Franck Magennis

Year of Call: 2016

Franck has a broad public, civil and criminal defence practice. His work centres on challenging the most abusive and violent excesses of the British state and the landlord class. He has particular experience of asylum and deportation appeals, housing law, criminal defence, and prison law.

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+44 (0)20 7993 7600

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Immigration Law

Overview

Franck regularly appears in the First-tier Tribunal representing migrants facing removal and deportation. He has acted for clients from numerous countries, including Jamaica, Ethiopia and Iran. He is particularly interested in cases concerning ex-British colonies and countries enduring or recovering from British military violence. He has represented unaccompanied asylum-seeking children from Afghanistan and several Iraqi clients.

He has extensive experience of obtaining immigration bail for vulnerable clients caught in administrative detention. He has a firm command of the law relating to victims of torture and trafficking, and regularly deploys his knowledge of the National Referral Mechanism.

Notable Cases

Afghan unaccompanied asylum seeking child granted asylum after voyage to the Upper Tribunal
AR v Secretary of State for the Home Department (unreported, PA/05037/2017)
The Appellant, an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child from Afghanistan whose father had been murdered, lost his asylum appeal at first instance. Franck succeeded in overturning that decision in the Upper Tribunal, before winning the remitted hearing in the First-tier Tribunal.

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Housing Law

Overview

Franck accepts instructions from defendants resisting possession proceedings, as well as those experiencing homelessness who seek to enforce their right to be housed by a Local Authority. He has experience of suspending warrants for possession, of drafting advice on the merits of defending possession claims against both public and private landlords, and of representing clients up to trial.

Franck was a pupil under Liz Davies, the co-author of Housing Allocation and Homelessness. Through her he gained experience of homelessness appeals under s.204 of the Housing Act 1996.

Notable Cases

Family of seven resist possession and retain introductory tenancy following successful public law defence
Thurrock Borough Council v Scamp (2018, unreported)
The Defendant, her partner, and their five children faced eviction from their Local Authority property which they occupied under an introductory tenancy.

Acting in concert with Kevin Gannon of chambers, Franck successfully made out a public law defence relating to the Local Authority's failure to consider alternatives to eviction pursuant to its duties under s.11 Children Act 2004.

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Prisoners’ Rights

Overview

Franck has experience appearing at parole board hearings, where he brings his knowledge of immigration and deportation law to bear. Before being called to the bar he regularly volunteered his time at the Prisoners' Advice Service, where he developed his knowledge of the practical and legal realities governing life inside.

Notable Cases

Ex-gang member serving life sentence for murder secures transfer to open conditions
S v The Parole Board (2017, unreported)
Franck represented a man who had been convicted of a gang-related murder at the age 17, securing his client's transfer to open conditions.

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Criminal Defence

Overview

Franck accepts instructions from those charged with criminal offences. He is particularly interested in cases relating to public protest and where police officers are involved as complainants. He has acted for people charged while resisting their illegal eviction from squats, for anti-fracking protestors, and for activists monitoring and disrupting badger culls. He is interested in the tactical and political considerations surrounding defences of justification.

Notable Cases

Anti-fracking activists charged with "watching and besetting" receive conditional discharges
R v B and N (2017, unreported)
Franck acted for one of two co-defendants jointly charged with the archaic offence of watching and besetting. The two had "locked on" outside the entrance to a hydraulic fracturing exploration site, which the Crown alleged had disrupted operations for the day. Both defendants were convicted following trial and were sentenced summarily, receiving conditional discharges pursuant to R v Jones (Margaret) [2006] UKHL 16.

Activist charged in connection with monitoring of badger cull acquitted
R v A (2017, unreported)
The Defendant was charged with failing to provide information contrary to s172(2) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 in respect of a motor vehicle used by a number of people to monitor badger culls. Franck secured the Defendant's acquittal.

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Claims Against the Police and Public Authorities

Franck's knowledge of asylum, prison and criminal law strengthens his grasp of how successfully to sue public authorities. Before arriving at Garden Court, he spent two years as a paralegal in the AAP Department at Birnberg Peirce & Partners. There he received training in how to obtain damages from the Home Office, prison governors, police forces, and the Crown Prosecution Service. He also contributed to civil litigation in the High Court governed by Closed Material Procedures, brought against the security services in relation to their imposition of "control orders" on a group of Libyan dissidents.

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Administrative and Public Law

Franck accepts instructions in all areas of administrative and public law. He has experience of the Special Immigration Appeal Commission, including nationality and control order cases. He has also been involved in civil proceedings arising from SIAC decisions.

He is also committed to bringing strategic litigation relating to tax justice, migration and borders, and housing.

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Employment and Discrimination Law

Franck accepts instructions from those bringing claims before the Employment Tribunal. He is particularly committed to representing members of pathbreaking, smaller unions who organise in economic sectors with large numbers of migrant and precarious workers. He is a member of Unite the Union.

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Inquests and Inquiries

Overview

Franck is experienced in representing Interested Parties during inquests.

Notable Cases

Inquest touching on the deaths of Muhamadou Jagana and others (2018), representing five families and an Interested Party injured in the incident
Five migrant labourers were killed when a shoddily constructed wall collapsed on them at a metal recycling plant in Birmingham. The inquest jury found that there was a “foreseeable risk” that the wall would collapse. Franck acted for the families of the five deceased, and for Tombong Camara Conteh, an Interested Party who had been badly injured in the collapse.

 

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Background

Emphasising grassroots and workplace activity, Franck situates his practice within broader movements for socio-economic equality and political liberation. Franck co-founded the Materialist Lawyers' Group, which critically interrogates law's role in reproducing unjust hierarchies and resource distributions.

Franck co-founded Housing Action Greenwich and Lewisham ('HAGL'), a non-hierarchical group of local people who share knowledge and collectively solve their housing problems. During his Master's degree he co-founded Deptford Cinema, a community-run, non-profit arts organisation. He is currently co-pioneering the London Learning Cooperative, a cooperative experiment in redistributive pricing and emancipatory pedagogy.

He enjoys playing piano (especially Rihanna tunes), chess, and writing plays.

Publications

Review: The Shock Doctrine of the Left by Graham Jones, Socialist Lawyer No. 79, June 2018.

Review: The Critical Lawyers' Handbook by Ian Grigg-Spall and Paddy Ireland, Socialist Lawyer No. 77, October 2017.

'Blacklisting of construction workers: a legal black hole', Socialist Lawyer No. 71, October 2015.

'Hands up if you're a 'domestic extremist', Socialist Lawyer No. 70, June 2015.

Training and Seminars

'Homelessness and Allocation: Case Law Update', (in conjunction with Liz Davies, Garden Court) NPSS National Conference 2018.

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Education

  • BA (History)
  • Graduate Diploma in Law
  • LL.M.
  • Bar Professional Training Course

Professional Membership

  • Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
  • Housing Law Practitioners Association
  • Immigration Law Practitioners' Association
  • Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights
  • London Irish Lawyers' Association
  • Materialist Lawyers' Group
  • Police Action Lawyers Group

Languages

  • French (conversational)
  • Spanish (basic)
  • Irish (basic)

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