Maya Sikand has been instructed as junior counsel for Peter Francis in the Pitchford Inquiry into undercover policing. Peter Francis is the now notorious former police officer and whistle-blower who, despite the Official Secrets Act, exposed the activities of the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) (more information on this can be found in the Guardian). Mr Francis’ accounts were instrumental in leading the Home Secretary to announce such an inquiry. Her terms of reference are set out here.
The inquiry will be led by senior judge, Lord Justice Pitchford, who will be scrutinising the actions of undercover police officers that permeated hundreds of political groups during the past five decades. The inquiry, in which there are over 140 core participants, is the first of its kind to examine mass undercover infiltration by the police.
There will be three main components to the inquiry, which is scheduled to take three years:
- Establishing what has happened in terms of the motivation for and scope of undercover policing
- An investigation into systems and procedures, and the awareness of undercover policing within the government
- Evidence from witnesses about the future of undercover policing
Further details are available here: Undercover Policing Inquiry.
The inquiry has been widely covered in the press, including by the BBC.
Maya Sikand is instructed by Rosa Curling of Leigh Day. Maya is a member of Garden Court Chambers’ Civil Liberties Team (which includes Inquests and Claims Against the Police and Public Authorities). Team members have been instructed in some of the biggest public inquiries to date, including the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, the Zahid Mubarek Inquiry and the Azelle Rodney Inquiry, and have expertise across the areas of inquests, inquiries and civil actions against the police and other public bodies.