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Thalia Maragh

  • Call: 2009
  • 1999 (Jamaica), 2017 (Turks and Caicos Islands)

Background

Thalia was called to the Jamaican Bar in 1999 where she maintained a mixed criminal and civil liberties practice at the private bar. She defended in cases ranging from murder, firearm offences and sexual offences. Thalia also worked as the staff attorney for The Independent Jamaican Council for Human Rights (a Jamaican based human rights NGO) from 2005/6 before pursuing an LLM in international crime and human rights at King’s College London. In 2009 she was called to the Bar in the England and Wales, and later in 2017 in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

She worked at Birnberg Peirce and Partners (London) before transferring to the Bar in 2009.

Practice

Thalia’s practice at the English Bar has been predominantly criminal defence and inquests; defending in serious crimes and acting for bereaved families in Article 2 inquests.

She is developing a public inquiries practice and has acted for campaigners against child sexual abuse who were designated core participants in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

Thalia has a growing international practice, appearing in the Privy Council and advising on the merits of appealing to the Privy Council, particularly criminal convictions and cases which raise constitutional law issues.  She has also appeared before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as junior counsel to Leslie Thomas QC.

Crime

Thalia has over 15 years of experience as a criminal advocate. She has defended in a range of offences including murder, rape, historical sexual offences and other violent crimes.

Notable Cases

R v Zaman, Birmingham Crown Court

Conspiracy to Murder – defendant acquitted. Led junior in 3 ½ months long trial which involved extensive PII and disclosure applications, abuse arguments arising from the conduct of WMP in the police investigation.

R v A, Sheffield Crown Court

Allegations of historical rape and sexual assaults (12 counts) – defendant acquitted. The trial judge commended Thalia for the sensitivity with which she conducted her cross examination of the complainant.

R v T, Wood Green Crown Court

Allegation of rape – defendant acquitted. The defence called expert evidence of secondary transfer of DNA in response to the crown’s reliance on evidence of the defendant’s DNA on the complainant’s body.

R v B, Aylesbury Crown Court

Allegation of rape – defendant acquitted.

R v Marshall, Central Criminal Court

s18, (stabbing) – defendant acquitted – self defence raised.

Inquests

Hillsborough Inquests

Thalia acted for bereaved families in the Hillsborough inquests where the jury concluded that the 96 Liverpool football fans were unlawfully killed. She was a member of the pathology team for 77 of the 96 which examined the pathology and medical evidence relevant to the timeline of death and medical cause of death.

Inquest into the death of Ann Marie Cox (2009) City of London Coroner’s Court. Ann Marie died at HMP Holloway. The jury was critical of the prison’s nursing staff’s failure to administer Ann Marie’s anti-psychotic medication which contributed to the deterioration of her health and their falsifying of her medical records to record that the medication had been administered, reported in the Guardian.

Inquest into the death of Jean Charles De Menezes. Her work included reviewing disclosed documents, schedules of evidence, attending conferences with Counsel and attending a Pre-Inquest Review.

Inquest into the death of Lexy Williams (2009) North London Coroner’s Court. The jury returned a narrative which was critical of the MPS’s pursuit policy. She was junior to Heather Williams Q.C. at the inquest.

Thalia has also acted for bereaved families in Coroner’s Court proceedings in Jamaica and is an advocate for the reform of Jamaica’s Coroner’s Court proceedings.

International Practice: Privy Council Appeals

Grant v The Queen [2007] 1 AC 1. Successful appeal against murder conviction where the constitutionality of the Jamaican Evidence Act provision relying on statement of absent witness was challenged.

Tapper v The Queen [2012] 1 WLR 2712. Criminal appeal, whether a delay in proceedings was in breach of the constitutional right to due process.

Phipps v DPP and AG [2012] UKPC 24. Appeal against murder conviction.

Commissioner of Police and Another v Steadroy Benjamin  [2014] UKPC 8, Criminal law appeal which considered the right of a citizen to institute criminal proceedings and the power of the of the DPP to discontinue criminal proceedings.

Turks and Caicos Islands (Court of Appeal)

Thalia is currently instructed for the defence in an appeal against a murder conviction which has been fixed for hearing in November 2017 in the TCI.

Training

Thalia is a Middle Temple Advocacy Trainer and has written Human Rights training programmes and conducted Human Rights Training with Correctional Officers in Jamaica.

International Scholarship

Thalia was a recipient of the British Chevening Scholarship (2006/7)

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