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Bryony Poynor

  • Call: 2009
Bryony Poynor
"She is someone who genuinely cares about the best interests of clients." "She is very good at fighting to win."
Chambers UK Bar Guide

Recent recommendations

Bryony is ranked for

Immigration in Chambers and Partners UK 2017; and

Immigration (including Business Immigration) in Legal 500 2017

“Clever and good with clients.”

Legal 500 2017

“A top immigration junior with a broad caseload encompassing all areas of asylum, nationality, deportation, EU free movement and human rights law. She frequently acts for vulnerable clients in sensitive, complex cases concerning trafficking and persecution.”

Chambers and Partners UK 2017

“Very dedicated, it’s an absolute pleasure to work with Bryony.”

Chambers and Partners UK 2017

Practice

Immigration

Bryony is a practitioner specialising in advice and representation in all areas of immigration, asylum, nationality, deportation, EU free movement and human rights law. She specialises in public and administrative law and her work includes judicial review, civil claims involving public bodies and advisory work for clients seeking to avoid litigation. She undertakes advocacy at Tribunal, High Court and Court of Appeal level.

Bryony also provides advice and representation for the full range of cases arising from the ‘Points Based System’ including applicants and Tier 2 and 4 sponsor licence holders alike.

Bryony has expertise in the application of human rights law to immigration and asylum cases, and challenging immigration detention in the High Court.

Bryony has recently been involved in some high profile cases including children formerly residing in the ‘jungle’ camp in Calais and country guidance on the safety of Kabul, Afghanistan (see cases below).

She contributed to the leading Immigration textbook Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice, 8th Edition [2010], 9th Edition [2014], is an active member of ILPA and has undertaken training for JCWI.

Bryony is a member of the Executive Committee of the pro bono project Refugee Legal Support Athens set up in April 2017 following her time spent volunteering on the Greek Islands providing advice to refugees and Greek lawyers in the midst of the Refugee Crisis in 2016. The project has been shortlisted for the Lexis Nexis Pro Bono Awards 2018.

Asylum Support, Welfare Benefits and Housing for Asylum Seekers and other Migrants

Bryony has been representing appeals at the Asylum Support Appeals Tribunal through the duty scheme set up by Asylum Support Appeals Project (ASAP) for over 6 years covering Section 4 and Section 95 support appeals. She is also a member of ASAP Strategic Litigation Advisory Committee and has been involved in several successful challenges to policy in this field.

She advises on Judicial Review in “destitution plus” cases, withdrawal of support and accommodation and regularly makes applications to the High Court for emergency injunctions for homeless asylum seekers. She frequently challenges dispersal away from medical treatment or family members and the suitability of accommodation allocated to asylum seekers, victims of trafficking or other migrants.

European and International Human Rights Law

Prior to being called to the Bar, Bryony worked as a Lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. She has developed a detailed knowledge of Strasbourg jurisprudence and drafts applications to the Court involving Articles 3, 6 and 8 ECHR. She also has particular expertise in preventing removal by interim measures (Rule 39) at the ECrtHR.

She is a member of the legal team for the Kurdish Human Rights Project was Junior Counsel in the Grand Chamber case of Chiragov and others v Armenia (application no.13216/05) which looks at the Jurisdiction of the Court, continuing violations and the Right to Property where Just Satisfaction awards were made to all Applicants in December 2017.

In her international work Bryony has represented members of the Batwa minority ethnic group in a case against the Republic of Burundi at the African Commission/Court of Human Rights and has assisted in the drafting of three Amicus Curiae to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights – two against Mexico and one against Colombia.

Bryony has a particular interest in human rights issues in the MENA region. She undertook a Post Graduate Diploma in Communicative Arabic (2016), has represented the Bar Human Rights Committee in the Working Party for Justice within the Human Rights Network of Euromed and undertaken trial observations within the region.

Pending Cases

R (on the Application of ZS (a child)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CO/6504/2016

Child asylum seeker formerly resident in Calais ‘Jungle’ High Court refused entry to the UK, summarily and without reasons in a widely reported High Court challenge. Substantive Judicial Review heard on 28 February 2018 and 1 March 2018. Judgment pending.

Notable Cases

The Secretary of State for the Home Department v MS (Pakistan) [2018] EWCA Civ 594 (23 March 2018) 

Guidance case on trafficking, the legal definition of trafficking and, in particular, exploitation. On appeal from MS (Trafficking – Tribunal’s Powers – Art. 4 ECHR : Pakistan) [2016] UKUT 226 (IAC)

AS (Safety of Kabul) Afghanistan CG [2018] UKUT 118 (IAC) (28 March 2018)

Country Guidance case on internal relocation to Kabul

Chiragov and Others v. Armenia, Grand Chamber European Court of Human Rights App No13216/05 Pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage – award (Article 41 – Pecuniary damage Just satisfaction) (12 December 2017)

Damages awarded to the Applicants by the Grand Chamber following the finding of a breach of their ECHR rights by the Member State of Armenia.

ZN (+3) v Secretary of State for the Home Department AS/17/09/37288 (02 November 2017)

Landmark Judgment by Principal Judge of the Asylum Support Tribunal concerning the assessment of S. 95 destitution by the Tribunal and the extent of Home Office’s statutory duties regarding the children under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.

ZS, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 255 (Admin) (03 February 2017)

Represented child asylum seekers formerly resident in the Calais ‘Jungle’ who were refused entry to the UK, summarily and without reasons in a widely reported High Court challenge.

MS (Trafficking – Tribunal’s Powers – Art. 4 ECHR : Pakistan) [2016] UKUT 226 (IAC) (23 March 2016)

Reported Key Upper Tribunal guidance case on trafficking, the legal definition of trafficking and, in particular, exploitation.

HN & SA (Afghanistan) (Lead Cases Associated Non-Lead Cases), R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWCA Civ 123 (03 March 2016)

Three interim injunctions were obtained from the Court of Appeal preventing the removal of asylum seekers on charter flights to Afghanistan during the course of this protracted litigation, challenging decisions on fresh protection claims on the basis of risk of serious harm from indiscriminate violence and the safety and reasonableness of internal relocation to Kabul.

HN & Ors, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (JR – scope – evidence (IJR) [2015] UKUT 437 (IAC) (27 July 2015)

Challenge to the Government’s removal of failed asylum seekers to Afghanistan by charter flight. These proceedings effectively halted three flights throughout 2015. Bryony acted as junior counsel in the initial judicial reviews in the Upper Tribunal and in the interim relief applications and hearings in the Court of Appeal. She obtained three interim injunctions from CA including two “generic” injunctions preventing removal to Afghanistan and permission to appeal.

Chiragov v. Armenia – 13216/05 – Grand Chamber Judgment [2015] ECHR 587 (16 June 2015)

The applicants were forced to flee from their homes in 1992 during the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, an autonomous landlocked province and have not been able to return to their homes and properties since because of Armenian occupation. They rely on Article 1 of Protocol No 1 (protection of property) and Articles 8, 13 (and 14 ECHR.  Attempts to extend meaning of “continuing violation” and jurisdiction as set out in Bankovic. Over 1,000 applications stayed pending outcome.

R (on the application of Mulumba) v (1) First Tier Tribunal (Asylum Support) and (2) SSHD, Asylum Support Appeals Project intervening, CO/2114/2014

Test case on asylum support benefits under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Led by Martin Westgate QC, Bryony represented the Asylum Support Appeals Project as intervener. A successful application was made for funding from the Strategic Litigation Fund and permission was granted by the court to intervene.

HF (Iraq) & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWCA Civ 1276 (23 October 2013)

In addition to giving guidance specifically on the situation in Iraq, the Country Guidance case of the Upper Tier Tribunal gives general guidance on Article 15(c) of the Qualification Directive, the grant of legal aid and legal representation in Country Guidance cases, alongside the weight to be attached to UNHCR guidelines which will be of general application. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, granted permission to appeal but ultimately dismissed the appeal.

MA & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EUECJ C-648/11 (21 February 2013)

Examined the rights of unaccompanied minor asylum seekers (UASC) not to be deported to other European countries in a judgment affecting Europe-wide practice. It was held that consideration had to be given to their best interests. This case was as a result of a reference by the Court of Appeal in MA & Ors, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 1446.

HM and others (Article 15(c) Iraq CG [2012] UKUT 00409 (IAC) (13 November 2012)

HM (Iraq) & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 1536 (13 December 2011): Remitted back to the Upper Tier Tribunal

MA & Ors, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 1446 (01 December 2011): Reference made to the CJEU

S, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWHC 2120 (Admin) (05 August 2011)

R (T) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWHC 3572 Admin (21 December 2010)

NA v UK, App No 25904/07

Mamatkulov v Turkey App Nos 46827/99 and 46951/99

Previous Recommendations

“She has as strong academic track record on human rights issues.”

Legal 500 2016

“Someone who genuinely cares about the best interests of the clients” and who is “extremely compassionate.”

Chambers and Partners UK 2016

“A compassionate representative who will genuinely go the extra mile.”

Legal 500 2015

She is described as “Very hard-working and a safe pair of hands. Clients are comfortable and confident in her abilities,” and “she is very good at fighting to win.”

Chambers and Partners UK 2015

Bryony was ranked in Chambers UK 2013 and 2014 as an ‘up and coming’ junior counsel in the field of Immigration in London.

“Her background as a former lawyer at ECHR really shines through.”

Chambers and Partners UK 2014

“Also recommended is Bryony Poynor, who has carried out important work relating to Dublin II and the removal of unaccompanied minors…”

Chambers and Partners 2013

 

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