachel Schon

Year of Call: 2018

Eva Doerr

Year of Call: 2019

Rehab Jaffer

Year of Call: 2019

Fatima Jichi

Year of Call: 2019

Isaac Ricca-Richardson

Year of Call: 2020

Alex Schymyck

Year of Call: 2020

Josephine Fathers

Year of Call: 2022

Associate Members

Anna Morris KC

Year of Call: 2006

Year of Silk: 2023

James Mehigan

Year of Call: 2008

Dr Terry McGuinness

Year of Call: 2009

Dr Peter Dunne

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

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