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Gemma Loughran

Year of Call: 2008

"Just a really safe pair of hands for pretty much everything. Approachable, down to earth, great with clients and an astute tactician."

Chambers UK, 2020

"My number one barrister of choice for challenges to the Home Office's failure to identify victims of trafficking. She brings so much knowledge to the cases."

Chambers UK, 2020

"Always has the client’s bests interest at the forefront of every decision and always thinks pragmatically."

Legal 500, 2020

"Confident and decisive. She fights hard for her clients."

Chambers UK, 2019

"Impressive and provides very persuasive and well-drafted written submissions."

Legal 500, 2019

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Gemma Loughran provides advice and representation in all areas of immigration, asylum and human rights law. She is recommended in the Legal 500 2019 and in the Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019 in immigration. She is registered with the Bar Council for public access work. 

Immigration Law

Overview

Gemma has extensive experience in asylum and human rights law, having worked in the field for over 15 years. She regularly appears in high-level complex asylum and deportation appeals.

Gemma undertakes national security work in the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, acting in deprivation of citizenship cases.

Gemma is able to advise on private immigration matters including all aspects of the Points Based System, family based applications, nationality, visit visas and EEA applications.

Notable Cases

Court of Appeal

AS (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 208
Preliminary hearing in a pending appeal against the decision of the Upper Tribunal in a Country Guidance case about the return of Afghan nationals to Kabul – AS (Safety of Kabul) Afghanistan CG [2018] UKUT 0018 (IAC). It raised a novel question of jurisdiction about the circumstances in which the Upper Tribunal can correct errors in the reasons which it gives for its decisions.

AB (Sierra Leone) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] (C5/2015/3121)
Complex legal argument regarding the issue that the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s refusal to revoke the deportation order left the Appellant in a state of limbo that was likely to endure indefinitely.

GS (India) & Ors v SSHD [2015] EWCA Civ 40
Important test case on the circumstances in which applicants with very serious medical conditions for which they (i) are receiving life sustaining medical treatment and (ii) may receive life transforming treatment; may resist removal from the UK, the consequence of which would be death within a very short space of time.
 

Country Guidance Cases

AS (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (AA/03491/2015)
Country guidance on the issue of the safety and reasonableness of internal relocation to Kabul for those who have been found to have a well-founded fear of persecution in their home area in Afghanistan.

MOJ & Ors (Return to Mogadishu) Somalia CG [2014] UKUT 00442 (IAC)
Country guidance on the issue risk on return to Mogadishu.

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Administrative and Public Law

Gemma appears in the High Court in a broad range of cases often involving challenging removal, detention, certification, trafficking decisions under the National Referral Mechanism, fresh claim refusals, legacy decision making and other immigration-related public law challenges. Gemma is experienced in urgent removal cases and is comfortable taking instructions at short notice. Gemma represents unaccompanied asylum seeking children trying to join family members in the UK under the family reunification provisions in the EU Dublin III Regulation.

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Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery

Overview

Gemma is particularly well known for her experience and expertise in trafficking cases.

She is a contributing author to Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice (LexisNexis), the UK’s leading practitioner textbook in immigration law and is currently updating the chapter on trafficking for the forthcoming edition.

She is also a contributing author to Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, Law and Practice (Bloomsbury).

She co-convenes the Anti Trafficking Legal Project.

Notable Cases

Notable Cases

The Queen on the Application of O and H v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 148 (Admin)
A test case on the delays by the Secretary of the Home Department in the process of making "Conclusive Grounds" decisions in respect of potential victims of human trafficking had become so significant and so widespread as to be unlawful.

The Queen on the Application of MN v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 3268 (QB)
Gemma was instructed by the intervener: The AIRE Centre. The case raises issues of general public importance with wide-ranging implications for the identification and protection of victims of human trafficking. It was submitted that the Defendant’s policy, which is to apply a standard of proof of balance of probabilities in its procedure for the identification of victims of human trafficking, is unlawful.

 

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Background

Prior to coming to the Bar, Gemma worked as a senior asylum appeals caseworker for Refugee and Migrant Justice (formerly the Refugee Legal Centre).

Publications

Gemma is a contributing author to Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice (LexisNexis), the UK’s leading practitioner textbook in immigration law and is currently updating the trafficking chapter for the forthcoming addition. Gemma is also a contributing author to Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, Law and Practice (Bloomsbury).

Somalia: Indiscriminate Risk, Journal of Immigration Asylum and Nationality Law, Gemma Loughran and Harriet Short, 2012, 26(2), 175189.

Training and Seminars

Gemma regularly delivers Continuing Professional Development (CPD)-accredited seminars covering different areas of immigration practice to keep solicitors up to date with all areas of applicable legislation and case law.

In 2014, Gemma lectured on the 'Refugees and Human Rights' LLM module at London Metropolitan University.

Latest News

New Afghanistan Country Guidance provides a clear pathway for asylum-seekers to win appeals

Sonali Naik QC, Ronan Toal and Gemma Loughran of the Garden Court Immigration Team represented the appellant, instructed by Kam Dhanjal of JD Spicer Zeb Solicitors.

7 May 2020

Garden Court Chambers wins Outstanding Contribution to Diversity & Inclusion Award at Chambers Bar Awards 2019

We pay special tribute to Mia Hakl-Law, Director of Operations and HR at Garden Court for spearheading and championing our work on diversity and inclusion together with many others within our chambers.

1 November 2019

Garden Court Chambers wins the ECPAT Children's Champion Award 2019

The award is made in recognition of Garden Court's tireless work advocating for the rights of trafficked children and developing the law to protect child victims for over a decade.

25 October 2019

Garden Court Chambers shortlisted for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity & Inclusion Award at Chambers Bar Awards 2019

We are proud to announce that Garden Court Chambers has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Contribution to Diversity & Inclusion Award at the Chambers Bar Awards 2019.

9 September 2019

Court of Appeal remit Upper Tribunal Country Guideline case on Afghanistan and provide guidance on correct approach to internal relocation

Sonali Naik QC, Ronan Toal and Gemma Loughran were instructed by JD Spicer on behalf of the appellant. Ali Bandegani was instructed by Baker McKenzie for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

28 May 2019

Garden Court Long Term Mentoring Scheme wins Chambers Diversity Initiative of the Year at UK Diversity Legal Awards 2017

Mia Hakl-Law, Head of Operations & HR, pioneered the mentoring scheme in conjunction with Garden Court's Leslie Thomas QC and Connor Johnston.

30 November 2017

Garden Court and Stephanie Harrison QC shortlisted for Human Rights and Public Law awards

Garden Court has been shortlisted at the Chambers Bar Awards, whilst Stephanie and our Public Law Team are shortlisted at the Legal 500 Awards.

21 October 2016

Chambers UK Bar Guide ranks Garden Court in Band 1

Garden Court Chambers recognised as a leading set for immigration, social housing, civil liberties, police law, Court of Protection, crime and inquests and public inquiries.

30 October 2015

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