Garden Court Chambers has helped shape the foundations of modern criminal appellate law by pursuing criminal appeals to the highest courts.
Our criminal appeals barristers were involved in the formulation of the now well-known Pendleton test by the House of Lords, the leading case on fresh evidence.
Over the last 40 years, we have played a key role in reversing many of the seminal miscarriages of justice, including: Derek Bentley, the Guildford Four, the Birmingham Six, Judith Ward, Carl Bridgewater, the M25 Three and Sam Hallam.
Areas of Expertise
- Miscarriage of justice cases including statutory compensation claims
- Points of law of public importance
- Advancing protections for victims of trafficking convicted of criminal offences
- Fresh evidence appeals
- Complex sentencing cases
- Representing juvenile defendants
- Shaken baby syndrome
- Non-disclosure and participating informants (PIs)
- Criminal Cases Review Commission applications and referrals to the Court of Appeal
- Death penalty cases in the Privy Council
We continue to work at the cutting-edge of appellate law. Two of our criminal appeals barristers were instructed in the momentous Supreme Court decision on joint enterprise (R v Jogee; Ruddock v The Queen), a judgment with far-reaching ramifications for past convictions for the most serious crimes.
We have two barristers instructed in the successful appeal to quash the conviction of Sally Challen for murdering her husband. The appeal attracted international interest across academia and the media because it was the first appeal of its kind to test the viability of coercive control as a fact relevant to provocation.
We are recognised as leading barristers in the UK for criminal law. In 2015 we won the Legal 500 Crime Set of the Year Award and our crime team has been shortlisted for the same award three times.
Sally Challen murder conviction quashed in “coercive control” case (2019)
This was the first time the Court of Appeal considered coercive control in the context of the partial defences to murder. See coverage in The Guardian and BBC.
High Court allows appeal on time limit for prosecuting summary offences (2019)
Acting for the appellant in a case described by the High Court as one ‘which raises a short but important point as to the…time limit on the commencement of a prosecution for a summary offence’.
Successful appeal against sentence secures imminent release from custody for 18-year-old (2018)
It was argued that the two-year sentence for robbery committed with two others when the defendant was 17 was excessive, and the sentencing judge had failed to give proper regard to the young man’s age, mitigation or the comparatively lenient sentences imposed on the young man’s co-defendants.
Successful appeal against conviction almost 10 years out of time (2017)
Representing Mr K, who in 2007 pleaded guilty to possessing a false passport contrary to section 25 of the Identity Cards Act 2006. He was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment. The conviction was quashed.
R v Jogee, Ruddock v The Queen (2016)
Supreme Court and Privy Council clarification of joint enterprise
R v Ched Evans (2015)
CCRC referral of footballer Ched Evans’ rape conviction to Court of Appeal
R v L & Ors (2013)
Successful test case creating further protections for trafficked victims under Article 26 of the Anti-Trafficking Convention and the relevant EU Directive, and overturning the convictions of four victims of trafficking, three of whom were children
R v McNally (2013)
Leading authority on when consent may be vitiated in relation to sexual offences
R v Victor Nealon (2013)
Overturning rape conviction of Victor Nealon, who was wrongly imprisoned for 17 years, after fresh DNA evidence was considered on appeal
R v Sam Hallam (2012)
Widely publicised miscarriage of justice appeal. The case was reported in The Guardian
Tabeel Lewis v The State (2011)
Reprieve secured in Privy Council death penalty case
R v Altaf Hussain (2008)
Last in series of CCRC referrals exposing malpractice and the use of PIs by Customs and Excise in the 80s and 90s
R v Suzanne Holdsworth (2008)
Conviction for toddler murder found unsafe in light of fresh medical evidence
R v Derek Bentley (1998)
Earliest case on principle of joint enterprise: Derek Bentley was hanged in 1953 and posthumously vindicated in 1998 when his conviction was set aside