Prison law

Members of Chambers have been involved in many of the leading cases securing the civil rights of prisoners and developing important remedies.

> members of the prison law team

GCN has one of the largest teams of prison law experts in the country. Our members have regularly appeared in adjudications and particularly undertake parole board hearings at prisons throughout the country. We also undertake civil actions against the Home Office, representation before lifer, parole, and recall panels, death penalty cases, Categorisation of prisoners in particular Cat A and calculation of sentences, and we provide written advice on all aspects of prison law. We also have a substantial body of expertise in undertaking judicial reviews in this area.

Our members have been involved in some of the highest profile prison law cases in recent times including Noone v. SSJ [2010] UKSC 30 (calculation of release dates and HDC entitlement); R (Guittard) v. SSJ [2009] EWHC 2951 (discretion to transfer to open prison without a hearing) ; R.v. Round & Dunn [2009] EWCA Crim 2667 (consecutive sentences and HDC); R. (Mohammed Ali) v. SSJ [2009] EWHC 1732 (reasons for escape risk classification to be provided); R (Lowe) v. Governor of Liverpool Prison [2008] EWHC 2167 (re-categorisation decisions); SSJ v James and Lee [2009] 2 W.L.R. 1149 UKHL 22 (release of IPP prisoners and provision of course). Other important prison law cases undertaken include Ezeh & Connors v UK [2004] 39 EHRR 1 (regarding Article 6 in prison adjudications); R on the application of Middleton v Sec of State Home Dept [2004] 2 AC 182. (leading case on application of Article 2 to Inquest proceedings and the ambit of neglect verdicts); R v Gov of Brockhill Prison, ex parte Evans (No.1) [1997] 2WLR236 (calculation of remand time); R v Brockhill Prison, ex parte Evans (No 2) [2000] 3WLR 843. (Leading false imprisonment case); R v Stocker [2003] 2 CrAppR(S) 54, CA, and R v Bingham [2004] (cases on the relationship between remand time, administrative recall and Section 116 orders).

Reported cases

Click here to see full details of reported cases.

Seminars and legal training

Click here to view details of recent Prison Law seminars and seminar papers. A comprehensive 5-day prison law course is also available.

Members of our prison law team also provide in-house training to solicitors. The team have recently provided training covering topics such as:

  • an overview of prisoners' rights
  • prisoners and human rights
  • the duty to give reasons in decisions relating to prisoners
  • Judicial Review of decisions relating to prisoners

The team are able to tailor any training to your specific needs and so would be happy to discuss any other ideas you may have for topics. Contact Helen Ray for more details.

Prison law legal updates

Chambers produces occasional Prison law legal updates. For more information click on the link below.



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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

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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

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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

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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

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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"

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

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

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

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

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

13/5/15 Abuse of process argument succeeds

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Pete Weatherby QC at Prisoners' Advice Service panel discussion

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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

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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