Sarah Hemingway

Year of Call: 2006

“Sarah is one of the best juniors around."

Chambers UK, 2024 (Police Law, Band 1)

"Sarah is an experienced and thorough counsel. Her work is done to a high quality and she undertakes complex tasks with the minimum of direction required. She is also a real team player and works extremely well with her colleagues."

Chambers UK, 2024 (Inquests & Public Inquiries)

"Sarah is sound in all areas. Her drafting is exceptional and she is able to explain the the most complex legal points to clients in such a simplified manner that they are easy to understand."

Chambers UK, 2023

"She has vast experience in police trials."

Chambers UK, 2022 (Police Law)

"Sarah is a skilled advocate, both in written submissions and on her feet, and is very thorough and always extremely well prepared. She inspires confidence in clients and is really great to work with."

Legal 500, 2022 (Inquests & Inquiries)

"She has a detailed level of knowledge of inquest law and the intricacies within it."

Chambers UK, 2021 (Police Law)


To get in touch:​ Or you can contact the relevant​ Practice Team Clerks directly and they will be happy to assist with your enquiry.

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Sarah Hemingway regularly represents claimants in civil jury trials, including multi-handed and multi-claim cases, often involving false imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution. She appears at the county courts, high courts and Court of Appeal.

Claims Against the Police and Public Authorities


A major part of Sarah's practice involves civil claims against public bodies, with a particular focus on actions against the police. She is experienced in jury trials involving false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution and other torts and regularly advises on similar claims.

Sarah also has experience of round-table negation and mediation in police cases and recently helped to settle a race discrimination claim against Kent police for £50,000 plus an extensive written apology. In the case of Alford v CC Cambridgeshire Police she was junior counsel to a serving police officer who brought a claim against a neighbouring police service for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

Notable Cases

Past notable cases can be viewed below. Click here to see a list of recent notable cases.

Erinle v CC Merseyside Police
Sarah secured damages for a man assaulted by police in the course of an arrest then maliciously prosecuted for assault PC.

Pannell v Chief Constable of Surrey Police
Sarah was junior counsel in a team that managed to secure £40,000 for the victim of an assault by a police officer.

Deakin v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police
Sarah secured substantial damages for a man falsely imprisoned, assaulted and maliciously prosecuted for affray.

Stanford v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police
Successfully represented a claimant in relation to a case involving an arrest for breach of the peace in a domestic setting.

Hayes v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police [2012] 1 WLR 517
Sarah was junior counsel before the Court of Appeal case clarifying the application of the "necessity of arrest" requirement.

Marper v UK
Sarah worked on this case as a pupil, wherein the ECtHR unanimously held that the blanket retention of DNA breached Article 8.

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Inquests and Inquiries

Sarah's inquest work includes deaths in custody, deaths occurring soon after contact with police and health authorities, and deaths at work or those involving prospective prosecutions by the Health and Safety Executive. Civil claims in negligence or Article 2 claims following the inquest procedure are growing areas of practice.

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Prisoners’ Rights

Sarah is regularly instructed in prisoner adjudications and parole board applications, providing written representations and advocacy at oral hearings. She also advises on potential challenges to recall, prisoner complaints and other civil actions or human rights claims brought by prisoners.

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Administrative and Public Law

Judicial Review

Sarah mainly advises on judicial reviews arising from the criminal justice system such as the decisions of the Parole Board, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, magistrates, the Criminal Cases Review Commission and CICA. She has represented both prisoners and victims of crime in their applications before the High Court and is currently acting in a number of challenges against the IPCC. A growing area of work involves challenging decisions to detain within the immigration context.

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Mental Health Law

Sarah is often instructed in cases involving detention and human rights before the Mental Health Tribunals. Court of Protection work is a growing area of interest.

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Criminal Defence


Criminal work makes up a significant part of Sarah's practice involving crown court trials, appeals and cases stated to the High Court.

Notable Cases

R v Abad Siddique and ors [2010]
Led junior for the main defendant in a prosecution arising from "Operation Retriever" where the charges included rapes, several false imprisonments and sexual assaults against a number of complainants.

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Protest Rights

Sarah has substantial experience in the area of protest cases, such as those arising out of "Climate Camp and other environmental campaigns, including sentencing of the 49 Stansted protesters ("Plane Stupid") case. She continues to represent people in cases where there is a potential civil claim arising out of police acts or omissions and in ASBO applications.

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International Human Rights

Sarah works internationally as a human rights expert for the Council of Europe training police in developing countries (completing missions in Georgia, Albania, Azerbaijan, Russia) and has represented Northern Ireland at international seminars held in Paris and Strasbourg.

In June 2011 and March 2012 she was involved in the training of senior UK police officers in human rights and public order.

In 2010 she was an international legal observer of an employment trial in Turkey for the International Centre for Trade Union Rights. And her report assisted in speeding up victory for the unfairly dismissed employees.

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Pro Bono Work

Sarah continues to work for the Asylum Support Appeals Project, which provides free representation for failed asylum seekers needing financial support and housing. She also works for the organisation Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) providing free representation at bail hearings in the AIT.

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Notable Cases & News

Garden Court Chambers revises policy on Stratford Magistrates' Court

23 May 2024

Garden Court Chambers statement on security searches at Stratford Magistrates' Court

8 May 2024

"The end did not justify the means" - Undercover Policing Inquiry Interim Report Released by Inquiry Chair Sir John Mitting

Garden Court Chambers counsel, of the Inquests & Inquiries Team, are instructed in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

29 June 2023

G4S admits its failures in the running of a prison amounts to breach of the Article 2 systemic duty

Sarah Hemingway of Garden Court Chambers and Nick Armstrong KC of Matrix Chambers instructed by Jo Eggleton and Shaki Sanusi of Deighton Peirce Glynn.

23 March 2023

Garden Court Chambers and Garden Court North remember Ian Macdonald QC

Garden Court Chambers and Garden Court North were honoured to host a memorial event for Ian Macdonald QC 1939-2019 at Middle Temple Hall on Tuesday 7 February 2023.

17 February 2023

Garden Court secures top tier rankings in the Legal 500 2023

Garden Court Chambers is proud to be recognised as a Top Tier set again in the Legal 500.

30 September 2022

Members of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team support escalating proposed CBA action to include days of action

17 June 2022

Young claimant awarded damages for false imprisonment by Nottinghamshire Police

Sarah Hemingway of Garden Court Chambers acted for the claimant, instructed by Gregsons Solicitors of Nottingham.

26 May 2022

Stephanie Harrison QC, Chair and Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, comments on the Nationality and Borders Bill receiving Royal Assent

29 April 2022

Garden Court Crime Team statement on no returns action

30 March 2022

Family wins High Court challenge following inquest into prison death where jury were not properly directed as to their conclusions

Stephen Simblet QC and Sarah Hemingway, of the Garden Court Chambers Inquest Team, were instructed by Bhaskar Banerjee of GT Stewart solicitors.

14 January 2022

Garden Court secures number one rankings in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2022

21 October 2021

Garden Court Chambers Crime Team shortlisted for Crime Set of the Year by Chambers Bar Awards 2021

We are delighted to announce that the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team has been shortlisted by the Chambers Bar Awards 2021 for Crime Set of the Year.

27 August 2021

Undercover Policing Inquiry - Garden Court counsel instructed

Garden Court Chambers counsel instructed to represent clients at the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

18 February 2021

‘Running on empty’ – Garden Court Chambers contributes to Bar Council Report on Civil Legal Aid

The Bar Council has today released their Civil Legal Aid Research Report which reveals the severity of problems in the civil legal aid system and its implications for access to justice.

15 January 2021

Inquest concludes that fatal stabbing of Bathsheba Shepherd could have been prevented

The family was represented by Sarah Hemingway of the Garden Court Chambers Inquest and Inquiries Team, instructed by Claire MacMaster and Aimee Brackfield of Simpson Millar.

5 October 2020

Lisa Skidmore Inquest and the role of Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements in protecting the public

Sarah Hemingway is representing the family, instructed by Sarah Kellas and Harriet Wistrich of Birnberg Peirce Solicitors.

29 January 2019

Claimant awarded damages by jury for his false imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution by the Metropolitan Police

Sarah Hemingway represented Mr O'Connor and was instructed by Elaine MacDonald of Tuckers Solicitors.

29 November 2018

Inquest concludes into self-inflicted death of Ellie Brabant in mental health unit run by Southern Health

Ellie Brabant's family were represented by Sarah Hemingway of the Garden Court Chambers Civil Liberties Team.

13 November 2018

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

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

All related news


Before coming to the Bar, Sarah was the human rights training adviser to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

She has also worked extensively on human rights issues at the international level. As an immigration and human rights consultant for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (Bosnia and Herzegovina), she worked predominantly on issues of trafficking, discrimination and economic and social rights. As a human rights officer at the OSCE/ODIHR (Poland) she worked with the senior legal adviser on anti-trafficking issues and international human rights law.


Turkey: Sinter metal trial observation report, ICTUR, August 2010

Legal response to women as victims of trafficking: A European perspective, Pakistan Journal of Women's Studies: Alam-e-Niswan, Vol 16, No. 1&2, 2009 (co-authored with Phillippa Kaufmann)

DNA Discrimination, New Law Journal (co-authored with Azeem Suterwalla), April 2008

Challenges in defining and operationalising a human rights-based approach to development: Experience from the Rights-Based Municipal Assessment and Planning Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina, IDPM, University of Manchester, 21-22 Feb 2005

The impact of tourism on the human rights of women in South East Asia; The International Journal of Human Rights, vol.8, No.3, pp.275-304 Autumn 2004

Sexual minorities and the international human rights framework; presented at Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights Summer School, "3rd Generation Human Rights", September 2003.

Excess Baggage?: The responsibility of companies and individuals for human rights abuses within the tourism industry, Human Rights Law Review Student Supplement, 2002.

Training and Seminars

Sarah works internationally as a human rights expert for the Council of Europe training police in developing countries (completing missions in Georgia, Albania, Azerbaijan, Russia) and has represented Northern Ireland at international seminars held in Paris and Strasbourg.

In 2021, Sarah spoke at the LAPG Annual Legal Aid conference on the future of the civil legal aid bar and contributed to vital research, on behalf of INQUEST, into exceptional case funding for bereaved families at inquests. This led to an important rule change that means bereaved families at inquests are now able to apply for legal representation through exceptional case funding without means-testing. 

In June 2011 and March 2012 she was involved in the training of senior UK police officers in human rights and public order.

In 2010 she was an international legal observer of an employment trial in Turkey for the International Centre for Trade Union Rights. And her report assisted in speeding up victory for the unfairly dismissed employees.


  • BA (Hons) Politics
  • LLM Human rights law (University of Nottingham)
  • Middle Temple Diplock Scholar

Professional Membership

Police Action Lawyers Group

Inquest Lawyers Group

Free Representation Unit (Employment Law)

Fair Trials International Young Defenders Network 2009

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