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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] EWCA Crim 1261; [2011] 1 WLR 3166concerned 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 for terrorism-related matters who have subsequently been transferred to Northern Ireland.