Our notable Public Law cases

"The People v Snooperscharter"

Shamik Dutta has been instructed by the National Council of Civil Liberties ('Liberty') in their challenge to the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. The challenge is being crowdfunded and has received widespread public support. More than 200,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Act to be repealed.

Calais Cases

Building on the work of the firm in the test case of R (ZAT) v Secretary of State for the Home Department in High Court and Court of Appeal, Janet Farrell, Mark Scott, Hamish Arnott and Jane Ryan have acted for a large number of children in the Jungle camp in Calais – and elsewhere in Italy and Greece - who were separated from family members in the UK. Their work with the children involved extensive pre-action protocol correspondence and representations concerning their rights under Dublin III Regulation, including the first cases of their kind being successfully, safely and lawfully transferred to the UK. Our clients included children without identity documents and children relying on the discretionary provisions of the Dublin III Regulation. 

Privacy International

Mark Scott acts for Privacy International in a number of challenges to indiscriminate state surveillance first disclosed by Edward Snowden. These challenges include one judicial review before the administrative court, a claim before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal and an application currently awaiting a hearing before the European Court of Human Rights.

R(NUJ) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and Secretary of State for the Home Department

Shamik Dutta represents the National Union of Journalists and its members in an ongoing challenge to the Metropolitan Police collection and retention of intelligence concerning law abiding journalists on its domestic extremism database. The journalists each report on police, state and corporate malpractice and are all of good character.

R (on the application of Caetano) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2013] EWHC 375 (Admin)

A new legal basis for quashing police cautions was established by the High Court in a judicial review brought by a survivor of domestic violence. It was believed to be the first occasion on which a caution has been quashed on the basis that it is was not in the public interest.

R (on the application of Castle) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2011] EWHC 2317 (Admin)

The Claimants were children, who sought declarations and damages on the ground that their containment by the police during a demonstration was unlawful. The Court found the obligation on the police was to carry out their existing functions in a way that took into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and that any interference with freedom of movement had to be fully justified.

R (Keith Lewis) v HM Coroner for Mid and North Division of the County of Shropshire [2009] EWCA Civ 1403

The Court of Appeal found that in order to satisfy the requirements of Article 2 ECHR, inquests must identify system failings that might have prevented deaths in custody even where it can never be known whether the defects in the system would have prevented the death.

R (Pounder) v HM Coroner for North and South Districts of Durham and Darlington [2009] EWHC 76 (Admin)

The Court found that a Coroner acted unlawfully when conducting an inquest into the death of Adam Rickwood, a 14 year old boy who died in Hassockfield STC. The Coroner for the North and South Districts of Durham and Darlington refused to rule on the legality of the force used on Adam shortly before his death and Mr Justice Blake considered that this resulted in a flawed inquiry and verdict. A new inquest was required.

R (Al-Skeini and others) v Secretary of State for Defence, CA 2005

Judgment for the Claimants: Intervention on behalf of REDRESS in challenge to the refusal of the Defendant to apply Article 2/3 standards to investigation of civilian deaths at the hands of British soldiers in Iraq, invoking an extension of the jurisdiction of the ECHR and the HRA to those deaths in certain circumstances.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner v Christine Hurst, CA 2005

An important test case concerning retrospectivity under the Human Rights Act. We successfully argued that section 3 of the Human Rights Act (on interpreting Acts of Parliament to comply with Convention rights) should operate to ensure a Convention compliant inquest concerning systemic contributors to the death albeit that the death had occurred before the Act came into force. Re McKerr distinguished. The case itself concerns failures on the part of the Metropolitan Police and others to take steps to protect the deceased who was at risk from a third party.

R (Mills and Poole) v Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) 2000

Judgment for the Defendant: Challenge to refusal of CCRC to refer the convictions to Court of Appeal in this miscarriage of justice invoking the impact of ECHR considerations of Article 6 unfairness on domestic considerations of abuse of process and safety of convictions – judgment of the LCJ expressing doubts about the safety of the convictions resulted in reconsideration by the CCRC and the subsequent quashing of the convictions at the Court of Appeal in 2003.