Red Lion Chambers has an exceptional pedigree in the field of human rights. We have tremendous experience handling politically complex cases, and often undertake standalone work in this area.
As an experienced legal set, we have a comprehensive understanding of UK, Council of Europe, E.U. and international human rights law, which complements our substantive criminal work in this area.
In addition, our members have lectured and published widely in the field of human rights, especially on fair trial rights, sexual offences and domestic violence, human trafficking, vulnerable witnesses and defendants, children’s rights, prisoners’ rights, reproductive rights, minority rights, and freedom of expression.
Members have also been actively involved in human rights and pro bono work through leading organisations, including the Bar Human Rights Committee, Liberty, Amnesty International, the British Institute of Human Rights, the Redress Trust, the Criminal Bar Association, and the South Eastern Circuit. A number of our members are on the Attorney General Panel Lists and are instructed regularly in immigration and asylum cases raising issues under Articles 3, 6 and 8 of the ECHR.
Members are routinely instructed in high-profile and landmark cases involving human rights issues. Recent cases include:
- A challenge to section 5, of the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004, enacted to deal with situations where two persons have care of a child and it is unclear which of the two caused the harm. It was argued that the provision as amended enlarged the scope of what was recommended by the Law Commission to include vulnerable adults as well as children, and extended criminal liability outside the ‘which of the two’ scenario in breach of Art 7 ECHR (Richard Sutton QC);
- The Bloody Sunday Inquiry, chaired by Lord Saville of Newdigate, considering the events which led to loss of life in Londonderry in 1972 (Alexander Milne QC, Ian Leist QC);
- Operation Svanetia - R v Suchy, Sana, Savova, Ziga, Ziga and Boros: Successful prosecution in conspiracy to traffic vulnerable Roma women from Slovakia to the UK in order to exploit them by selling them into sham marriages with Pakistani men seeking to circumvent immigration law. A landmark order under the EU Directive on Human Trafficking and the Council of Europe Trafficking Convention was achieved. The case was particularly notable as the first to result in the imposition of extra territorial Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. (Riel Karmy-Jones QC leading Noel Casey and Laura Hoyano);
- Defending successfully in the first prosecution brought for Female Genital Mutilation (Ed Vickers);
- Successful landmark challenge to the UK Government, under Article 8 ECHR before the ECtHR over the decision to prosecute a victim of rape for perverting the course of justice because she falsely retracted her true complaint, RA v UK https://www.theguardian.com/law/2016/aug/01/high-court-rules-in-favour-of-victim-who-retracted-accusation-under-duress (David Malone).
- The Al Sweady Inquiry, chaired by Sir Thayne Forbes, considering allegations of unlawful killing and mistreatment of individuals detailed by the British Army in Iraq in 2004 (Emma Gargitter) (Naomi Parsons);
- Acting for an appellant in an extradition case arguing that prison conditions in Lithuania amount to inhuman and degrading treatment in breach of Article 3 of the ECHR (Klentiana Mahmutaj).
- Acting on behalf of the Coroner in the recent Hillsborough inquest, which recently returned verdicts that the 96 spectators at Hillsborough had been unlawfully killed; (Chloe Binding);
Members have also been instructed in cases concerning the death penalty. Anthony Arlidge QC, Gerard Pounder, Ed Vickers and Adam Wiseman have advised and appeared in front of the Privy Council on numerous occasions pro bono for death row prisoners in the Caribbean.
In addition, as one of the founding members and the first Vice Chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee, Sailesh Mehta has advised and lectured several organisations on human rights law, including on Malawi’s constitution and was also joint author of a report on the Marching Season in Northern Ireland with recommendations for reductions in violence.
Amongst our members are academics who have researched and published extensively in the field of domestic and international human rights, and they can bring this knowledge and expertise to their respective cases.
Patricia Londono has lectured, written and published extensively in the field of European and International Human Rights Law, gender based violence, reproductive rights, minority rights as well as on prisoners’ rights. Her doctorate on the human rights of victims of sexual violence was one of the early works on positive duties emerging from Convention jurisprudence in this field, won the Bapsybanoo Marchioness of Winchester Thesis Prize at Oxford University (2006).
She is also general editor (with Sir David Eady and Professor ATH Smith) of Arlidge, Eady and Smith on Contempt, part of the prestigious Common Law Library Series, dealing frequently with issues of freedom of expression in the context of media publications.
Laura Hoyano is a Senior Research Fellow at Wadham College, Oxford and has a distinguished research and publication record in the field of fair trial rights and vulnerable witnesses. Her work in this field has often been cited, including with approval in the House of Lords, and was instrumental in paving the way for special measures for vulnerable defendants.
Her book (co-authored with Caroline Keenan) Child Abuse Law and Policy across Boundaries (2007, 2010, Oxford University Press) examined liability for child abuse in criminal, family, tort and human rights law and won the Inner Temple Book Prize in 2008, described by the Judging Panel chaired by Lord Woolf as “a masterly book on a hugely important subject”, as well as “an inspiring achievement”; the next edition, authored solely by Laura, will be published in 2017.
Her next book (co-authored with Nicholas Bamforth) Human Rights in the Contemporary Constitution is due to be published by Oxford University Press in 2017. Hoyano also publishes widely on fair trial rights in criminal proceedings. She has been on the case commentary team for the Criminal Law Review (human rights, vulnerable witnesses, trafficking and other exploitation prosecutions) and is the author of the chapter ‘Special Measures and Anonymity Orders to Facilitate Testimony by Witnesses and Defendants' in Blackstone’s Criminal Practice.
She chairs the Independent Advisory Committee on Child Maltreatment convened by Action for Children and is a pro bono legal advisor to the NSPCC. She is also frequently consulted by the Ministry of Justice, Home Office, the Crown Prosecution Service the Criminal Bar Association, and the Scottish Government on a range of issues relating to child abuse and exploitation prosecutions and the intersection of criminal justice and human rights more generally.
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Our barristers regularly undertake privately funded, direct access and legal aid, work.
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