James Mehigan specialises in criminal defence and has broad experience of all aspects of criminal justice-related work. He has particular experience in cases involving human rights issues in the UK and abroad. He has been instructed in high-profile appeals and inquests.
James specialises in criminal defence and has broad experience of all aspects of criminal justice-related work. He has particular experience in cases involving human rights issues. James has been instructed in high-profile appeals.
Jogee & Ruddock, Supreme Court & Judicial Committee of the Privy Council  UKSC 8,  UKPC 7,  2 WLR 681.
Mr Ruddock was convicted of joint enterprise murder in Jamaica. In one of the most significant developments in criminal law in recent years and an historic joint sitting, the Supreme Court and Privy Council unanimously allowed the conjoined challenges of Jogee and Ruddock, correcting a 30-year-old 'error' in the interpretation of the law. Led by Julian Knowles QC. The case received significant national media attention, including in the Guardian.
Lane, Court of Appeal 2015
Appeal against conviction for 1995 contract killing. Led by Joel Bennathan QC. This case was reported in the Guardian.
Bronson, Criminal Cases Review Commission 2015
Appeal against conviction for false imprisonment and criminal damage. Led by Hugh Southey QC. This case was reported in the Guardian.
Taylor, European Court of Human Rights 2013
Application to ECHR relating to breach of Article 6 right to a fair trial.
Livingston, Judicial Committee of the Privy Council  UKPC 36
Ms Livingstone was accused of killing her employer, a high-profile lawyer in Jamaica. The Board found cumulative deficiencies in the directions given to the jury. Led by John Perry QC. This case received significant media coverage, including in the Jamaica Observer.
Nero et al, Administrative Court  EWHC 1238 (Admin); (2012) 176 J.P. 450
Appeal by way of case stated against conviction in Palestinian protest case.
Benalbaida, Court of Appeal 
Appeal against sentence for violent disorder at protests outside the Israeli Embassy against the invasion of Gaza.
James has been instructed in high-profile inquests. As part of the team of lawyers representing families at the Hillsborough Inquests he received Outstanding Achievement Awards from the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2016 and the Modern Law Awards 2016.
Hillsborough Inquests [2014-2016]
James was part of a team instructed on the Hillsborough Inquests. He was led by Stephen Simblet and Sean Horstead.
Inquest into the death of Gladys Richards, Portsmouth Coroner's Court 
Inquest into the death of an elderly lady in Gosport War Memorial Hospital. An Independent Panel later found that over 450 people may have had their lives shortened by over prescription of opioids. This was one of two inquests that concluded opioid prescription contributed to the death.
Inquest into the death of Daniel Smith, Swindon & Wiltshire Coroner's Court 
Death of a prisoner at Erlestoke Prison. This case was reported by the Gazette and Herald.
James began international criminal work in 2008 when he was legal assistant to the defence team in Prosecutor v Sesay at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
He represents clients on appeal to the Privy Council from Caribbean jurisdictions, including representing the Jamaican appellant in the landmark case on joint enterprise Jogee & Ruddock.
He has represented NGOs before the international tribunals, including appearing at the historic first reparations hearing at the International Criminal Court on behalf of Child Soldiers International.
He is a former member of the Policy Council of Liberty and trustee of the UK branch of Front Line Defenders
Prosecutor v Thomas Lubanga, International Criminal Court 
James Mehigan presented an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Child Soldiers International to the International Criminal Court. The London-based NGO had been asked to submit such a brief to the Trial Chamber. This was the first time that a reparations hearing had taken place at the Court and received significant media coverage.
Application for an Arrest Warrant for Ehud Barak 
Application for a UK arrest warrant to be issued for Israeli Defence Minister alleged to have committed war crimes arising out of the invasion of Gaza known as 'Operation Cast Lead'. Led by Michel Massih QC. This case was reported by the Guardian.
Prosecutor v Sesay, Special Court for Sierra Leone 
James was a legal assistant to the team defending Revolutionary United Front (RUF) leader Issa Sesay who was accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
P, Manchester Crown Court 
Led junior in two indictments investigated by four police forces in two jurisdictions. £2.5 million credit card fraud, 'the likes of which had never been seen before'. Led by Nick Wrack.
Sofronea, Wood Green Crown Court 
Money laundering arising out of internet fraud.
T, Snaresbrook Crown Court 
M, Blackfriars Crown Court 
Inciting a 13-year-old to sexual activity and possession of extreme pornographic images.
S, Guildford Crown Court 
Led junior in case involving rape allegations dating back over 20 years. Case stayed As an abuse of process after extensive submissions relating to doli incapax and the presumption of impotence. Led by Katy Thorne.
Other serious crime
Rafiq et al, Birmingham County Court 
One of the first applications for a new gang-related violence injunction, a so-called 'gangbo'.
Groake, Kingston Crown Court 
Conspiracy to rob over £1 million of watches from Selfridges. This case was reported by the BBC.
AD, Southwark Crown Court 2013
Failure to declare terrorist convictions.
Mohamed, Isleworth Crown Court 
Human Trafficking Unit prosecution for a 'passport swap' in Dubai.
Slusnys, Snaresbrook Crown Court 
Theft of £500,000 yacht. This case was reported by the Daily Mail.
Rahman and another, Inner London Crown Court 
Section 18 grievous bodily harm (GBH).
M, Isleworth Crown Court 
Palestinian torture victim accused of entering UK without a passport.
James acts for prisoners in all aspects of prison law from adjudications and parole board hearings to judicial reviews and civil actions in prison cases.
Mordecai, Administrative Court 2016
Judicial review of Parole Board decision not to recommend transfer to open conditions. The original order was quashed. Case received regional media coverage.
Bewley, Court of Appeal 2015
Judicial review of decision not to transfer a prisoner to open conditions because he had absconded in the past. Led by Hugh Southey QC.
Sujen Balachandran, Administrative Court 2013
Judicial review of decision not to allow prisoner compassionate release when he is the only bone marrow match for his terminally ill sister in Sri Lanka.
Reynolds, Administrative Court 2013
Judicial review of refusal to allow release on temporary licence.
Bronson, Parole Board, Wakefield Prison 2013
Represented Mr Bronson, often dubbed 'Britain's most dangerous prisoner' at his oral hearing.