Ronan Toal

Year of Call: 1999

"He has fearsome intellect and is a go-to for complex matters."

Chambers UK, 2022 (Immigration, Band 1)

"Ronan is a giant in the field who is exceptionally experienced; passionate and generous with his time; and a perfect choice for all manner of cases. He is simply brilliant."

Legal 500, 2022 (Immigration)

"A real immigration brain; his technical knowledge is second to none."

Chambers UK, 2021 (Immigration, Band 1)

"Ronan has a specialist knowledge of Somali refugee claims and over the years he has been the leading counsel in the country guidance cases. Ronan has an excellent legal mind and his written work is truly first class."

Legal 500, 2021 (Tier 2)

"A go-to barrister who is incredibly clever and can marshal evidence in unappealing circumstances. He has amazing legal knowledge." "Ronan Toal is an excellent lawyer and a very good tactician."

Chambers UK, 2020 (Band 1)

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Ranked in Chambers UK Bar 2022
Legal 500 2022: Leading Junior

Ronan's practice covers all areas of asylum and immigration. He has a detailed knowledge and understanding of the complex and changing interrelationship of international and European law, domestic legislation, immigration rules and policies and judicial decisions that make immigration and asylum a complicated area law.

IMMIGRATION: ASYLUM AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Overview

Having worked in the area since 1989, Ronan has a detailed knowledge and understanding of the complex and changing interrelationship of international and European law, domestic legislation, immigration rules and policies and judicial decisions that make immigration and asylum a complicated area law. He is able to identify practical and creative solutions to his clients' immigration problems and to give clear and comprehensive advice. His assistance ensures the most effective presentation of his clients' cases to the immigration authorities and to the courts and tribunals. Ronan edits Macdonald's Immigration Law and Practice, the leading practitioners' text.

He has made a number of fact-finding visits to Kenya and Djibouti to gather evidence for use in Somalis' asylum and family reunion appeals, including in a number of country guidance cases.

Ronan has recently been instructed in cases involving challenges to:

  • Refusals of applications for leave to remain under the points based system and under the family immigration rules
  • The withdrawal of sponsorship licences
  • The deportation of individuals convicted of manslaughter and of conspiracy to import heroin and of individuals with serious mental illnesses
  • Decisions to remove individuals that would cause catastrophic harm to their health
  • Decisions to remove long resident individuals
  • Denial of rights of appeal
  • Detention under Immigration Act powers
  • He has also been instructed in civil claims for damages for unlawful detention and damages for refoulement

Notable Cases

HH (Somalia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWCA Civ 426
Whether an individual could win an appeal on asylum or human rights grounds on the basis that he or she would be at risk of harm en route to a safe home area.

R (AM (Somalia)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWCA Civ 114
Whether certification of a human rights claim, after an appeal had commenced, could bring the appeal to an end.

BA (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] UKSC 7
In what circumstances the making of human rights claim entitled an individual to appeal against an immigration decision whilst still in the UK.

R (Ozcan) v Immigration Appeal Tribunal [2002] EWCA Civ 1183
Whether removal of an asylum seeker to Turkey exposed him to risk of persecution.

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Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery

A growing part of Ronan's practice consists of cases concerned with trafficking in human beings, including: appeals against deportation of victims of trafficking; claims for judicial review of the Home Office's conduct and policy in relation to trafficking victims; an intervention in the Supreme Court in a case where the Court of Appeal held that a victim of trafficking was not entitled to recover damages from her traffickers owing to her unlawful presence in the UK; civil claims for violations of victims' Article 4 ECHR rights and exploration of remedies in respect of systemic failures by the UK to protect victims of trafficking.

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Administrative and Public Law

Overview

Ronan has been actively involved in lobbying on behalf of the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association in respect of legislative, rules and policy changes.

Notable Cases

Secretary of State for the Home Department v Pankina [2010] EWCA Civ 719
Whether the Secretary of State could lawfully include elements of the points based system in policy documents rather than immigration rules.

HH (Somalia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWCA Civ 426
Whether an individual could win an appeal on asylum or human rights grounds on the basis that he or she would be at risk of harm en route to a safe home area.

R (AM (Somalia)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWCA Civ 114
Whether certification of a human rights claim, after an appeal had commenced, could bring the appeal to an end.

BA (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] UKSC 7
In what circumstances the making of human rights claim entitled an individual to appeal against an immigration decision whilst still in the UK.

CN (Burundi) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2007] EWCA Civ 587
Whether removal of an individual would breach Article 3 of the ECHR owing to the consequences for his mental health.

Saad, Diriye and Osorio v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2001] EWCA Civ 2008
Whether an appeal on asylum grounds could succeed even though the appellant had leave to remain and so was not facing removal from the UK.

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IMMIGRATION DETENTION CIVIL CLAIMS

HXA v The Home Office [2010] EWHC 1177 QB
Claim for damages for unlawful detention.

R (Abdillahi) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWHC 808 Admin
Judicial review of detention pending deportation.

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Notable Cases & News

Garden Court Immigration Team dedicate 10th Edition of Macdonald's Immigration Law & Practice to the life and legacy of Ian Macdonald QC

The General Editors, Stephanie Harrison QC, Ronan Toal & Sadat Sayeed, are leaders in the field & practice in the number one ranked Garden Court Immigration Team. David Neale is a legal researcher & former barrister

25 June 2021

Court of Appeal provides important guidance as to the correct approach to be used by the Competent Authority when deciding whether an individual is a victim of trafficking

The Appellants were represented by Ronan Toal of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team. Our own Stephanie Harrison QC, Gemma Loughran, and Ella Gunn, instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, represented the AIRE Centre.

21 December 2020

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

Landmark Supreme Court judgment on state obligations under Article 4 ECHR to identify & protect victims of trafficking

Shu Shin Luh of Garden Court Chambers acted for the Intervener, the Aire Centre. Ronan Toal, Kathryn Cronin and Bryony Poynor of Garden Court Chambers acted for the appellant instructed by ATLEU in the Court of Appeal and Immigration Tribunals.

18 March 2020

CJEU decision in Bajratari v SSHD(Case 93/18)

Gráinne Mellon and Ronan Toal of Garden Court acted successfully on behalf of the Aire Centre who were intervenors in the case of Bajarati v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] ECR 1.

24 October 2019

New European Court of Human Rights judgment: Greece violates articles 3 and 5

Ronan Toal and Shu Shin Luh of Garden Court acted on behalf of Statewatch as a third party intervener, instructed by Zubier Yazdani of Deighton Pierce Glynn.

20 June 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

Supreme Court reasserts the role of medical experts in asylum claims by torture survivors

The appellant was represented by Ronan Toal and Michelle Brewer. Stephanie Harrison QC, Ali Bandegani and Mark Symes for the interveners.

6 March 2019

Northern Ireland appeal case on 'Chen parents' referred to EU court

Ronan Toal and Gráinne Mellon of Garden Court Chambers acted for the AIRE Centre. 

20 December 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

State Watch granted permission to intervene in SH.D. and Others v Greece and Ors.

Ronan Toal and Shu Shin Luh of Garden Court Chambers are instructed by State Watch.

13 July 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

Landmark Supreme Court judgment on human trafficking

Team of Garden Court barristers instructed by Anti-Slavery International in key Supreme Court case.

30 July 2014

Garden Court Chambers ranked Band 1 in Chambers UK 2014

We are once again delighted to have been ranked as a leading set by Chambers and Partners in the Chambers UK 2014 directory.

31 October 2013

Garden Court Chambers recommended as Top Tier Set in Legal 500 2013

Garden Court Chambers is once again delighted to have been recommended as a Top Tier Set in this year's Legal 500. We are recommended in six areas of law as a set, with 11 silks and 27 junior barristers recognised individually.

25 September 2013

Home Office fails in bid to send transplant patient to "certain death"

In a case likely to determine whether a woman will be able to live a relatively healthy long life or whether she will face an extremely distressing and undignified death within weeks, Roseline Akhalu last week won the latest - and her supporters hope the

2 August 2013

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Publications

Ronan is a general editor of Macdonald's Immigration Law and Practice

He was a consultant editor of Halsbury's Laws of England: Immigration and Asylum

He is an author of Blackstone's Guide to the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009

He is a former contributor to Blackstone's Criminal Practice and the author of articles in Immigration and Nationality Law and Practice

Training and Seminars

Ronan provides training for the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association on: advocacy, Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and new legislation.

Education

  • BA History
  • CPE

Professional Membership

  • Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (ILPA)

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

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