Private law claims against public bodies: Winning tactics and the changing legal landscape

Tuesday 13 June 2017, 2:00pm - 5:30pm

Garden Court Chambers

Date: Tuesday 13 June 2017
Time: 2:00pm - 5:30pm
Venue: Garden Court Chambers, 57-60 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ  

Share This Page

Email This Page

Please note that this event is fully booked. To be added to the waiting list, please email

On 13 June 2017, Garden Court Chambers’ Civil Liberties and Human Rights Team will hold a half-day conference on bringing damages claims against a range of public bodies.

Our barristers will share their experience of winning tactics to pursue and pitfalls to avoid, drawing on novel and innovative points of law and their experience of test case and group litigation. We will examine the significance and potential impact of all the latest developments in this area of law.

Our barrister speakers are drawn from the four specialist areas of our Civil Liberties & Human Rights Team:

  • Claims against the police and public authorities
  • Immigration detention civil claims
  • Inquests and inquiries
  • Prisoners’ rights


14:00 - 14:15 Introduction and chair for the day
Maya Sikand, Head of the Civil Liberties & Human Rights Team

14:15 - 14:45 Private law claims in immigration detention
Stephanie Harrison QC and Michelle Brewer

This session will examine key issues of forum, state responsibility and non-delegable duties to third party contractors, as well as nominal versus compensatory damages in private law claims.  Speakers will share their experience of test case and group litigation, focusing on legal principles, strategy and practice, particularly when pursuing claims against the Home Office.

14:45 - 15:15 Articles 2, 3 and 4 ECHR: Protective and investigative obligations
Emma Favata and Paul Clark

This session will assess the impact of recent developments in case law on positive obligations under the ECHR Articles 2, 3, and 4. Speakers will review the relevant authorities and examine themes, challenges, and potential opportunities, providing delegates with practical tools to address a topic which increasingly arises in practice.

15:15 - 15:30 Coffee Break

15:30 - 16:00 Suing the MoJ: Prisoners' rights and private law remedies
Maya Sikand and Tom Stoate

This session will examine the key torts in this area (negligence, unlawful detention, assault, misfeasance) focussing on recent case law, tactics and pitfalls. It will also examine the value a Human Rights Act 1998 claim can add, particularly where systemic failure has been alleged.

16:00 - 16:30 Alternative remedies: The Ombudsman
Tim Baldwin and Gráinne Mellon

Our speakers will identify and examine how to access and effectively use remedies provided by Ombudsmen in different jurisdictions, to advance your clients interests. In particular they will look at how an Ombudsman and complaints process can be used in public law proceedings either as an alternative remedy or within proceedings. They will also identify how the new public service Ombudsman is proposed to be used.

16:30 - 16:45 Coffee break

16:45 - 17:15 Police claims: Misfeasance in public office and malicious prosecution - where are we now?
Stephen Simblet and Una Morris

The torts of misfeasance in public office and malicious prosecution will be considered in this session, including how they have developed over time, together with analysis of the elements required to prove them. Our speakers will explain the significance and potential impact of recent case law in this area from the QBD and Court of Appeal.

17:15 - 17:30 Conclusions: Drawing the threads together
Stephanie Harrison QC

17:30 - Drinks reception

Please note this event is invitation only and free of charge. If you would like to be added to the waiting list, please email

To find out more about our Civil Liberties and Human Rights Team, visit our dedicated team page.

Follow us at @GCCcivillibs for updates.


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

+ View more awards