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Home > Barristers > Shu Shin Luh

Shu Shin Luh

  • Call: 2006
Shu Shin Luh

“She will leave no stone unturned in fighting for her client.”

“A highly intelligent barrister with a really impressive approach to finding new ways to push the boundaries of the law.”

Legal 500 and Chambers UK Bar Guide

Practice

Shu Shin’s practice has a strong human rights and anti-discrimination focus. Her expertise spans the public and private law arenas. She is equally at home in cases of public importance, such as complex trials that require mastery of evidence and cross-examination.

Her core client groups are children, vulnerable adults, and their family members, and persons subject to immigration control. This includes disabled children, separated / unaccompanied children, migrant families subject to immigration control, the mentally ill and mentally incapacitated, victims of torture and victims of trafficking.

She has extensive experience and expertise of a broad range of subject matters including mental health and mental capacity, health care, social welfare, housing, trafficking, immigration and asylum and civil liberties (including false imprisonment, public authority negligence and breaches) arising from these subject matters.

Shu Shin aims, in her practice, to act for her clients in a comprehensive way, advising where possible on the full range of legal issues impacting on different aspects of their lives in the context of judicial review, civil action, immigration and asylum appeal as well as in Court of Protection proceedings where applicable.

Shu Shin acts predominantly for individual claimants (all of whom are legally aided), but has also acted for organisations as claimants and interveners. This has included Medical Justice, Shelter, Statewatch, Anti-Slavery International, Just for Kids Law, Project 17, Coram Children’s Legal Centre and ATLEU (Anti-Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit). She is on the panel of counsel for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Shu Shin also undertakes advisory work for NGOs and governmental organisations on legal policy development and draft legislation.

Shu Shin has been ranked in the Chambers UK Bar Guide since 2012 and in the Legal 500 since 2014.

She is ranked in the areas of administrative and public law, civil liberties and human rights, community care and education, where she has been described by solicitors and other barristers as:

“An exceptionally clever barrister who is incredibly quick, and has excellent judgement and instincts. A totally safe pair of hands. She is always about five steps ahead of you, which can be disconcerting but helpful.” “Passionate, committed and a real fighter.” “Exemplary work ethic. Due to her expertise in a number of areas, she is able to advise on complex cases arising from the interrelationship between numerous areas of law.”
Chambers UK 2017, Administrative and Public Law

“She is very, very good.” “She takes the points and is not fazed at all – she’s tough.”
Chambers UK 2017, Community Care

“Very clever and hardworking; she brings an innovative approach to difficult cases.”
Legal 500 2016, Civil Liberties and Human Rights

“She will not concede defeat while there is a glimmer of hope left.”
Legal 500 2016, Education

“She’s very engaged, organised, thorough and able to turn work around very quickly.” “She is determined, committed and a real fighter.”
Chambers UK 2016, Administrative and Public Law

“She’s got a lot of knowledge and works hard.” “She is very passionately committed to this area.”
Chambers UK 2016, Community Care

“She is very good, and great at turning things around very quickly. Her advice is always client-oriented and practical.” “Very approachable, she has excellent knowledge of SEN.”
Chambers UK 2016, Education

“She has fantastic attention to detail, and is quick to respond and to get work done.”
Legal 500 2015, Civil Liberties and Human Rights

“She will leave no stone unturned in fighting for her client.”
Legal 500 2015, Education

Shu Shin is “noted for her experience in matters relating to human trafficking.” “She really cares about the cases she does and always turns round work of a very high standard.” “She is industrious and intelligent, and will only get better and better.”
Chambers UK 2015, Administrative and Public Law

A “rising junior with a broad community care practice, who receives praise for her tenacious approach. She specialises in the overlap between children’s law and complex immigration matters.” “A highly intelligent barrister with a really impressive approach to finding new ways to push the boundaries of the law.” “Very knowledgeable and approachable, she gets good results and really cares about the outcome for the client.”
Chambers UK 2015 Community Care

“Experienced in education matters relating to public and community care law. She is particularly strong on cases concerning disabled children and SEN.” “Very committed and hard-working, she is always approachable and gives good practical advice.”
Chambers UK 2015, Education

Shu Shin was born and raised in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Prior to coming to the Bar, she worked as a part-time campaign assistant on the China Team of Amnesty International, where she investigated links between trade and human rights in China.

Prior to that, she was a journalist for the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Sun-Times in the US and in southeast Asia and China. She won several awards for investigations into detention of children in asylum care in the US, deaths arising from officer-involved shootings and price-fixing among grocery conglomerates.

Around southeast Asia and China, she reported on labour and corporate management issues, particularly in the context of human rights, corporate social responsibility and the use of child and sweatshop labour. In 2003, she published Business the Sony Way (John Wiley & Sons). In 2005, she published The People of China (Mason Crest Publishing) and The Economy of China (Mason Crest Publishing).

Shu Shin speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese and basic Japanese.

Shu Shin is a contributor to MacDonald’s Immigration Law and Practice. She has also contributed two chapters to the forthcoming practitioners’ text on representing trafficking victims in criminal, public law and immigration proceedings: Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, Law and Practice (Bloomsbury) (to be published in August 2017).

Shu Shin won the Young Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year award in 2012. She was the beneficiary of Middle Temple’s Benefactor’s Scholarship which generously funded her legal education and training. Shu Shin is an executive committee member of the Administrative Law Bar Association, a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association and the Human Rights Lawyers’ Association.

Shu Shin has an extensive public law practice with a strong human rights and EU law focus representing a broad range of individuals across a breadth of areas including community care, education, prison law, immigration and asylum, mental health and healthcare. She also acts for NGOs as claimants and intervenes in public interest litigation. Her public law casework has materially contributed to changes to policy and practice for groups often vulnerable individuals. Shu Shin is an executive committee member of the Administrative Law Bar Association.

Notable cases include:

R (DA and Ors) v Secretary of State for Works and Pension [2017] EWHC 1446 (Admin), acting for the intervener Shelter in a successful challenge to the revised benefits cap being unlawfully discriminatory against lone parents with children under two and children under two.

R (A and B) v Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and Lord Chancellor [2017] EWHC 2 (Admin) acting for twin brothers who are victims of modern slavery barred from accessing the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme because of historic unspent criminal convictions. The challenge is to whether the CIC scheme complies with the requirement of effective access for trafficked victims to compensation under Article 17 of the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive and Articles 4 and 14 ECHR. Permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal has been granted and the full appeal is due to be heard on 6 March 2018.

R (ATLEU) v the Lord Chancellor (2016), acting for the Anti-Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit (ATLEU) in a challenge to the failure of the Lord Chancellor to make sufficient provision of legal aid to enable victims of trafficking and modern slavery to access legal advice and assistance for compensation claims against their traffickers. The claim settled before trial resulting in the Lord Chancellor agreeing to carry out a review of the legal aid provisioning in this area. The review resulted in the Legal Aid Agency putting out for tender a ‘mini-contract’ specific to trafficking compensation claims with more than 30 firms now having an additional 400 matter-starts in this area.

R (JM and Ors) v SSHD [2015] EWHC 1331 (Admin); R (PU and Ors) v SSHD (20 July 2015), acting as led first junior for four of seven lead claims on the lawfulness of the operation of the Detained Fast Track process in respect of potential victims of torture and trafficking. This litigation, directed at the unacceptable risks of unfairness inhering in the DFT decision-making process, led to the Immigration Minister’s suspension of the DFT on 2 July 2015.

Shu Shin is an established practitioner in community care and education law. She also acts in the Court of Protection on behalf of P or family members particularly where there are connected judicial review proceedings or private law claims. Her work in advancing the rights of vulnerable children earned the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year award in 2012. She is a regular contributor to the Garden Court Social Welfare Bulletin.

Her casework in these areas has significantly contributed to policy change at the local government and central government levels including in the context of decision making relating to homeless families, access to services by disabled children, weekly rates of financial support to children in need and their families, fair access to education funding for migrant care leavers and procedural safeguards in age assessments of disputed unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

Recently, Shu Shin’s casework led to three local authorities withdrawing their eligibility criteria for services for disabled children on grounds that the policies directly discriminated against certain cohorts of disabled children.

Notable cases include:

R (DA and Ors) v Secretary of State for Works and Pension [2017] EWHC 1446 (Admin), acting for the intervener Shelter in a successful challenge to the revised benefits cap being unlawfully discriminatory against lone parents with children under two and children under two.

R (C,T, M, U) v LB of Southwark [2016] EWCA Civ 707 acting for the intervener, Coram Children Legal Centre, on the lawfulness of a local authority policy on subsistence pay for families subject to immigration control.

Nzolameso v City of Westminster [2015] UKSC 22 acting for the intervener, Shelter on the nature and ambit of the duty to safeguard children’s welfare under section 11, Children Act 2004 in the housing authority’s discharge of homelessness duties under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996.

R (PO and Ors) v LB of Newham [2014] EWHC 2561 (Admin), a successful challenge to the local authority’s policy on setting subsistence rates for families subject to immigration control. The policy was withdrawn as a consequence of the judgment.

R (FZ) v LB of Croydon [2011] EWCA Civ 59, acted as sole junior in the first instance and led junior on appeal, setting down the established test for permission in age assessment judicial review claims.

Shu Shin has considerable experience in private law claims and associated claims under the Human Rights Act 1998 against the Home Office and their subcontractors, local authorities, schools and health authorities.

In the context of modern slavery, Shu Shin has experience acting in claims against traffickers and companies in the supply chain. In the context of children’s rights, Shu Shin has expertise in negligence claims as well as claims brought under the Equality Act 2010 on behalf of disabled children and their families.

Shu Shin is experienced in public interest litigation, particularly in relation to immigration detention and historic abuse cases. She also has experience of advising and acting in applications before the European Court of Human Rights, the Court of Justice of the European Union and before UN and other international human rights bodies.

Notable cases include:

Chowdury v Greece [2017] ECHR 300 acting for the intervener Anti-Slavery International in a landmark victory establishing that the wide scope of the definition of forced labour for the purposes of Article 4 ECHR includes those who are controlled by their exploiters notwithstanding ability to have limited free movement.

Sh.D and Ors v Greece and ors (App No. 14165/16) acting for the intervener, Statewatch, in respect of a claim regarding the detention of and reception conditions for five unaccompanied minors going through the Greek asylum process and whether the closure of the Balkan route by neighbouring member-states constitutes a breach of Articles 3 and 8 ECHR. Application has been communicated to the named member-states.

XEM v Home Office [2016] EWHC 2622 (QB), successfully resisting an application to strike-out on grounds of abuse of power of a false imprisonment and Article 4 claim brought on behalf of a victim of trafficking. This is the first case applying the guidance in BA (Nigeria) v the Home Office where previous judicial review claims raise similar issues to the private law claim.

Home Office v VS [2015 EWCA 1142 acting for an age-disputed child in establishing the correct interpretation of Home Office policies relating to the detention and interviewing of unaccompanied asylum seeking children at port and the procedures that the Home Office is required to adopt before treating an age-disputed child as over 18.

R (AA) v SSHD [2013] UKSC 49, on whether the SSHD’s duty under section 55 Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires her to be satisfied of the objective fact of a child’s age prior to exercising the power to detain. The relevant statutory detention powers have since been amended.

A v Essex County Council [2010] UKSC 33, on nature and ambit of right to education under Article 2 Protocol 1 for severely disabled children out of education for more than 18 months. The case was admitted by the European Court of Human Rights and subject to a friendly settlement.

Shu Shin is particularly well-known for her expertise in the area of anti-trafficking and modern slavery and regularly acts for individuals in challenges to the decisions relating to the identification, provision of support and immigration status of victims of trafficking and modern slavery.

She also acts for individual victims in private law claims for compensation against public authorities, companies and traffickers. She acted for ATLEU in a successful judicial review challenge to the insufficient provision of legal aid for victims of trafficking to seek advice and assistance on bringing compensation claims against their traffickers. The litigation resulted in the Legal Aid Agency providing additional matter-starts to legal aid contract holders specifically for the purposes of advising on such claims.

During the Modern Slavery Act 2015, Shu Shin provided legal advice on the protection obligations of the UK to leading NGOs and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

She also has given written and oral evidence before the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking and is regularly invited to speak on legal policy issues relating to modern slavery by leading NGOs in the UK and at the EU level. Shu Shin is part of the lawyers’ network run by the EU’s Group of Experts against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).

Notable cases include:

R (XYL) v SSHD [2017] EWHC 773, acting for a victim of trafficking in a partly successful unlawful detention claim where it was held unlawful for the SSHD to continue to detain a victim pending an NRM investigation into her trafficking circumstances. Permission to appeal applied for (and pending) in respect of the Judge’s interpretation of the scope of positive obligations to investigate under Article 4 ECHR and when it is triggered.

R v VSJ and ors [2017] EWCA Crim 36, acting for the intervener Anti-Slavery International on the compliance of the common law defence of duress with the UK’s international obligations under the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings on the non-punishment of victims of trafficking whose crimes are connected with their exploitation.

Chowdury v Greece [2017] ECHR 300 acting for the intervener Anti-Slavery International in a landmark victory establishing that the wide scope of the definition of forced labour for the purposes of Article 4 ECHR includes those who are controlled by their exploiters notwithstanding ability to have limited free movement.

R (MVN) v LB of Greenwich [2015] EWHC 1942 (Admin) on the correct approach to assessment of credibility in an age assessment of a child victim of trafficking.

R v L and Ors [2013] EWCA Crim 991, acting for the Equality and Human Rights Commission on the correct approach of the criminal courts to determining an application for a stay of criminal proceedings for abuse of process in the case of a defendant whose crime is connected with his exploitation.

Shu Shin combines her public law and private law expertise in her immigration and asylum practice. She is known in particular for acting for unaccompanied children, mentally ill and incapacitated adults and victims of torture and trafficking in complex individual and public interest litigation challenges relating to their treatment by the state.

Notable cases include:

R (Medical Justice and Ors) v SSHD (judgment pending), acting as led junior for Medical Justice and two others on the legality of the use of the definition of torture under the UN Convention against Torture for the purposes of determining vulnerable adults at risk and unsuitable for immigration detention.

R (Zafar) v SSHD [2016] EWHC 1217, successful judicial review challenge on behalf of a mentally-ill victim of torture who was unlawfully included in the Detained Fast Track process. His detention was declared to be unlawful from the outset and the refusal and certification of his asylum claim was quashed and directed to be reconsidered afresh on grounds of procedural fairness.

R (ZA) (Mauritius) v SSHD [2016] EWHC 2833 (Admin) acting for a claimant in a successful claim overturning the SSHD’s decision to certify an asylum seeker’s claim as clearly unfounded because of a sufficiency of state protection if she was returned to Mauritius, where she feared ill-treatment from her relatives for abandoning her husband, who she had been forced to marry.

Home Office v VS [2015] EWCA Civ 1142, successfully defending an appeal against a first instance success on the interpretation of the SSHD’s policy on detaining age disputed children. Acted as sole junior at trial in the QBD and acted as led first junior in linked appeals.

R (JM and Ors) v SSHD; R (PU and Ors) v SSHD (2 July 2015, 20 July 2015), acting as led first junior for four of seven test claims on the lawfulness of the operation of the Detained Fast Track process in respect of potential victims of torture and trafficking. This litigation was directed at the inclusion into the DFT up to asylum determination (as opposed to the Detention Action cases on the appeal process). This litigation led to the suspension of the DFT on 2 July 2015.

R (TH and Ors) v SSHD [2016] EWHC 1331 (Admin); [2016] EWCA Civ 815, acting as led first junior for three of four test claimants in challenging the revised detained asylum process post-suspension of the DFT. Established that the new scheme breached section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 and succeeded substantively in the individual claim of one test claimant, TCV, who was a victim of trafficking.

R (AA) v SSHD [2013] UKSC 49, acting as led junior (sole junior in the first instance) on whether the SSHD’s duty under section 55 Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the SSHD to be satisfied of the objective fact of a child’s age prior to the exercise of the power to detain. The relevant statutory detention powers have since been amended such that the detention of a child (whether age disputed) can found a false imprisonment claim.

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