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Miranda Butler

  • Call: 2013

Miranda joined chambers in 2017 as a tenant, having previously worked in a mixed civil and public law chambers. She practises predominantly in immigration law, as well as in public law and civil liberties.

Since starting tenancy in 2015 Miranda has developed a broad immigration and asylum practice. She is regularly instructed in matters before the High Court, Upper Tribunal and First Tier Tribunal, including judicial reviews and urgent applications for interim relief.

Her practice encompasses asylum and human rights appeals with substantial experience of deportation, EEA cases, the Points Based System and claims related to children.

Miranda is frequently involved in claims at the appellate level and deals with error of law hearings, including on claims related to LGBT+ identity, conscription and trafficking.

In early 2018 she appeared with Sonali Naik QC and Bryony Poynor in the High Court case of ZS v SSHD, challenging the lawfulness of the Home Secretary’s implementation of the Dubs Amendment.

Miranda regularly handles judicial reviews claims related to unlawful detention and certification, including urgent applications for interim relief. She recently appeared, led by Anthony Vaughan and David Lock QC, in the case of R (KG)(Sri Lanka) v SSHD [2018] EWHC 1767 (Admin), an unlawful detention claim which successfully challenged the Secretary of State’s failure to ensure proper provision of medical treatment in immigration detention.

Miranda also undertakes advisory work on a broad range of immigration-related issues, including naturalisation and citizenship issues.

Notable cases 

  • ZS v Secretary of State for the Home Department: Challenge to the implementation of the ‘Dubs’ Amendment, led by Sonali Naik QC and Bryony Poynor.
  • R (KG)(Sri Lanka) v SSHD [2018] EWHC 1767 (Admin). Successful unlawful detention, including a challenge based on the failure to provide a rule 34 assessment.
  • MD v Secretary of State for the Home Department: successful challenge to refusal of asylum for a victim of human trafficking. Also obtained release from immigration detention.
  • AD v Secretary of State for the Home Department: overturned asylum claim refusal in the Upper Tribunal in relation to a conscientious objector from Algeria. This claim included a challenge to the House of Lords’ decision in Sepet and Bulbul.
  • AK v Secretary of State for the Home Department: defended a Rwandan national against the Home Office’s exclusion from leave to remain on the grounds of alleged involvement in genocide, in a six-day First-tier Tribunal hearing.

Miranda works on a broad range of human rights claims, including issues of unlawful detention, prisoners’ rights and freedom of expression litigation.

Miranda has experience in litigation before the European Court of Human Rights, having acted for various freedom of expression NGOs intervening in the case of Khadija Ismayilova v Azerbaijan, led by Can Yeginsu. In its 2019 decision the Strasbourg Court agreed with the interveners’ submissions that the state of Azerbaijan had failed in its obligations not only under Article 8 ECHR, but also under Article 10, in that it had failed to protect the privacy Ms Ismayilova, a journalist, which had a potential ‘chilling effect’ on freedom of expression.

She also worked for the interveners on Big Brother Watch v UK, a successful challenge to the bulk interception and processing of metadata by the UK and its data sharing with foreign states.

She was awarded the 2017 Pegasus Scholarship and spent three months working as a stagiaire in the UK division of the Court.

Miranda has a particular interest in prisoners’ rights, having previously worked with Reprieve and the Howard League for Penal Reform. She has been instructed on several claims challenging unlawful strip-searching in prisons, both by way of judicial review and in civil claims.

Notable cases

  • Khadija Ismayilova v Azerbaijan: counsel for various freedom of expression NGOs supporting a successful claim by a jailed journalist challenging mistreatment and covert surveillance by the state. The European Court of Human Rights found violations of Article 8 and 10 ECHR.
  • Big Brother Watch v UK: a successful challenge to the bulk interception and processing of metadata by the UK and its data sharing with foreign states in the European Court of Human Rights. Miranda acted for several interveners specialising on freedom of expression in the US.

Miranda works in a broad range of public law areas, including unlawful detention, age assessments, community care challenges and strategic litigation. She is regularly instructed in judicial review challenges, including urgent matters and applications for interim relief.

In early 2018 Miranda appeared with Sonali Naik QC and Bryony Poynor in the High Court case of ZS v SSHD, challenging the lawfulness of the Home Secretary’s implementation of the Dubs Amendment.

Miranda regularly works on unlawful detention challenges, both in the Administrative Court and in civil proceedings. She appeared with Anthony Vaughan and David Lock QC in the successful unlawful detention action R (KG)(Sri Lanka) v SSHD [2018] EWHC 1767 (Admin).

Miranda is developing a practice in community care law and accepts instructions in judicial review claims concerning community care provision under the Children Act. She also accepts instructions in age assessment challenges.

From 2014 – 2015 Miranda worked as the judicial assistant to Lord Kerr JSC at the Supreme Court. During that time she worked on a variety of high-profile public law cases including:

  • R (Evans) v Attorney General
  • R (Carlile) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
  • Keyu and ors v Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and anor

Prior to pupillage Miranda volunteered in Pentonville and Wormwood Scrubs prisons as a teacher and has a strong background in penal reform. She regularly undertakes advisory work in prison law claims and is currently instructed in a number of linked civil claims arising out of unlawful strip-searching of female prisoners.

Notable cases

  • ZS v Secretary of State for the Home Department: Challenge to the implementation of the ‘Dubs’ Amendment, led by Sonali Naik QC and Bryony Poynor.
  • R (KG)(Sri Lanka) v SSHD [2018] EWHC 1767 (Admin). Successful unlawful detention claim, including a challenge based on the failure to provide a rule 34 assessment.
  • WM v London Boroughs of Croydon and Wandsworth: successfully obtained interim relief following a failure by the relevant local authority to provide support under s. 20 Children Act 1989.

Miranda regularly appears in the Court of Protection and Mental Health Tribunals. She is interested in developing this area of her practice, which is complemented by her experience teaching medical law at LSE University, including mental capacity and mental health law.

Miranda has an extensive background in a range of private law areas, including employment, commercial and negligence claims. She has worked across the spectrum of civil law proceedings both as a judicial assistant in the Supreme Court and in private practice.

This means that Miranda is particularly well-placed to advise on civil proceedings arising out of public law challenges, including false imprisonment and / or damages claims.

In 2016 – 2018 Miranda was a coordinator of the Refugee Legal Support Athens Project, which sends experienced immigration practitioners to Greece to provide legal advice and representation for asylum seekers. She has volunteered as an advocate in both Chios and Athens, during which time she gained particular experience of working with unaccompanied minors and on claims under the Dublin III regulation.

She represents immigration detainees on a pro bono basis for Bail for Immigration Detainees and has worked on various death row appeals for the Death Penalty Project.

  • Pegasus Scholarship (2017)
  • ALBA Conference Scholarship (2015)
  • Selected for Frank Knox Fellowship (not taken up) (2015)
  • Times Law Award Finalist (2014)
  • Inner Temple Major Scholarship (2012)
  • Inner Temple Exhibition (2011)
  • MPhil Scholarship, Classics Department, Cambridge University (2010)
  • King’s College Scholarship, King’s College, Cambridge (2009)
  • Henry Arthur Thomas Award, King’s College, Cambridge (2008)
  • Athens Legal Support (Counsel Magazine, July 2017)
  • Limbo: a virtual experience of waiting for asylum (Guardian, July 2017, contributor)
  • Athens Refugee Legal Support Project: what’s happening on the ground (Free Movement blog, June 2017, co-author)
  • The EU-Turkey refugee deal only succeeded in one thing (New Statesman, December 2016, co-author)
  • The constitutional implications of Brexit (Solicitors’ Journal, July 2016)
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