UK Supreme Court dismisses the government’s appeal in AAA V SSHD  UKSC 42
His practice has a particular emphasis on social security, immigration, environmental, planning, local government and human rights law. He has appeared at all levels of the domestic court system, including the Supreme Court and House of Lords. He has also appeared before the ECtHR in Strasbourg (for example in Chapman v UK; Stec v UK; and Tsfayo v UK) as well as the CJEU (for example in Stewart v SSWP  PTSR 1; and the Grand Chamber hearing of the joined cases of Tele 2 Sverige and Watson and others v SSHD  QB 771). He appeared in Trinidad in Jones v AG in a successful constitutional challenge to the law criminalizing homosexual activity; and before the Privy Council in The Minister of Home Affairs (Bermuda) v Barbosa  UKSC 41. He has recently appeared in the Supreme Court in cases raising important human rights issues, including KV (Sri Lanka) v SSHD  1 WLR 1849; Kiarie v SSHD  1 WLR 2380; and IT (Jamaica) v SSHD  1 WLR 5273.
In terms of social security, Richard appeared in the Supreme Court in the challenges to both versions of the benefits cap; and for the claimants in the bedroom tax case of R (Carmichael) v SSWP  1 WLR 4550 and the later case on remedies RR (Appellant) v SSWP  1 WLR 6430. He is instructed by Sainsburys to resist the Valuation Officers appeal concerning the rating of supermarket ATMs in the Supreme Court in March 2020.
Richard appeared as (very) junior counsel in CCSU v Minister for the Civil Service (GCHQ). He acted for the government in connection with the decision to grant planning permission for Terminal 5 at Heathrow; with a judicial review challenge to the Airports White Paper; and resisting a challenge by Greenpeace to consultation on nuclear policy.
Richard is listed in five practice areas in the most recent directory guides. He is also a “Star of the Bar” in that edition, with the comment that he is “quite simply one of the most talented and influential public lawyers of the last forty years”.
Richard also lectures frequently on public law matters, particularly on human rights issues in planning.
Richard Drabble KC is one a small handful of practising public lawyers who may justifiably claim to have laid the foundations for modern constitutional and administrative law. He appeared as a (very) junior barrister with the late Sir Louis Blom-Cooper QC in CCSU v Minister of the Civil Service  – arguably the single most influential decision in public law of the past forty years; and an early highlight in a career of distinguished advocacy in a sustained sequence of seminal cases across a wide spectrum of public law practice, including leading cases in immigration, civil liberties and human rights, planning, environmental and rating law. His involvement in the seminal public law cases of the day has continued unabated. Highlights after the CCSU case would include R (Cart) v Upper Tribunal , about the reviewability of decisions of the Upper Tribunal, Beoku-Betts v Secretary of State for the Home Department , on the Article 8 rights of family members in immigration cases, R (Lewis) v. Redcar and Cleveland BC  on bias and predetermination in local authority decision-making, and the important social security cases of Kehoe  and Hinchy . More recently, he has been involved in the significant re-appraisal of public law by the current Supreme Court in R (SC) v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  and had a memorable victory in the bedroom tax case of R (Carmichael) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions . His influence has extended far outside the United Kingdom: in Jones v. AG of Trinidad and Tobago  he persuaded the Trinidad and Tobago High Court that laws banning homosexual activity were unconstitutional.
Richard’s particular and unrivalled contribution to the development of modern public law is in the field of social security. His deep professional commitment and formidable contribution to that field of law and practice had its origin in his time early on in his career working at the Child Poverty Action Group. Richard’s name will be found in the reports of almost all of the important social security law cases decided in the appellate courts in London, in the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights over the course of the past four decades. Foremost amongst those cases in the Strasbourg Court are Stec v UK on retirement and sex discrimination, Tsfayo v UK on administrative decision-making and appeal rights and Chapman v UK on gypsies, Article 8 and discrimination. In Luxembourg, he has been involved in a range of important cases from Tele2 Sverige and Watson  on electronic communications to CG  on post-Brexit access to social welfare benefits for those with pre-settled status, via a raft of leading decisions on workers’ rights and citizenship.
Richard has long been recognised by the judiciary and by his professional colleagues and peers as an advocate of the highest authority and distinction.
Richard appears frequently in court and at inquiries at all levels and provides advisory and advocacy services for a wide range of clients, private and public. In the earlier stages of his career his advocacy was not limited to the higher courts, and included planning inquiry work such as his success in opposing the proposals for a nuclear waste repository in Cumbria.
In 2022, Richard led the successful legal challenge to the decision to grant planning permission for the proposed development of the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster. Richard also
Richard is described in Chambers and Partners for Planning as "An absolutely brilliant advocate." "A very strong strategist.".
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Quite simply one of the most talented and influential public lawyers of the last forty years."
UK Supreme Court dismisses the government’s appeal in AAA V SSHD  UKSC 42
12 07 2023
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07 07 2023
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Interim payments of universal credit where claimant does not have a National Insurance number
08 02 2023
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17 01 2023
Permission granted in Rwandan cases
18 11 2022
Landmark Chambers wins three awards at the Chambers UK Bar Awards
18 11 2022
Richard Drabble KC received 'Lifetime Achievement award' at Chambers UK Bar Awards
Administrative and Public Law, Chambers and Partners, 2024
Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Chambers and Partners, 2024
Immigration, Chambers and Partners, 2024
Local Government, Chambers and Partners, 2024
Social Housing, Chambers and Partners, 2024
Administrative and Public Law, Chambers and Partners, 2023
Local Government, Chambers and Partners, 2023
Social Housing, Chambers and Partners, 2023
Local Government, Legal 500, 2023
Immigration, Legal 500, 2023
Administrative and Public Law, Chambers and Partners, 2022
Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Chambers and Partners, 2022
Immigration, Chambers and Partners, 2022
Local Government, Chambers and Partners, 2022
Social Housing, Chambers and Partners, 2022
Administrative and Public Law, Legal 500, 2022
Environment, Legal 500, 2022
Local Government (including Rating Law), Legal 500, 2022
Immigration, Legal 500, 2022
Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Legal 500, 2022
Administrative and Public Law, Chambers and Partners, 2021
Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Chambers and Partners, 2021
Environment, Chambers and Partners, 2021
Social Housing, Chambers and Partners, 2021
Immigration, Chambers and Partners, 2021
Local Government, Chambers and Partners, 2021
Planning, Chambers and Partners, 2021
Administrative and Public Law, Legal 500, 2021
Local Government, Legal 500, 2021
Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Legal 500, 2021
Social Housing, Legal 500, 2021
Social Housing, Chambers and Partners, 2020
Administrative and Public Law, Chambers and Partners, 2020
Environment, Chambers and Partners, 2020
Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Chambers and Partners, 2020
Immigration, Chambers and Partners, 2020
European Law, Chambers and Partners, 2020
Local Government, Chambers and Partners, 2020
Planning, Chambers and Partners, 2020
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