Areas of Specialisation / Areas / Human rights


Human rights

"Garden Court North has a strong reputation for advising claimants on all areas of domestic and international human rights law. Its members have acted on some of the highest-profile miscarriages of justice, inquests and prison law matters of recent years."

Chambers and Partners 2016

"Garden Court North has established a strong practice in the field of claimant-based human rights. Its members are particularly adept at handling cases concerning prisoners' rights, immigration and the criminal justice system. They are experienced in representing bereaved families."

Chambers and Partners 2014

"This Manchester-based set is highly regarded in the North for its long-standing commitment to civil liberties work, which interviewees recognise as being at the core of much of its members' work."

Chambers and Partners 2012

GCN headlines that fact that it specialises in Human Rights law, and has been involved in many leading cases both domestically and in Europe. GCN is a leading human rights set outside London, and is well regarded in this area. Some of our most notable cases include;  Ezeh and Connors v UK (regarding  Art 6  in respect to representation at prison adjudications),  R (Middleton) v HM Coroner  (the application of  Art 2  to Inquest verdicts), R (F and Thompson) v SSHD [2010]  (the incompatibility of sexual offender notification requirement provisions with  Article 8 ). Members have also been involved in a wide number of cases where human rights violations have been central to the issues particularly in the Immigration and Asylum fields, as well as international miscarriages of justice. Further, members of Chambers have recently been involved in death penalty work in the US, and on human rights missions to Bahrain and Colombia.

Members have experience in all aspects of human rights law and are happy to advise on such matters and undertake human rights challenges wherever relevant.

Chambers has a strong commitment to civil liberties and human rights and this is apparent throughout every area of specialisation:

  • members of the crime team have brought cases before the European Court of Human Rights  
  • in public law and judicial review, members regularly pursue human rights challenges to administrative decision-making, particularly since the commencement of the Human Rights Act 1998
  • the immigration team regularly undertake human rights applications and appeals
  • members of the prison law team have been involved in leading cases including the successful Article 6 challenge to prison adjudications and Article 5 challenges to IPP sentences and provide in-house training to solicitors covering topics including prisoners and human rights law
  • members of the housing and community care teams are experts in the field of human rights law and regularly employ arguments under the ECHR
  • the employment team have published on the subject of discrimination and human rights
  • Actions against the police are brought under the Human Rights Act
  • members have been instructed in cases on the application of Article 2 to inquest proceedings
  • members have expertise in human rights law relating to the Armed Forces.

Recent notable cases involving human rights arguments:

Garden Court North is recommended as the leading set for human rights and civil liberties work "outside London" in the Chambers and Partners 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006.

In addition, members' commitment to human rights is demonstrated through their involvement in organisations such as Inquest, Liberty, British Irish Rights Watch and Amicus. Members also deliver seminars and training on aspects of human rights relating to all areas of specialisation, both through chambers activities and personal commitment to specific organisations.

For more details of specific human rights experience view our barrister profiles or contact one of our clerks.

Other recommendations

"This Manchester-based set is highly regarded in the North for its long-standing commitment to civil liberties work, which interviewees recognise as being at the core of much of its members' work . (Chambers and Partners 2012)

"Garden Court North is an impressive set that houses barristers who are "prompt, approachable and ready to do pro bono work." Solicitors favour the individuals here not just because of their evident legal skills, but also because they provide extremely useful seminars, newsletters and ad hoc advice." (Chambers and Partners 2011)

" Garden Court North is the leading set for civil liberties work outside London ." (Chambers & Partners 2009) more

"This Manchester-based set has experience in a wide range of human rights cases , touching on subjects such as immigration, race relations, social security, housing, discrimination, public law, police law and inquests. The set is instructed by leading human rights law firms in the North, the Midlands and London ". (Chambers and Partners 2007, p1455)

"Interviewees comment that this Manchester-based chambers...is the 'only set in the North which has set its stall out to do human rights work.' Commentators report that this proactive set is cultivating a real human rights expertise in the North ..." (Chambers and Partners 2006, p1575).

" 'top notch' and considered by practitioners to be 'the only noteworthy civil liberties outfit outside London' . Members deal with regional work raising important human rights issues, such as the Oldham and Burnley riot cases, as well as receiving wide-ranging national instructions". (Chambers and Partners 2005, p1626).



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8.9.16 Hillsborough Law launched

16/8/16 Manchester Peterloo Massacre anniversary - GCN and others challenge UAE Human Rights record

15/8/16 Landlords behaving badly - damages for dispossession

15/8/16 Pete Weatherby QC on renewed critique of IPP sentences

27/7/16 3-Judge Upper Tribunal panel allows Tax Credit Appeals test case

26/7/16 Tribute to Bryan McGuire QC 

20/7/16 Tenants and borrowers subjected to unlawful evictions (defective N325 forms)

8/7/16 LALY16 outstanding achievement award for GCN Hillsborough team

29/6/16 Tom Royston speaking at LAG Housing Law Conference

24/6/16 Certifying asylum and human rights claims as “clearly unfounded”  

17/6/16 GCN immigration team response to MoJ consultation on tribunal fees

GCN sponsors PLP JR North conference 14.7.16 Manchester

Immigration and EU law for housing lawyers - the new Immigration Act, Brexit and more | Housing seminar | 6.7.16

The Immigration Act 2016 | Immigration seminar | 1.7.16

GCN to host INQUEST Conference and fundraising quiz 16.6.16

Mark George QC speaking at YLAL North meeting 15.6.16

20/5/16 Joe Markus shortlisted for LALY Legal Aid Newcomer Award

GCN Criminal Law update May 2016

26/4/16 Truth Justice Accountability | Hillsborough 22 Families Press Conference

26/4/16 A landmark day in legal history - Hillsborough Inquests

11/4/16 Recompense for the wrongfully convicted (Nealon)

22/3/16 Supreme Court grants permission in Kiarie

18/3/16 Not guilty verdict for Chetham violin teacher

4/3/16 GCN wins Barristers' Chambers of the Year at MLA 2016

29/2/16 Permission to appeal in relation to adult dependent relative rule

17/3/16 GCN launches new Appeals and Miscarriages of Justice Team

18/2/16 Considering Jogee: Joint Enterprise, Retrospective Effect and Fresh Appeals - Mark George QC and Matt Stanbury

11/2/16 CART-style JR of Upper Tribunal succeeds  

9/2/16 Appeal allowed in "police officer on jury" case after CCRC referral  

8/2/16 Permission granted in best interests (grandchild) immigration appeal

5/2/16 Repeated acquittals in historic cases

3/2/16 Housing allocation scheme - discrimination challenge by Irish Traveller

27/1/16 Bedroom Tax victory

GCN barristers present PLP "How to JR"

Matt Stanbury presents "JR for criminal practitioners"

25/1/16 SSHD failure to apply own policy to Victim of Trafficking

5/1/16 Important statelessness JR (Semeda)

5/1/16 GCN members elected to BHRC Exec Committee

18/12/15 GCN remains totally committed to first class representation through legal aid

17/12/15 Permission granted in trafficking JR

16/12/15 Natalie Wilkins writes in  Family Law

15/12/15 Gary Willock on delay in obtaining Legal Aid

12/12/15 Extension of Workers Registration Scheme 2009 Appeal now listed for Feb 2017

11/12/15 Court of Appeal quashes extended sentence

23/11/15 Sentence reduced (serious health problems and delays)

12/11/15 GCN Housing Bulletin: disrepair and injunctions

3/11/15 Chambers UK Bar Guide ranks GCN in Band 1

Tom Royston speaking at CPAG seminar

30/10/15 Transgender prisoners

26/10/15 Successful out of time sentence appeal

Anti-Slavery Day event

30/9/15 Acquittal in Operation Pallial

28/9/15 Immigration FTT recognizes appellant as Victim of Trafficking (VOT)

24/9/15 Immigration FTT relies on Trafficking JR

17/9/15 Legal 500: Counsel "easy to work with and quickly engage"; Clerks "consistently very helpful"

11/9/15 FGM Protection Order to safeguard 13 year old taken to Sudan

9/9/15 Ben McCormack Court of Protection talk for YLAL North

14/7/15 GCN crime team support Rally to Save Criminal Legal Aid

30/6/15 GCN crime team "It's time we took action"

12/6/15 Mark George QC on IPCC Orgreave report

Kate Stone chairs PLP "Private Law for Public Law Practitioners"

4/6/15 Art 8 defences for Canal and River Trust  

Lucy Mair speaking at "Contemporary Issues in Refugee Law" 7.7.15 (Lancaster)

28/5/15 Lucy Mair discusses Eve Ensler's "Avocado" human trafficking monologue

27/5/15 Lucy Mair on trafficking JR (Free Movement)

13/5/15 Abuse of process argument succeeds

Pete Weatherby QC  at Haldane "Child Sex Abuse Inquiry" Lecture 

Pete Weatherby QC at Prisoners' Advice Service panel discussion

20/4/15 Matt Stanbury on Bad News for Good Character

20/3/15 Sex Offender Notification Reviews Guidance

4/3/15 Joe Markus appointed to EHRC Panel of Counsel

26/2/15 S222 injunction to restrain begging in Leeds City Centre

16/2/15 Extension of Workers Registration Scheme was unlawful

13/2/15 Rory O'Ryan appointed as Deputy Upper Tribunal Judge

27/1/15 Permission granted in homelessness affordability appeal

13/1/15 Kate Stone on Human Rights and Arms Trade Treaty

5/1/15 GCN move to Blackfriars House profiled in M.E.N

15/12/14 Gudanaviciene (exceptional funding)   

10/12/14 Landmark Supreme Court decision on ISP Prisoners

5/12/14 UT decision on Bereavement Benefits and telephone marriage

13/11/14 Permission to appeal granted in benefits case

10/10/14 Pete Weatherby QC wins Legal 500 Regional Silk Award 2014

3/10/14 Clerks  "first class " in Legal 500 2014