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Declan O'Callaghan

Declan O'Callaghan



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Prison Law

Declan has a strong reputation in the field of prison law.

He is approachable and knowledgeable and has advised on many complex prison law matters, retaining a particular interest in matters concerning parole and the impact of prison conditions upon human rights. 

Notable cases

Re: Hull (Life Prisoners Transferred to England and Wales) [2011] 1 WLR 3166 concerned the approach to be taken to the setting of a minimum term of imprisonment under Criminal Justice Act 2003, Schedule 22 and the impact of Article 11 Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners. 

R (on the application of McFarlane) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWHC 3081 (Admin) concerned the identification as to whether a prison governor, the Ministry of Justice or the Home Office enjoyed the power to categorise a foreign national detained in a prison under Immigration Act 1971 powers.

Re: Hutchinson (Arthur) [2008] EWHC 860 (QB) challenge to whole life tariff. 

R (on the application of Kamara) v Secretary of State for Justice [2009] EWHC 1403 (Admin)concerning evidence produced in prison adjudications.

R v Sears-Sirotkin [2008] EWCA Crim 3209 involved a technical challenge by a prisoner to his sentence.

R v Amrouchi [2007] EWCA Crim 3019concerning the proper course to be taken when a prisoner allegedly refuses to attend court for his trial. 


Declan receives regular instructions from all corners of England and regularly represents life-sentence prisoners at parole hearings all over the country.

Recent Parole Board hearings:

SB (Murder of brother)
CB (Murder of brother)
DB (Murder during sexual intercourse)
CC (Murder of hitch hiker)
EW (Murder and multiple rape)
IM (Hate Murder – several stab wounds to neck)
MK (Hate Murder – 43 head injuries, 22 stab wounds to victim)
GG (Murder of lover – over 50 stab wounds)
MK (Murder of partner – over 40 injuries)
JS (Murder of partner – use of weapon)
AB (Murder of prostitute – over 80 injuries)
KW (Murder - punishment beating)
DM (Murder of a homeless man)
GE (Murder of friend using a knife)
AB (Murder of friend using a knife)
TK (Murder – multiple head injuries)
SH (2 Murders)
FH (Murder using a hammer)
KT (2 Murders)
GG (Murder using a firearm)
CJ (Murder – broke victim’s skull)
SP (Murder of a trial witness)
RW (Murder of a vulnerable man)
MB (Murder during a robbery – escaped prisoner)
LM (Murder – multiple stabbings)
DM (Murder – sectarian)
JC (Murder – sectarian)
JN (Murder – sectarian)

PN (Lifer – attempted murder of a teenager)
MT (Lifer – attempted murder – multiple stabbings)
GA (Lifer – 2 attempted murders)
OT (Lifer – attempted murder of wife and children)
JG (Lifer – attempted murder of victim in a shop)
RH (Lifer – Arson)
GN (Lifer – serious sexual assaults)
VL (Lifer – serious sexual assaults)
CA (Lifer – serious sexual assaults)
SC (Lifer – serious sexual assaults)
CL (Lifer – serious sexual assaults)
KH (Lifer – serious sexual assaults)
MB (Lifer – serious sexual assault)
DA (Lifer – Rape of siblings)
MP (Lifer – threatened partner with an axe)
AF (Lifer – threats to kill father with a gun)
AF (Lifer – serious assaults with weapon, victims left unconscious)
MT (Lifer- serious assault with a knife on partner’s father)
WS (Lifer – serious assault - laceration of carotid artery)
WS (Lifer – serious unprovoked assault with broken glass)
MG (Lifer – serious unprovoked assault in a pub)
MB (Lifer – Kidnapping and aggravated burglary)
MG (Lifer – Armed robbery)
DS (Lifer – Armed robbery)
HL (Lifer – Armed robbery)
RJ (Lifer – Armed robbery)
SJ (Lifer – Armed robbery)
WE (Lifer – Armed robbery)

BM (Recall – child cruelty)

AH (3 Murders – challenge to whole life tariff)

Declan has regularly represented in parole proceedings concerning prisoners sentenced in England and Wales who have been transferred to Northern Ireland.