Maria Moodie

Year of Call: 2011

"A very responsive junior."

Legal 500 2020

"Can turn around high-quality, detailed work in a short space of time"

Legal 500 2019

"Maria is second to none in her dedication and meticulous preparation in order to get the best possible result for very vulnerable clients whose futures often depend on the outcome of the case."

Warwick Norris, GT Stewart Solicitors and Advocates

"The level of care and attention she gives to a case is unrivalled and her knowledge and skill in representation of victims of trafficking is exceptional. Her grounds are meticulously prepared and she leaves no stone unturned for vulnerable clients."

Firoza Saiyed, Duncan Lewis Solicitors

"Extremely engaged and great with tactics. She is very passionate about the rights of children and trafficked clients and in ensuring they get a holistic advice. Really pleasant to deal with and always responsive"

Silvia Nicolaou Garcia, Simpson Millar Solicitors

Contact

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Maria has a specialist public law practice in the areas of community care (Adult and Children Act cases), human trafficking, migrant welfare, housing, and immigration and asylum law.

Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery

Overview

Maria has developed niche expertise in the area of human trafficking. She frequently advises and represents victims of trafficking in immigration and asylum matters as well as in public law challenges concerning their proper identification as a victim, the resolution of age disputes, and the enforcement of the positive obligations arising under Article 4 ECHR.

Maria has particular specialism in age dispute judicial review challenges which involve cross over issues of homelessness, denied access to education and support services, dispersal, unlawful detention and removal. She is committed to the protection of the rights of these children, who are often experiencing severe mental health issues as a result of torture, abuse and trauma arising from their trafficking experiences.

Maria is co-author of the chapter on Human Trafficking in Macdonald's Immigration Law and Practice (9th Edition).

Notable Cases

Maria was instructed on behalf of the Poppy Project (Eaves for Women) to intervene in test case litigation challenging the Detained Fast Track and, in particular, the inherent unfairness of this process for victims of trafficking.

The Home Office conceded that it had acted incompatibly with Article 4 ECHR and the High Court declared that the process had operated in a discriminatory manner contrary to s.149 EA 2010 for vulnerable groups. The Home Office have now suspended operation of the Detained Fast Track.

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IMMIGRATION: ASYLUM AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Overview

Maria has developed niche expertise in the area of human trafficking. She frequently advises and represents victims of trafficking in immigration and asylum matters as well as in public law challenges concerning age disputes, the proper identification of victims and the enforcement of the positive obligations arising under Article 4 ECHR.

Notable Cases

Maria was instructed on behalf of the Poppy Project (Eaves for Women) to intervene in test case litigation challenging the Detained Fast Track and, in particular, the inherent unfairness of this process for victims of trafficking.

The Home Office conceded that it had acted incompatibly with Article 4 ECHR and the High Court declared that the process had operated in a discriminatory manner contrary to s.149 EA 2010 for vulnerable groups. The Home Office have now suspended operation of the Detained Fast Track.

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Community Care Law

Maria practises in all areas of community care, with a particular focus on Children Act challenges. She has considerable experience of advising and representing claimants in public law challenges relating to community care assessments, child in need assessments, the provision of services and support and the ongoing duties owed to care leavers.

She is specifically engaged with issues that arise from the interface between immigration and the provision of community care and welfare support. Maria previously acted as a Duty Representative for the Asylum Support Appeals Project in the First Tier Tribunal (Asylum Support), where she represented clients in s.4 and s.95 appeals. Maria has experience of advising on judicial review actions arising from these appeals.

Having mentored a number of unaccompanied asylum seeking minors and child victims of trafficking whilst working in the charity sector, Maria has a valuable insight into this client group and the particular issues they face. Maria is frequently instructed to advise and represent victims of trafficking in community care challenges.

Maria has particular specialism in age dispute judicial review challenges, which involve cross over issues of homelessness, dispersal, unlawful detention and removal. Maria is committed to the protection of the rights of these children, who are often experiencing mental health issues as a result of torture, trauma or trafficking experiences.

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Housing Law

Maria advises in all areas of housing law including possession proceedings, homelessness appeals, disrepair, unlawful evictions, allocation of social housing and housing-related anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) injunctions.

The broad nature of Maria's experience means that she is able to apply public law and discrimination arguments effectively in a housing law context, particularly when representing vulnerable clients.

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International Human Rights

Overview

Maria has a dual qualification undergraduate law degree in English and French law, specialising in EU law. She then successfully completed a Maîitrise (MA) in EU and French law at the University of Rennes (France).

Maria was a visiting lecturer at City University, London, where she taught the 'International Human Rights Law and Practice' module to LLM students.

Maria's fluency in French was most recently sought after during an advisory project coordinated by the International Senior Lawyers Project exploring refugee determinations in Cameroon as a result of the increasing numbers of asylum seekers fleeing Boko Haram in Nigeria. Maria welcomes instructions from francophone countries.

Maria will act as an International Expert to assist GREVIO in its evaluation of France's compliance with the Istanbul Convention. The evaluation will take place in Autumn 2018.

European Court of Human Rights

In 2014, Maria was seconded to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg as a Pegasus Scholar. Whilst there she worked closely with the Head of the UK's Legal Division in advising on wide-ranging applications, drafting chambers judgments and communications to the UK government.

Notable Cases

European Court of Human Rights

The recent application brought against the UK following disclosure by Edward Snowden of alleged indiscriminate and un-targeted interception of external communications and metadata of journalistic material contrary to Articles 8 and 10 (Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Alice Ross v UK 62322/14 and Big Brother Watch and Others v UK 58170/13).

Maria also worked on an application alleging violation of religious freedom of expression (Green v UK 36797/14 challenging the Supreme Court's judgement in Bull v Hall [2013] UKSC 73) as well as an application challenging the operation of the limited jurisdiction of the Upper Tribunal to undertake a full merits assessment of decisions made by the Independent Safeguarding Board (Harvey v UK (80237/13)).

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Pro Bono Work

Maria is a panel member for the Bar Pro Bono Unit.

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Background

Prior to her career at the bar, Maria worked for a number of years in the charity sector advising on children's rights issues. This frontline experience very much forms the basis of Maria's commitment to representing children, vulnerable adults and victims of human trafficking.

Maria has previously lived and worked in Japan and subsequently maintained her study of Japanese. She was later awarded a scholarship to study Mandarin at Beijing University. After having spent a considerable amount of time in both countries Maria has a long-standing interest in South East Asia, in particular Chinese and Japanese affairs.

Publications

Maria is co-author of the chapter on human trafficking in Macdonald's Immigration Law and Practice (9th Edition).

Awards

Pegasus Scholarship 2014

Inner Temple Pupillage Award 2012

Lord Taylor Prize 2011 (Second Highest Grade on the BPTC)

NTU Vice Chancellor's Scholarship to Beijing University to study Mandarin Chinese 2011

Representative of NLS at the ICC International Moot Mediation Competition held in Paris

Winner, Nottingham Law School Moot Mediation Competition 2011

Education

  • LLB European (French Law) - University of Exeter
  • Maîtrise en Droit (Européen et Français) - la Faculté de Droit et de Science Politique de l'Université de Rennes 1
  • International Children's Human Rights - LSE
  • BPTC - Nottingham Law School (Outstanding)

Professional Membership

  • Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA)
  • Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
  • Liberty
  • Bar Human Rights Committee (BHRC)
  • Trafficking Law and Policy Forum
  • The ALBA Public Law Forum
  • Panel Member for the Bar Pro Bono Unit

Languages

  • French (fluent)
  • Japanese (intermediate)
  • Chinese Mandarin (beginner)

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