Alex Goodman

Call: 2003
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Practice Summary

Alex’s specialises in planning, environment and public law including human rights, immigration, discrimination and local government.

He has been involved in many of the leading cases on false imprisonment and the right to liberty, particularly in cases concerning immigration detention. His human rights work currently involves a judicial review seeking a public inquiry into the operation of immigration detention centres pursuant to the article 3 investigatory duty. His environmental work often involves work for local and national claimant groups with a focus on EU law aspects including EIA and Habitats.

Alex was one of the founders and (for five years) chair of Medical Justice, a charity working with immigration detainees. He now runs an NGO called Kindred which organises pro bono advice and representation to refugees in camps in Northern France.

As a fellow of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law Alex recently worked over a two-year period with Aung San Suu Kyi and the Myanmar Parliament on revisions to its constitution as well as with the Palestinian National Authority on rule of law matters.

He is a former councillor at the London Borough of Camden.

Planning and Environment

Alex practices in all areas of planning and environmental law and regularly appears at planning inquiries. He specialises in particular in judicial review and statutory challenges in the High Court (acting for all parties). Notable recent cases include

  • Norman v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2018] EWHC 2910 (Admin) – Acted as leading counsel for the Claimant in a High Court statutory challenge to the grant of planning permission by a planning inspector for a chicken farm
  • R (on the application of Cairns) v Herefordshire CC and others [2019] Env. L.R. 6 – Acted as sole counsel for the Claimant in High Court in a judicial review of a grant of planning permission for a school in the Green Belt
  • R (Watermead P.C.) v Aylesbury Vale DC [2018] P.T.S.R. 43: Court of Appeal decision on meaning of flooding policy
  • R (Crematoria Management Ltd) v Aylesbury Vale D.C. [2016] EWHC 1554: Habitats and alternative sites judicial review
  • R (on the application of Watermead Parish Council) v Aylesbury Vale DC [2016] EWHC 624 (Admin): meaning of flood policy
  • R (Westminster CC) v SSCLG [2015] J.P.L. 1276 – Sole Counsel in Court of Appeal in appeal by Westminster related to planning permission for an hotel
  • R (Friends of the Earth) v Welsh Ministers [2015] P.T.S.R. D28 – Judicial review of the decision of the Welsh Ministers to adopt a plan to build a new motorway through the Gwent levels to the south of Newport (on grounds relating to SEA)
  • Owen v Devon CC [2014] EWHC 4895 (Admin): highways statutory challenge
  • R (Perry) v LB Hackney [2014] EWCA 1372 and R (Perry) v LB Hackney [2014] EWHC 1721 – challenge to planning permission for supermarket and residential development on heritage; information; and environmental impact assessment grounds (junior counsel for Claimant)
  • R (Ellaway) v Cardiff City Council [2014] EWHC 836 – challenge to permission for a waste incinerator based upon the compatibility of exceptions to the Whitley principle and retrospective consent with the EIA Directive (sole counsel for Claimant)
  • R (Westminster) v SSCLG [2014] EWHC 1248 (Admin) – Westminster’s section 289 appeal against Inspector’s decision to allow appeal against enforcement notice against a hotel was dismissed (Alex acted as sole counsel for the Interested Party having previously acted in their appeal before an Inspector)
  • R (Mevagissey Parish Council) v Cornwall CC: High Court [2013] EWHC 3684 – planning permission for residential development in Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty quashed on basis of failure to correctly apply policy (sole counsel for Claimant)
  • R (Burridge) v Breckland District Council and Greenshoots Energy Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 228; [2013] J.P.L. 1308 – Interpretation of EIA Regulations in light of Directive (sole counsel for Interested Party)

Chambers & Partners: Recommended junior for planning law: “very good at investigating and building the legal case” (2015); “extremely quick, grasps detail immediately and instantly knows what to do. He is just a joy to work with” (2014); “continues to be a junior of choice”; “astronomical intelligence, creative thinking and sheer hard work on every type of project thrown at him. He will undoubtedly rise to the very top in his career” (2013).

Legal 500: Recommended for Planning Law for many years: “His depth of knowledge of planning and enforcement is immense” (2018); “Strongly recommended for claimant judicial reviews” (2014).

Public Law, Equality and Discrimination

Alex’s practice is predominantly in public law and he works within that within the more specific fields of social security, immigration; environment; planning. See other tabs for examples in those fields. Examples of current work include:

  • A judicial review and damages claim securing an inquiry into breaches of the prohibition of torture in immigration detention following Panorama revelations (R (MA) v SSHD)
  • A judicial review challenging the discriminatory impact and equalities implications of conditions on leave prohibiting recourse to public funds
  • A challenge to treatment of trafficking victims by police and Home Office (article 4)
  • Claims under the refugee convention and Dublin III regulation for refugees seeking to enter the UK from Calais
  • Judicial reviews related to Open Spaces Act and village green law.

Immigration

Alex’s immigration work (exclusively for Claimants or NGOs), is at every tier from the Tribunal to the Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights and he has a strong practice in proceedings relating to deportation, fresh claims, trafficking and the refugee convention. He has a particularly strong practice in immigration detention in which he has been involved in dozens of cases, including some of the leading authorities in the area. Recent immigration cases include:

  • A range of judicial reviews and appeals in the Upper Tribunal concerning inter alia the points-based system and curtailment of leave
  • A number of Dublin III transfer cases for refugees in Northern France
  • R (Paolo Antonio) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 48 and [2014] EWHC 3894 – Sole counsel for the Respondent in the Court of Appeal (i.e. acted for successful claimant in the High Court and responded to SSHD appeal). Important case on damages for false imprisonment (article 5 ECHR) and the statutory scheme related to automatic deportation
  • R (Francis) v SSHD [2014] EWCA Civ 718 – Leading counsel for the appellant in appeal against dismissal of false imprisonment claim allowed on grounds statute did not act as a bar to a claim in false imprisonment relying on the Hardial Singh principles
  • R (Pryor) v SSHD [2014] Imm. A.R 341 – similar case to Antonio involving quashing of deportation order
  • R (Ganesharajah) v SSHD [2014] EWHC 3497 (QB) and Kamalan Ganesharajah v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 2428 (QB) – High Court false imprisonment claim allowed in part after 3 day trial, and related decision on a part 18 request
  • Past cases include: Abdi v UK App 27770/08 [2013] (ECHR violation of article 5 ECHR); Kambadzi v SSHD [2011] 1 WLR 1299 and Lumba and Mighty v SSHD [2012] AC 245 (the two leading cases on immigration detention).

Chambers & Partners: Recommended junior for immigration law (band 2) for many years: “He acts at the cutting edge of the law” (2019); “He is just a superb advocate, who is incredibly impressive on his feet. He’s one of those advocates who wins cases with his advocacy” (2015); “really good on immigration detention” (2014).

Legal 500: Recommended for Immigration: “A barrister with the ‘X’ factor and a brain that fizzes”(2014); “dizzying intellectual ability is allied to a propensity for real hard graft” (2013).

Human Rights and Civil Liberties

Alex specialises in human rights law. Examples of his extensive work in this area include:

  • R (MA) v SSHD (2019): scope of article 3 investigative duty – JR seeking independent inquiry into torture and inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees in detention centre
  • Ongoing judicial review claims related to article 4 prohibition on slavery- mistreatment of trafficking victims
  • Numerous article 8 deportation appeals
  • Abdi v UK App 27770/08 [2013] – European Court of Human Rights, violation of article 5 ECHR
  • Kambadzi v SSHD [2011] 1 WLR 1299 and Lumba and Mighty v SSHD [2012] AC 245 – the two leading Supreme Court cases on immigration detention- article 5 right to liberty
  • R (Antonio) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 48; R (Francis) v SSHD [2014] EWCA Civ 718 – two Court of Appeal cases on right to liberty in which Alex acted as sole and lead counsel
  • R (Watermead P.C.) v Aylesbury Vale DC [2018] P.T.S.R. 43: Court of Appeal decision on meaning of flooding policy.

Local Government

Alex has enjoyed an eclectic range of instructions in fields such as Highways including Owen v Devon CC [2014] footpaths; election law and environmental prosecutions. R (Perry) v LB Hackney [2014] EWHC 1721 is an important decision concerning access to information in the local government context. Alex’s extensive work on village greens has included R (ABC) v Bristol City Council [2012] EWHC 859 which was an unusual claim concerning judicial review of the Council’s refusal to register a village green. He has also authored a volume of Atkins on Common Land and Village Greens and he is currently instructed in matters related to preservation of village greens and open space under the Open Spaces Act 1906.

Chambers & Partners: Recommended up and coming barrister for Local Government: “hard-working, calm and collected” (2013).

Legal 500: Recommended for Administrative & Public (including Local Government) law: “He is one of the best junior advocates and he can turn around a sceptical bench” (2018); “calm and unflappable in all situations, and works like a Trojan”.

Public International Law

Since 2013 Alex has been engaged in extensive work relating to the constitutional arrangements of Myanmar and of the Palestinian National Authority.

Qualifications

Education

  • Inns of Court School of Law 2003: Bar Vocational Course, Very Competent.
  • City University 2002: Diploma in Law, Commendation
  • Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University 2000: English Literature M.A. First

Scholarships

  • Lincoln’s Inn Scholarships
  • Hardwicke Entrance Scholarship, Lord Denning Scholarship, Megarry Scholarship

Publications and other positions

Alex wrote the current edition Atkins Court Forms on Commons and Village Greens (2013).

He is a Research Fellow at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law where his work has included co-authoring Constitutional Reform in Myanmar: Priorities and Prospects for Amendment (2014).

He is a trustee of Medical Justice, a charity working for immigration detainees.

He was formerly a councillor at London Borough of Camden.

Recommendations

Planning

Chambers & Partners: Recommended junior for planning law: “very good at investigating and building the legal case” (2015); “extremely quick, grasps detail immediately and instantly knows what to do. He is just a joy to work with” (2014); “continues to be a junior of choice”; “astronomical intelligence, creative thinking and sheer hard work on every type of project thrown at him. He will undoubtedly rise to the very top in his career” (2013).
Legal 500: Recommended for Planning Law for many years: “His depth of knowledge of planning and enforcement is immense” (2018); “Strongly recommended for claimant judicial reviews” (2014).

Immigration

Chambers & Partners: Recommended junior for immigration law (band 2) for many years: “He acts at the cutting edge of the law” (2019); “He is just a superb advocate, who is incredibly impressive on his feet. He’s one of those advocates who wins cases with his advocacy” (2015); “really good on immigration detention” (2014).
Legal 500: Recommended for Immigration: “A barrister with the ‘X’ factor and a brain that fizzes”(2014); “dizzying intellectual ability is allied to a propensity for real hard graft” (2013).

Administrative & Public Law

Legal 500: Recommended for Administrative & Public (including Local Government) law: “He is one of the best junior advocates and he can turn around a sceptical bench” (2018); “calm and unflappable in all situations, and works like a Trojan”.

Local Government

Chambers & Partners: Recommended up and coming barrister for Local Government: “hard-working, calm and collected” (2013).

Inquiries

The London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (Bromley By Bow)(South) Compulsory Purchase Order

13/09/2011

A compulsory purchase inquiry in which Timothy Corner QC acted for the development corporation. TRAD successfully resisted the compulsory purchase order.

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Inquiries

Brig y Cwm Energy from Waste facility in Merthyr Tydfil

13/09/2011

Alex Goodman was instructed by Friends of the Earth on behalf of the United Valleys Action Group opposing the application before the Infrastructure Planning Commission.

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Inquiries

The London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (Bromley By Bow)(South) Compulsory Purchase Order

13/09/2011

A compulsory purchase inquiry in which Timothy Corner QC acted for the development corporation. TRAD successfully resisted the compulsory purchase order.

:

Inquiries

Brig y Cwm Energy from Waste facility in Merthyr Tydfil

13/09/2011

Alex Goodman was instructed by Friends of the Earth on behalf of the United Valleys Action Group opposing the application before the Infrastructure Planning Commission.

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