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Miranda Butler

Year of Call: 2013

"She is absolutely brilliant: highly knowledgeable, fantastically committed and approachable. A real delight to work with."

Chambers UK, 2021 (Immigration)

"Her commitment to our clients and the public interest issues involved in their claims is exceptional. Her creative approach on how best to serve those by whom she is instructed means she is always thinking “outside the box”. Her drafting is clear and very persuasive and her negotiation and mediation skills are extremely impressive."

Rosa Curling, Associate Solicitor, Leigh Day (2020)

"Miranda has shown herself to be diligent, reliable and sympathetic to clients’ needs. She provides timely and detailed advice. Miranda showed exceptional commitment to bringing the cases before the courts as swiftly as possible."

Zofia Duszynska, Director, Duncan Lewis (2020)

"She is someone who can get on top of huge amounts of documentation and at speed draft quality and effective grounds in a way that belies her year of call."

James Elliot, Partner, Wilson Solicitors LLP (2020)

"She was extremely helpful and friendly, and made sure as counsel that we fully understood what was required and how best to present it. Her work was excellent, and she made extremely insightful and knowledgeable contributions to our planning and strategy around the case. It was clear that she not only understood the law, but also the wider context that we work in as an NGO."

Chai Patel, Legal Policy Director, JCWI (2020)

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Miranda has substantial experience across the spectrum of immigration, community care and public law. Her expertise includes claims relating to unlawful detention, prisoners’ rights, trafficking, and asylum support.

Administrative and Public Law

Overview

Miranda works in a broad range of public law areas, including unlawful detention, community care,  healthcare provision, trafficking, and strategic litigation. She is regularly instructed in judicial review challenges, including urgent matters and applications for interim relief.

In 2019 Miranda was appointed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Panel of Counsel.
Miranda is currently instructed on a strategic challenge to the level of fees for children seeking to register or naturalise as British Citizens, in PRCBC and ors v SSHD, led by Richard Drabble QC.

In January 2020 Miranda was instructed by JCWI to intervene in linked challenges to the Home Secretary’s decision to pursue deportation flights to Jamaica despite the failure to publish the Windrush report. She is regularly instructed in urgent injunctions to prevent removals from the UK. 

Miranda has particular expertise in policy challenges related to support and protection for victims of trafficking. She was rcently led by Amanda Weston QC in EOG v SSHD, a challenge to the prohibition on working for certain victims of trafficking in which the High Court found that the Home Office’s policy prohibiting potential victims of trafficking from working or enjoying leave to remain was unlawful. 

Miranda is currently led by Samantha Knights QC in a challenge to the lack of support given to victims of trafficking in initial accommodation provided by the Home Office. 

Miranda was instructed in NN & LP v SSHD, a successful challenge to the 45-day limit to support for recognised victims of trafficking. As a result of this litigation the Home Secretary agreed to withdraw this challenge and remove the time limit which had previously been imposed on victims of trafficking seeking to access support. 

In 2019 Miranda, led by David Lock QC, was instructed in AB and ors v Livewell Southwest CIC, a claim on behalf of patients who had been successfully treated with diamorphine over several decades whose treatment was suspended without consultation. Miranda’s work on the case included representing the claimants at a pre-judicial review mediation.  Miranda has a particular interest in medical law claims as she teaches medical law at LSE University. 

Miranda regularly works on unlawful detention challenges, both in the Administrative Court and in civil proceedings. She appeared with Anthony Vaughan and David Lock QC in the successful unlawful detention action R (KG) v SSHD.

Miranda has a strong interest in penal reform. She regularly undertakes advisory work in prison law claims, including challenges to segregation, restrictions on family contact and strip searching.

Notable Cases

EOG v SSHD: a successful challenge to the Home Office policy prohibiting victims of trafficking from working or holding leave to remain whilst within the National Referral Mechanism. Miranda was led by Amanda Weston QC. 

YPG v SSHD: a successful challenge to the Home Office’s failure to provide sufficient financial support to victims of trafficking who are pregnant or new mothers. The Home Office conceded the claim and amended her policy. 

PRCBC and ors v SSHD: a challenge to the significant profit made by the Home Secretary on fees charged to children seeking to register or naturalise as British Citizens. Miranda is led by Richard Drabble QC.
AB and ors v Livewell Southwest CIC: a challenge to the suspension of medical treatment on behalf of a group of patients, led by David Lock QC.

NN & LP v Secretary of State for the Home Department: a successful challenge to the 45-day limit on support for recognised victims of trafficking. As a result of this litigation the Home Secretary agreed to withdraw the police.

ZS v Secretary of State for the Home Department: challenge to the implementation of the ‘Dubs’ Amendment, led by Sonali Naik QC and Bryony Poynor.

R (KG)(Sri Lanka) v SSHD [2018] EWHC 1767 (Admin): successful unlawful detention claim, including a challenge based on the failure to provide a rule 34 assessment.

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IMMIGRATION: ASYLUM AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Overview

Miranda practices in all areas of immigration, with a particular focus on asylum and human rights. She is regularly instructed in matters before the High Court, Upper Tribunal and First Tier Tribunal, including judicial reviews and urgent applications for interim relief. She is ranked as an ‘Up and Coming’ barrister in immigration by Chambers and Partners. 

Her practice encompasses asylum and human rights appeals with substantial experience of deportation, EEA cases, the Points Based System and claims related to children.

Miranda is regularly instructed in challenges to removal, including urgent injunctions. She was instructed in strategic challenges to the two Jamaican charter flights which took place in 2020. 

In Miranda is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Panel of Counsel. She is also a contributor to Macdonald’s Immigration Law & Practice.

Miranda is regularly instructed on strategic litigation, often including challenges to Home Office policy. Miranda is currently instructed on a strategic challenge to the level of fees for children seeking to register or naturalise as British Citizens, in PRCBC and ors v SSHD in the Court of Appeal, led by Richard Drabble QC. 

Miranda also undertakes advisory work on a broad range of immigration-related issues, including naturalisation and citizenship issues.

Notable Cases

DJ v SSHD: a challenge to the enforced deportation of a Jamaican citizen who had lived in the UK since the age of 11. Miranda was led by Sonali Naik QC in a strategic claim against the Home Office’s decision to remove Jamaican citizens who came to the UK at a young age despite an agreement with the Jamaican authorities not to do so. 

PRCBC and ors v SSHD: a challenge to the over 60% profit made by the Home Secretary on fees charged to children seeking to register or naturalise as British Citizens. Miranda is led by Richard Drabble QC and the case is currently before the Court of Appeal. 

EOG v SSHD: a successful challenge to the Home Office policy prohibiting victims of trafficking from working or holding leave to remain whilst within the National Referral Mechanism. Miranda was led by Amanda Weston QC. 

YPG v SSHD: a successful challenge to the Home Office’s failure to provide sufficient financial support to victims of trafficking who are pregnant or new mothers. The Home Office conceded the claim and amended her policy. 

NN & LP v Secretary of State for the Home Department: a successful challenge to the 45-day limit on support for recognised victims of trafficking. As a result of this litigation the Home Secretary agreed to withdraw the police.

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IMMIGRATION: ECONOMIC MIGRATION

Miranda acts for individuals and institutions in relation to matters arising under the Points-Based System and other Immigration Rules routes. She also regularly advises economic migrants on administrative reviews and judicial reviews of Home Office decisions. 

Miranda also has particular experience in representing Tier 4 visa holders. Miranda is a contributor to Macdonald’s Immigration Law & Practice (10th edition) and wrote the chapter on students. She is regularly instructed in matters affecting students, including challenges arising out of the English Testing Service scandal.

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Civil Liberties and Human Rights

Overview

Miranda works on a broad range of human rights claims, including issues of unlawful detention, prisoners’ rights and freedom of expression litigation.

Miranda is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Panel of Counsel.

Miranda has experience in litigation before the European Court of Human Rights, having acted for various freedom of expression NGOs intervening in the case of Khadija Ismayilova v Azerbaijan, led by Can Yeginsu. In its 2019 decision the Strasbourg Court agreed with the interveners’ submissions that the state of Azerbaijan had failed in its obligations not only under Article 8 ECHR, but also under Article 10, in that it had failed to protect the privacy of Ms Ismayilova, a journalist, which had a potential ‘chilling effect’ on freedom of expression.

In 2020 Miranda, led by Ben Douglas-Jones QC, represented an appellant to the ECtHR challenging his conviction on the grounds that he had been deprived of a fair trial. 

She also worked for the interveners on Big Brother Watch v UK, a successful challenge to the bulk interception and processing of metadata by the UK and its data sharing with foreign states.

She was awarded the 2017 Pegasus Scholarship and spent three months working as a stagiaire in the UK division of the Court.

Miranda has a particular interest in prisoners’ rights, having previously worked with Reprieve and the Howard League for Penal Reform. She has been instructed on several claims challenging unlawful strip searching in prisons, both by way of judicial review and in civil claims.

Notable Cases

Roy Phillips v UK: counsel for the applicant, challenging his conviction under Article 6 ECHR

Khadija Ismayilova v Azerbaijan: counsel for various freedom of expression NGOs supporting a successful claim by a jailed journalist challenging mistreatment and covert surveillance by the state. The European Court of Human Rights found violations of Article 8 and 10 ECHR.

Big Brother Watch v UK: a successful challenge to the bulk interception and processing of metadata by the UK and its data sharing with foreign states in the European Court of Human Rights. Miranda acted for several interveners specialising on freedom of expression in the US.

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Community Care Law

Miranda practices in community care law and accepts instructions in judicial review claims concerning community care provision, including support under the Children Act, Care Act, age assessment challenges and provision of accommodation and support to asylum seekers and victims of trafficking. She is highly experienced in handling urgent applications for interim relief.

Miranda has particular expertise in claims related to support and protection for victims of trafficking.
In 2020 Miranda appeared with Amanda Weston QC in EOG v SSHD [2020] EWHC 3310 (Admin), a successful challenge to the prohibition on working and lack of support for certain victims of trafficking. The High Court declared that the Home Office’s policy, which failed to provide any route to leave to remain or right to work for potential victims of trafficking, was unlawful.

Miranda has acted in a number of challenges which have led to beneficial changes in Home Office policy regarding the support given to victims of trafficking. She was instructed in NN & LP v SSHD, a successful challenge to the 45-day limit to support for recognised victims of trafficking. As a result of this litigation the Home Secretary agreed to withdraw this challenge and remove the time limit which had previously been imposed on victims of trafficking seeking to access support. 

Miranda acted with Alex Goodman in YPG v SSHD, a challenge to the reduced levels of support available for victims of trafficking who are pregnant or have young children. The Home Office amended their policy as a result of this litigation, leading to higher rates of support for victims of trafficking. 

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Court of Protection

Miranda regularly appears in the Court of Protection and Mental Health Tribunals. Her Court of Protection work mostly involves health and welfare cases and applications under s. 21A MCA. She is also involved in public law claims regarding the healthcare system.

This aspect of her practice is complemented by her experience teaching medical law at LSE University, including mental capacity and mental health law. She is currently writing a practitioners’ handbook on health and medical claims in immigration cases with Rebecca Chapman.

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Pro Bono Work

Miranda is committed to promoting access to justice through acting pro bono. She regularly undertakes advisory or representative work for a range of NGOs and charities and has worked with PEN International, Refugee Rights Europe, and the Project for the Registration of British Children amongst others.

In 2016–2018 Miranda was a coordinator of the Refugee Legal Support Athens Project, which sends experienced immigration practitioners to Greece to provide legal advice and representation for asylum seekers. She has volunteered as an advocate in both Chios and Athens, during which time she gained particular experience of working with unaccompanied minors and on claims under the Dublin III regulation.

She represents immigration detainees on a pro bono basis for Bail for Immigration Detainees and has worked on various death row appeals for the Death Penalty Project.

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Civil Law

Miranda has an extensive background in a range of private law areas, including employment, commercial and negligence claims. She has worked across the spectrum of civil law proceedings both as a judicial assistant in the Supreme Court and in private practice.

This means that Miranda is particularly well-placed to advise on civil proceedings arising out of public law challenges, including false imprisonment and/or damages claims. She is regularly instructed on civil damages claims arising out of tortious acts in the prison and detention estate.

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Notable Cases & News

The new third country inadmissibility regime for asylum claims

Blog post by Mark Symes and Miranda Butler of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team.

5 March 2021

Court of Appeal upheld High Court ruling that £1,000 fee for children to register as British citizens is unlawful

Our Miranda Butler, of the Garden Court Chambers Public Law Team, represented PRCBC with Isabel Buchanan of Blackstone Chambers, led by Richard Drabble QC of Landmark Chambers.

18 February 2021

Amanda Weston QC and Miranda Butler succeed in challenge to Home Office policy excluding potential victims of trafficking from leave to remain and a right to work

Amanda Weston QC and Miranda Butler of the Garden Court Public Law Team are instructed by Zofia Duszynska and Shilpa Caute of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

3 December 2020

Miranda Butler acts in successful challenge to trafficking maternity payments

Miranda Butler of the Garden Court Public Law Team acted in this claim with Alex Goodman of Landmark Chambers and was instructed by Shalini Patel, Toufique Hossain and Lily Parrott of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

9 July 2020

Miranda Butler shortlisted for Legal Aid Newcomer of the Year at LALY Awards 2020

22 May 2020

Implications for expulsions following the Supreme Court ruling of AM (Zimbabwe)

By Mark Symes and Miranda Butler of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team.

19 May 2020

COVID-19 – Implications for Immigration Detention

Miranda Butler of the Garden Court Chambers Civil Liberties and Immigration Teams.

3 April 2020

15 members of Garden Court Chambers appointed to Equality and Human Rights Commission Panel of Counsel

Stephanie Harrison QC, Amanda Weston QC, Bethan Harris, Liz Davies, Grace Brown, Timothy Baldwin, Mark Symes, Joanne Cecil, Stephen Marsh, Anthony Vaughan, Shu Shin Luh, Connor Johnston, Gráinne Mellon, Tessa Buchanan and Miranda Butler.

16 May 2019

Miranda Butler acts in European Court of Human Rights challenge by Azerbaijani journalist

Miranda Butler acted for the interveners, a coalition of NGOs including PEN International and Privacy International.

10 January 2019

A woman's fundamental right to choose: the Supreme Court's decision on abortion in Northern Ireland

Miranda Butler is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Civil Liberties and Human Rights Team.

13 July 2018

Medical examination failures led to torture victim’s unlawful detention by Home Secretary

KG was represented by Anthony Vaughan and Miranda Butler instructed by Ahmed Aydeed of Duncan Lewis.

13 July 2018

Afghan child challenges Home Office on 'Dubs Amendment' at the High Court

Garden Court’s Sonali Naik QC, Bryony Poynor and Miranda Butler represent the claimant, instructed by Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

7 March 2018

Garden Court Chambers welcomes Miranda Butler to the Immigration Team

We are thrilled to announce that Miranda Butler has joined the Immigration Team at Garden Court Chambers.

11 January 2018

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Background

Miranda is a tenacious and dedicated advocate with a broad range of experience in public law and human rights, having worked at the UK Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights as well as a number of NGOs. Having previously worked in refugee camps and prisons she has significant experience of working with vulnerable clients, including unaccompanied minors and trafficking victims.

Miranda joined Garden Court in 2017 as a tenant, having previously worked in a mixed civil and public law chambers. She brings an expertise in civil proceedings to her public and human rights practice.

In 2014 – 2015 Miranda was the judicial assistant to Lord Kerr JSC at the Supreme Court. During that time she worked on a variety of high-profile public law cases including:
R (Evans) v Attorney General
R (Carlile) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
Keyu and ors v Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and anor


In 2017 Miranda worked as a stagiaire at the European Court of Human Rights, working on applications to the court and supporting the UK Division with its caseload. She has also acted in various claims on behalf of freedom of expression NGOs before the European Court of Human Rights.

Prior to pupillage Miranda volunteered in Pentonville and Wormwood Scrubs prisons teaching public speaking and debating to serving prisoners and remains committed to supporting penal reform.

 

Publications

  • Healthcare and medical cases in immigration law: a practical guide for practitioners (with Rebecca Chapman, forthcoming)
  • Home Office policy on leave to remain for potential trafficking victims found unlawful (Free Movement blog, December 2020)
  • Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice (10th edition), contributor 
  • Athens Legal Support (Counsel Magazine, July 2017)
  • Limbo: a virtual experience of waiting for asylum (The Guardian, July 2017, contributor)
  • Athens Refugee Legal Support Project: what's happening on the ground (Free Movement blog, June 2017,)
  • The EU-Turkey refugee deal only succeeded in one thing (New Statesman, December 2016, co-author) The constitutional implications of Brexit (Solicitors' Journal, July 2016)

Awards

Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year – Newcomer of the Year finalist (2020)
Pegasus Scholarship (2017)
Administrative Law Bar Association Scholarship (2015)
Selected for Frank Knox Fellowship (not taken up) (2015)
Times Law Award Finalist (2014)
Inner Temple Major Scholarship (2012)
Inner Temple Exhibition (2011)
MPhil Scholarship, Classics Department, Cambridge University (2010)
King's College Scholarship, King's College, Cambridge (2009)
Henry Arthur Thomas Award, King's College, Cambridge (2008)

Education

  • Bar Professional Training Course (Very Competent), Kaplan Law School
  • Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction), City Law School
  • MPhil in Classics (Distinction), King's College, University of Cambridge
  • MA in Classics (First Class), King's College, University of Cambridge

Professional Membership

  • Equality and Human Rights Commission (Panel of Counsel)
  • Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA)
  • Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA)
  • London School of Economics (Visiting Tutor)
  • Public Law Project
  • Refugee Legal Support: Athens

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