The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act 2021 - A dangerous affront to our civil liberties?

Monday 24 May 2021

Tim Baldwin

Jacob Bindman

Susan Wright

Laura Lázaro Cabrera

Kate Wilson

This webinar is brought to you by the Garden Court Chambers Civil Liberties and Human Rights Team.

Date: Monday 24 May 2021
Time: 5.30pm-7pm
Venue: Online  
Cost: Free
Areas of Law: Civil Liberties and Human Rights

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Despite wide ranging opposition, The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act 2020 has received Royal Assent. The Act provides full immunity to those authorised to commit crimes in the name of intelligence gathering. As implementation is underway, we look at how the law came about and the serious concerns that remain regarding its potential effect. A panel of experts will highlight the concerns and invite discussion about the best way forward. 




Tim Baldwin, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Tim Baldwin is identified as a leading junior in the Legal 500 for Social Housing; Court of Protection and Community Care; and Civil Liberties and Human Rights and is ranked in Chambers UK for Social Housing. Tim is known for his fierce commitment to representing vulnerable, marginalised and disadvantaged clients. He has appeared in a number of reported cases in the Court of Appeal, High Court, Upper Tribunal, as well as significant inquests.

Tim is highly regarded for his public and administrative law practice, which includes housing, community care and social welfare, Court of Protection and DOLS, civil liberties, human rights and inquests, planning, general administrative and public law, commercial judicial review and judicial review of regulatory bodies and Ombudsman cases. Tim is a case reviewer for the Bar Pro Bono Unit for welfare benefits and has been nominated in the past for pro bono lawyer of the year.

Jacob Bindman, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Jacob provides advice and representation in the areas of criminal, public and international law. Jacob’s practice includes criminal defence, financial crime, extradition, national security and related public law matters. Jacob also provides advice and assistance on international human rights issues. Jacob regularly provides advice and representation to individuals and NGOs on issues involving human rights, national security, corruption and environmental abuses. Jacob is also instructed to advise on appeals to the Privy Council. He currently sits on the Executive Committee of the Bar Human Rights Council.

In 2015 Jacob was a Pegasus Fellow at the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York where he worked on habeus corpus petitions for remaining Guantanamo Inmates and the CCR's attempts to secure prosecution at the ICC of those involved in the Bush era torture program. In 2020 Jacob spent a week at  Guantanamo Bay as an international observer at the trial of US v Mohammad et al (the 9/11 trial).

Jacob has also previously worked at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for the senior legal advisor to President Song on issues of international criminal law and judicial review, particularly in the detention context. Following this, Jacob worked at the Independent Jamaican Council for Human Rights in Kingston, Jamaica where he assisted with civil actions against the police and capital appeals. In October 2020 Jacob wrote a detailed blog on the 'The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill 2020', read it here

Susan Wright, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Susan has a wealth of human rights experience, most recently as the head of Rights Watch (UK) where she was responsible for advocacy, campaigning and strategic litigation to hold the UK government to account for human rights abuses in conflict settings. Her evidence to the Select Committee on Inquiries Act 2005 was repeatedly cited in their report and recommendations.

As Director of Médecins du Monde UK she oversaw delivery of humanitarian aid and submitted evidence at the UN level (Human Rights Commission, Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants) and European level (Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights).

Laura Lazaro Cabrera, Legal Officer, Privacy International
Laura works on surveillance-related litigation, as well as researching and challenging the oppressive use of technology by government and private actors. In particular, Laura is interested in the impact of surveillance on the enjoyment of human rights beyond privacy. Prior to joining Privacy International, Laura was a Litigation Fellow at the Open Society Justice Initiative, where she supported claimant-side human rights litigation globally. Previously, Laura was a Visiting Professional at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Laura holds an LL.B and LL.M in Transnational Law from King’s College London, where she was a Dickson Poon Scholar. She is a member and scholar of Inner Temple.

Kate Wilson, Activist against the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act 2021
Kate Wilson is an activist who was deceived into a relationship with the undercover police officer Mark Kennedy. Kate Wilson was in her twenties and involved in campaigns for social justice when in 2003 she met a fellow activist, calling himself Mark Stone. They had an eighteen-month relationship and remained friends until 2010 - when he was unmasked as an undercover officer sent to infiltrate the environmental movement.

His real name was Mark Kennedy and he was married with children. The truth was discovered by another activist who had been in a six-year relationship with Kennedy. Kate has learned that a number of other people she regarded as friends have also turned out to be undercover police officers. Kate's legal action against the Met and the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) cites breaches of her right to freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment, her right to privacy, her right to freedom of expression and association, and sexist discrimination.

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