Women's Rights

Bhatt Murphy is committed to promoting and protecting the rights of women across all areas of our work. We work collaboratively as lawyers to secure the best outcomes for our clients and promote better legal protection for women, drawing on specialist knowledge from across the firm in discrimination, judicial review, police actions, immigration and migrant rights, prison law and inquests.

We act for individuals in civil claims for compensation, judicial reviews, inquests/inquiries and domestic homicide reviews; and NGOs as claimant or intervenors in strategic judicial reviews. Examples of our women’s rights work includes:

  • Judicial reviews and compensation claims against the police and other agencies where they have failed to protect women and girls from violence and abuse and/or failed to investigate crimes of violence against women and girls (including trafficking)
  • Domestic Homicide Reviews, inquests and civil claims representing the families of women who were murdered by their partners where the police failed to protect them
  • A series of judicial reviews challenging the Northern Irish and UK governments on various aspects of the legality of the restrictive abortion regime in Northern Ireland, (now undergoing significant reform).
  • Strategic judicial review for pregnant women in immigration detention against the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which challenged the legality of the policy and practice of detaining pregnant women. The case lead to a review and ultimately a successful campaign to change the law. We act for pregnant women in their compensation claims for unlawful detention under immigration powers.
  • Complaint and compensation claim against the police for assault on a heavily pregnant woman for discrimination, false imprisonment, misfeasance and breaches of HRA, which led to substantial damages, an apology and gross misconduct proceedings
  • Discrimination/ human rights claims for women detained in police custody whilst on their period who were not treated with dignity and respect
  • Compensation claims on behalf of women subjected to abuse of power/misconduct by male police officers
  • Judicial review claim challenging the use of force against pregnant women held under immigration powers which lead to a reinstatement of the policy preventing the use of force save for to prevent harm
  • Judicial reviews challenging NHS charging decisions for women who received maternity care and other services
  • Judicial review concerning a public inquiry into the treatment of women and their children in historic adoption practices up to the early 1980s.
  • Judicial reviews and compensations claims against the police and prisons regarding the treatment of transgender women within the criminal justice system
  • Judicial reviews and compensation claims against the state on behalf of women in Mother and Baby Units within the prison estate
  • Our work on deaths in prison has also frequently focused on the particular needs of women in the prison estate

We seek to use learning from our casework to achieve changes to policies and legislation that benefit women. We are leading a research project, funded by the Legal Education Foundation, which aims to interrogate the institutional learning brought about by domestic homicides and other femicides. The data may be an important tool in the campaign for action to be taken to prevent future deaths and prevent violence against women and girls.

Referrals

We are very happy to receive enquiries from individuals, NGOs and others for cases that fall within our areas of expertise. Enquiries can be made by telephone (0207 729 1115) or email (mail@bhattmurphy.co.uk). Please do get in touch. We endeavor to respond to queries promptly.

Please note that we do not assist with immigration or criminal cases or appeals. If for any reason we are unable to assist, we will try to put you in touch with someone who can.