Michael Oswald's Notable Cases

Michael’s significant cases include:

R (oao W80) v Independent Office for Police Conduct [2020] EWCA Civ 1301

Michael acted for the family of Jermaine Baker in this successful appeal where the Court of Appeal gave important clarification of the test to be applied when determining whether police officers’ use of force will amount to misconduct. It has confirmed that where an officer claims to have made an honest mistake that he faced imminent danger, the force used in response may amount to misconduct if that belief was unreasonable.

Abu Zubaydah v Home Office, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, & Attorney General

Michael acts for Abu Zubaydah, currently detained in Guantanamo Bay, in ongoing litigation relating to the actions of the UK Security Services who, between 2002 – 2006, sent questions to the CIA to be used in interrogations of Abu Zubaydah despite knowing that he was subject to extreme mistreatment and probable torture. Most recently, in January 2021, the High Court heard argument on whether the law used to determine his case in respect of the Security Services’ actions is English Law or that of the countries in which he was tortured – judgment is awaited.

Jermaine Baker Public Inquiry

Michael acts for the family of Mr Baker in the Public Inquiry into his fatal shooting by an officer of the Metropolitan Police Service in December 2015. The Inquiry’s website is here.

Weald Action Group: challenge to anti-protest injunction

Michael acted for five Weald Action Group campaigners who challenged a draconian anti-protest injunction and successfully forced the UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) group of companies to radically scale back the Injunction. Weald Action Group press release here.


Michael acts for SW in her application to the European Court of Human Rights. The Court of Appeal found that her treatment by a High Court judge when she was a witness in family proceedings breached her rights under Articles 6 and 8 ECHR. However, she has been unable to obtain compensation for those breaches in the domestic courts because provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 limit the award of damages in respect of judicial acts.

INEOS and others v Persons Unknown, Mr Joe Boyd, and Mr Joe Corré [2017] EWHC 2945 (Ch)

Michael acts for Mr Joe Corré in this case, which concerns the lawfulness of an injunction obtained by the petrochemical and fracking company INEOS. Mr Corré challenged the injunction on the basis that it sought to prevent protest against INEOS’s fracking activities.

Hicks and others v UK
R (Hicks and others) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2017] UKSC 9

Michael acts for the Applicants in this case concerning the meaning of Article 5(1)(c) of the European Convention of Human Rights. It relates to the lawfulness of the arrests of a number of people on the day of the Royal Wedding in April 2011. The Applicants’ case is that their arrests were in breach of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Their claim progressed through the domestic courts to the Supreme Court, where it was unsuccessful, and is now the subject of an application in the European Court of Human Rights.

DEX v Chief Constable Sussex Police

Michael acted for the claimant in this matter in a claim against Sussex Police in relation to an incident where she had made an attempt on her own life and called the police seeking assistance. Instead of seeking to engage with her in a patient and sympathetic manner, the officers arrested her for a breach of the peace and took her to a police station; there she was forcibly stripped (despite telling the officers she had been the victim of gang rape in the past) and was left naked in a cell with only a blanket.

The case settled in August 2017 with payment of substantial damages and an apology to DEX.

The case has attracted media attention bringing considerable public focus on the treatment by police of those suffering mental health crises – see here

R (AB) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2016] EWHC 2714

Michael acts for the family of Mr Jermaine Baker who was shot by officers of the Metropolitan Police on 11 December 2015. This judicial review claim challenged the decision of the Commissioner not to suspend the tactical firearms commander responsible for the operation that led to the death of Mr Baker. The decision not to suspend meant that the officer was allowed to retire and avoid any disciplinary action against him.

Dr Ranjeet Brar v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis

Michael acts for Dr Brar in relation to his treatment by Metropolitan Police officers following the stop of his car in 2011. Michael and Ranjeet can be heard talking about the case to Radio 4’s File on Four here. Four of the officers involved are due to face proceedings for gross misconduct in 2018.

Anti-fascist arrests on 7 September 2013

Michael acts for a number of the 286 people arrested in London on 7 September 2013 in the course of a demonstration against the fascist organisation the English Defence League.

Mohidin & Khan v CPM [2015] EWHC 2740 (QB)

The High Court in this case upheld claims against the MPS brought by Omar Mohidin and Basil Khan finding that they were assaulted, falsely imprisoned and racially abused.

More detail can be found in the press release here. The full judgment is here. Michael acted for the Mr Mohidin and Mr Khan.

R (Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis) v Independent Police Complaints Commission and Mauro Demetrio [2015] EWCA Civ 1248

Michael acted for Mr Demetrio in this case clarifying the power of the IPCC to reopen investigations into police misconduct. The Court of Appeal decision confirmed that the IPCC has the power to reopen its investigations (The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis had argued that the IPCC could not do so as it was functus officio – this was successfully resisted by the IPCC and Mr Demetrio) .

Michael also acted for Mr Demetrio in his civil claim for damages, which settled with payment of a a substantial sum in damages, and in his police complaint, which resulted in Alex MacFarlane, formerly an officer of the Metropolitan Police, being dismissed without notice on 3 July 2013 after he was found to have racially abused Mr Demetrio, including by telling him “you’ll always be a nigger.” Mr MacFarlane was also prosecuted in relation to that incident after the Director of Public Prosecutions was threatened with judicial review proceedings in respect of an initial decision not to prosecute.

R (Roberts) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2015] UKSC 79

Michael acted for Ms Roberts in this Supreme Court case concerning the lawfulness of the powers of stop and search under section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

Murphy v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (2012) EWHC 4123 (QB)

Successful High Court case clarifying the obligations on Defendant police forces to search for and disclose previous unsubstantiated complaints against police officers. The civil claims settled with payment of damages of almost £50,000.


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