We are delighted to announce that Maya Sikand has been shortlisted for Civil Liberties and Human Rights Junior of the Year by the Legal 500 UK Awards 2020.
Maya Sikand was called to the Bar in 1997. She is Head of the Garden Chambers Civil Liberties and Human Rights Team. Maya is one of just two Tier 1 Leading Juniors in Civil Liberties and Human Rights in the Legal 500. She is also ranked in Band 1 for Police Law in Chambers & Partners.
Maya has an almost exclusively public law and civil liberties practice, holding public authorities to account through civil damages claims, statutory damages claims, inquiry and inquest work and judicial review. Her criminal work is limited to specialist appellate cases, for example in relation to victims of trafficking. She is a contributing editor of the leading criminal text book Archbold. Maya has written a chapter on compensation claims for victims of trafficking in the handbook ‘Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery: Law and Practice’ (Bloomsbury Professional, 2018).
She regularly advises and appears in relation to HRA 1998 and tortious damages claims against the police and public authorities, such as the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, probation services, the prison service, , local authorities, as well as third-party contractors (such as G4S, Serco and Sodexo). Maya has particular experience in the complex area of negligence claims against public authorities and third-party contractors.
In the context of miscarriages of justice, she has advised on a number of civil claims against HMRC for misfeasance and breach of Article 6 ECHR following successful Criminal Cases Review Commission referrals, as well as statutory compensation claims via the Miscarriage of Justice Application Scheme, particularly in the context of victims of trafficking who should not have been prosecuted for crimes integral to their trafficking status. Additionally, she regularly advises on claims under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
Maya has a long history of involvement in public inquiries. She acted for the Commission for Racial Equality in the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry in 1998. She is currently instructed in the Undercover Policing Inquiry where she is acting for Peter Francis, the whistle-blower and former undercover police officer who exposed activities of the Special Demonstration Squad. The inquiry is scrutinising the actions of undercover police officers that permeated hundreds of political and other groups over the past five decades. She also represented Marina Litvinenko in the inquest into her husband’s controversial death by polonium poisoning before it was converted into a public inquiry. She represents Marina Litvinenko in her on-going human rights claims against the Russian Government in the ECtHR.
Maya also has a wealth of experience in the prison law context bringing judicial review challenges (often combined with HRA damages claims) to: recall, sentence (mis)calculation, licence conditions, prison conditions, security (re)categorisation, searches, discipline, HDC refusal, the treatment of foreign national prisoners, refusal of a place in a Mother & Baby Unit, parole board decisions as well as other human rights and discrimination challenges. Maya regularly advises on associated private law damages claims for unlawful detention arising out of sentence miscalculation or wrongful recall.