Immigration, Civil Liberties and Human Rights
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Spectacular levels of aptitude and knowledgeLegal 500
Meet the team
- Richard Drabble QC
- David Lock QC
- James Maurici QC
- Fiona Scolding QC
- Samantha Broadfoot QC
- Tim Buley QC
- David Blundell QC
- Gwion Lewis QC
- Carine Patry QC
- Galina Ward QC
- Christopher Jacobs
- Philip Nathan
- Julia Smyth
- Alex Goodman
- Sasha Blackmore
- Hafsah Masood
- Richard Turney
- Andrew Byass
- Leon Glenister
- Yaaser Vanderman
- Matthew Fraser
- Luke Wilcox
- Miranda Butler
- Admas Habteslasie
- Natasha Jackson
- Hannah Gibbs
- Ben Fullbrook
- Joel Semakula
- Alex Shattock
- Kimberley Ziya
- Joe Thomas
Landmark Chambers has been at the cutting edge of immigration, civil liberties and human rights law since its foundation. We appear in human rights claims at every level, from the Upper Tribunal and High Court to the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union. We have acted in the leading cases on the benefits cap, unlawful detention, deportation, human trafficking, Zambrano carers, and No Recourse to Public Funds.
Our members take on a significant amount of legally aided and pro bono work in this field. Past clients have included Reprieve, CPAG, JCWI, Medical Justice, BID, the AIRE Centre, and the National Deaf Children’s Society.
“Landmark Chambers offers deep expertise across a range of immigration matters, with a particularly strong bench at silk level.” Chambers & Partners, 2020
“Landmark Chambers has ‘a delightful selection of extremely experienced counsel, all of whom possess spectacular levels of aptitude and knowledge, and fantastic presentation styles.’ Members of the set work for both individuals and the government, and have significant expertise in human rights and refugee law, EU free movement law, immigration detention and private client matters.” Legal 500, 2020
There is immense breadth of immigration experience in Chambers, with leading silks and well-known juniors in our team.
In particular, Chambers has a long history of providing advice in asylum and human rights cases, with barristers having appeared in many of the leading cases of the past decades. We act for legally aided and privately funded individuals and for central government at all levels of the appellate system.
In the asylum sphere, there is a broad range of legal and country expertise in Chambers. Our barristers have appeared in a number of “Country Guidance” asylum cases in the Upper Tribunal, including in relation to Eritrea, Iran and Serbia and Montenegro. We have particular experience in issues relating to exclusion from refugee protection and cessation of refugee status.
Our barristers have appeared in many of the leading cases on Article 8 ECHR at House of Lords and Supreme Court level, and we are often called upon to act in cases raising private and family life issues.
Landmark is well-known for its work in the area of immigration detention acting for both Claimants and the government. We provide regular training in this area for law firms and NGOs. We have acted in many of the leading cases in this area in recent years.
Key recent cases include:
- Begum v Special Immigration Appeals Commission  EWCA Civ 918 – the widely reported Shamima Begum case;
- Patel v Secretary of State for the Home Department; Secretary of State for the Home Department v Shah  1 W.L.R. 228 – Supreme Court case on the scope of the Zambrano principle;
- R (XH & AI) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  QB 355 – cancellation of passports on national security grounds, ECHR and EU Charter;
- R (Kiarie and Byndloss) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  1 WLR 2380 Supreme Court – out of country human rights appeals, certification;
- R (MM (Lebanon) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  1 WLR 771 Supreme Court – financial entry thresholds for spouses, Article 8 ECHR;
- DN (Rwanda) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 273 Court of Appeal – the relevance of public law errors in immigration decisions to decisions to detain.
Civil Liberties and Human Rights
“Landmark Chambers has ‘real strength in depth in civil liberties and human rights, and possess a fantastic selection of junior counsel’.” Legal 500, 2020
“Landmark Chambers’ tenants frequently appear in human rights cases pertaining to healthcare, immigration and asylum, voting rights, prisoners’ rights and torture.” Chambers & Partners, 2020
Landmark barristers at all levels of seniority frequently represent individuals and NGOs in significant cases, some of which have led to decisive changes in law and policy so as to advance the protection of civil liberties (for example in relation to abortion rights in Northern Ireland), prevention of the export of drugs from the UK for use on death row in the US (Zagorski), constitutional protection of LGBT rights in Trinidad (Jones), the need for housing benefit to cover an additional room for a disabled person’s carer (Burnip, Carmichael), and a number of cases which have advanced the protection of right of immigrants in detention (Das, BA (Nigeria), Aman) and refugee protection (Kiarie).
High-profile work includes acting for claimants challenging the Revised Benefit Cap (Supreme Court in July 2018), the two-child policy, the most recent decision concerning resettlement of the Chagos Islands, and acting for public bodies concerning protesters, parole, and social welfare issues.
Notable recent human rights cases include:
- FB (Afghanistan) and Medical Justice v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1338 – case determining that SSHD’s removal policy was unlawful on access to justice grounds.
- R (W) v SSHD  EWHC 1299 (Admin) – establishing that the regime of imposing “no recourse to public funds” conditions on people’s leave to remain was inconsistent with article 3 ECHR;
- Secretary of State for the Home Department v Devani  1 W.L.R. 2613 – ECHR article 3 case involving when specific assurances can be undermined;
- R (on the application of McConnell) v Registrar General for England and Wales  EWCA Civ 559 – whether a transgender man was entitled to be registered as the “father” on the child’s birth certificate;
- Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission’s Application for Judicial Review, Re  UKSC 27 – abortion rights in Northern Ireland, for the Commission;
- Jones v AG of Trinidad and Tobago, High Court of Trinidad and Tobago, 12 April 2018 – constitutional protection of LGBT rights;
- R (Youngsam) v PB  1 WLR 2848 (Article 5(4) ECHR – determinate sentences;
- R (Carmichael) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  UKSC 58,  1 W.L.R. 4550 – successful challenge to the “bedroom tax” under Article 14 ECHR;
- Mathieson v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  1 WLR 3250 – DLA where children are hospitalised, Article 14 ECHR;
- R (JS) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  UKSC 16,  1 WLR 1449 – benefit cap and children’s welfare, Article 14 ECHR, for CPAG intervening;
- R (on the application of Idira) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1187 – Immigration detention in prison, rather than an immigration removal centre, was not in itself generally contrary to ECHR art.5(1).
- R (Mousa) v Secretary of State for Defence  HRLR 32 – detention by armed forces in Iraq, right to life, torture, duty to investigate;
- R (Zagorski) v SSBIS  HRLR 6 – export of drugs for use on death row, EU Charter on Fundamental Rights, EU export rules, scope of EU law.
Landmark barristers are currently involved in a number of high-profile public inquiries such as:
- High Court dismisses challenge by pro-life organisation to new abortion regulations in Northern Ireland
- Sarah Everard vigil ban challenged in Divisional Court
- Supreme Court allows appeal on EU-Pre-Settled Status Regime – R (Fratila) v SSWP
- Divisional Court finds abortion laws do not breach human rights of those with Down’s Syndrome
- Supreme Court delivers judgment on two child limit in child tax credit and university credit – R (SC & others) v SSWP