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Miranda Butler

Call: 2013

Practice Summary

Miranda has substantial experience across the spectrum of immigration, community care and public law. Her expertise includes claims relating to unlawful detention, prisoners’ rights, trafficking, and asylum support. She is currently instructed on the Infected Blood Inquiry.

Miranda is a tenacious and dedicated advocate with a broad range of experience in public law and human rights issues. Miranda has worked at both the UK Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights. Having previously worked in refugee camps and prisons she has significant experience of working with vulnerable clients, including unaccompanied minors and trafficking victims.

Miranda joined Landmark in 2022, having previously worked at Garden Court Chambers.

In 2014 – 2015 Miranda was the judicial assistant to Lord Kerr JSC at the Supreme Court. During that time, she worked on a variety of high-profile public law cases.

In 2017 Miranda worked as a stagiaire at the European Court of Human Rights, working on applications to the court and supporting the UK Division with its caseload. She has also acted in various claims on behalf of freedom of expression NGOs before the European Court of Human Rights.

Administrative and Public Law

Miranda works in a broad range of public law areas, including unlawful detention, community care, healthcare provision, trafficking, and prison law. Much of her work involves strategic claims and policy challenges. She is regularly instructed in urgent judicial review claims and applications for interim relief. She is a member of the EHRC’s panel of counsel and is ranked in Chambers and Partners 2022 as an ‘up and coming’ public law junior.

Miranda deals with public law issues at all levels. She is instructed in the Supreme Court challenge to the £1,012 fee charged to children wishing to apply for British citizenship.

Miranda has particular expertise in policy challenges related to support and protection for victims of trafficking. She is currently led by Amanda Weston QC in the Court of Appeal in EOG v SSHD, a in which the High Court found that the Home Office’s policy prohibiting potential victims of trafficking from working or enjoying leave to remain was unlawful. Miranda is currently led by Samantha Knights QC in a challenge to the lack of support given to victims of trafficking in initial accommodation provided by the Home Office.

Miranda is currently working on the Infected Blood Inquiry, instructed by Leigh Day with Fiona Scolding QC and Hannah Gibbs. They represent a large number of infected and affected individuals. Miranda has a particular interest in medical law issues as she teaches medical law at LSE University. She has written extensively on healthcare claims in the immigration context.

Some recent noteworthy cases include:

  • PRCBC and ors v SSHD: a Supreme Court challenge to the significant profit made by the Home Secretary on fees charged to children seeking to register or naturalise as British Citizens. Miranda is led by Richard Drabble QC.
  • EOG v SSHD: a challenge to the Home Office policy prohibiting victims of trafficking from working or holding leave to remain whilst within the National Referral Mechanism, currently before the Court of Appeal. Miranda is led by Amanda Weston QC.
  • MS v SSHD: a challenge to the failure to provide sufficient free appointments for refugees to enrol their biometrics, resulting in applicants being compelled to pay to do so. Miranda is led by Chris Buttler QC.
  • YPG v SSHD: a successful challenge to the Home Office’s failure to provide sufficient financial support to victims of trafficking who are pregnant or new mothers. The Home Office conceded the claim and amended her policy.
  • ZS v Secretary of State for the Home Department: challenge to the implementation of the ‘Dubs’ Amendment, led by Sonali Naik QC and Bryony Poynor.

Immigration: Asylum and Human Rights

Miranda practices in all areas of immigration, with a particular focus on asylum and human rights. She is regularly instructed in matters before the High Court, Upper Tribunal and First Tier Tribunal, including judicial reviews and urgent applications for interim relief. She is ranked in Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 as a leading immigration junior.

Her practice encompasses asylum and human rights appeals with substantial experience of deportation, trafficking cases, the Points Based System and claims related to children. Miranda is regularly instructed in challenges to removal, including urgent injunctions. She has been involved in strategic and individual challenges to numerous charter flights.

In Miranda is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Panel of Counsel. She is also a contributor to Macdonald’s Immigration Law & Practice.

Miranda is regularly instructed on strategic litigation, often including challenges to Home Office policy.

Miranda is currently instructed on a strategic challenge to the level of fees for children seeking to register or naturalise as British Citizens, in PRCBC and ors v SSHD in the Supreme Court, led by Richard Drabble QC.

Miranda also undertakes advisory work on a broad range of immigration-related issues, including naturalisation and citizenship issues.

Some recent noteworthy cases include:

  • DS v SSHD: a challenge to the deportation of a long-term settled migrant. Miranda was led in the Court of Appeal by Irena Sabic.
  • DJ v SSHD: a challenge to the enforced deportation of a Jamaican citizen who had lived in the UK since the age of 11. Miranda was led by Sonali Naik QC in a strategic claim against the Home Office’s decision to remove Jamaican citizens who came to the UK at a young age despite an agreement with the Jamaican authorities not to do so.
  • PRCBC and ors v SSHD: a challenge to the over 60% profit made by the Home Secretary on fees charged to children seeking to register or naturalise as British Citizens. Miranda is led by Richard Drabble QC and the case is currently before the Court of Appeal.
  • EOG v SSHD: a challenge to the Home Office policy prohibiting victims of trafficking from working or holding leave to remain whilst within the National Referral Mechanism, currently before the Court of Appeal. Miranda is led by Amanda Weston QC.
  • YPG v SSHD: a successful challenge to the Home Office’s failure to provide sufficient financial support to victims of trafficking who are pregnant or new mothers. The Home Office conceded the claim and amended her policy.

Immigration: Economic Migration

Miranda acts for individuals and institutions in relation to matters arising under the Points-Based System and other Immigration Rules routes. She also regularly advises economic migrants on administrative reviews and judicial reviews of Home Office decisions.

Miranda also has particular experience in representing Tier 4 visa holders. Miranda is a contributor to Macdonald’s Immigration Law & Practice (10th edition) and wrote the chapter on students. She is regularly instructed in matters affecting students, including challenges arising out of the English Testing Service scandal.

Civil Liberties and Human Rights

Miranda works on a broad range of human rights claims, including issues of unlawful detention, prisoners’ rights and freedom of expression litigation.

Miranda is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Panel of Counsel.

Miranda has experience in litigation before the European Court of Human Rights, having acted for individuals and institutions in the Court.

Miranda acted for JCWI in its 2021 intervention in Otite v UK, challenging the application of s. 117C of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 and its impact on the private and family life rights of those facing deportation.

Miranda represented several freedom of expression NGOs intervening in the case of Khadija Ismayilova v Azerbaijan, led by Can Yeginsu. In its 2019 decision, the Strasbourg Court agreed with the interveners’ submissions that the state of Azerbaijan had failed in its obligations not only under Article 8 ECHR, but also under Article 10, in that it had failed to protect the privacy of Ms Ismayilova, a journalist, which had a potential ‘chilling effect’ on freedom of expression.

In 2020 Miranda, led by Ben Douglas-Jones QC, represented an appellant to the ECtHR challenging his conviction on the grounds that he had been deprived of a fair trial.

She also worked for the interveners on Big Brother Watch v UK, a successful challenge to the bulk interception and processing of metadata by the UK and its data sharing with foreign states.

She was awarded the 2017 Pegasus Scholarship and spent three months working as a stagiaire in the UK division of the Court.

Miranda has a particular interest in prisoners’ rights, having previously worked with Reprieve and the Howard League for Penal Reform. She regularly handles both public and private law challenges on behalf of prisoners.

Some recent noteworthy cases include:

  • Otite v UK: counsel for the intervener (JCWI), challenging the operation of the UK’s statutory framework for considering Article 8 in the context of deportation.
  • Roy Phillips v UK: counsel for the applicant, challenging his conviction under Article 6 ECHR.
  • Khadija Ismayilova v Azerbaijan: counsel for various freedom of expression NGOs supporting a
    successful claim by a jailed journalist challenging mistreatment and covert surveillance by the state. The European Court of Human Rights found violations of Article 8 and 10 ECHR.
  • Big Brother Watch v UK: a successful challenge to the bulk interception and processing of metadata by the UK and its data sharing with foreign states in the European Court of Human Rights. Miranda acted for several interveners specialising on freedom of expression in the US.

Community Care Law

Miranda practices in community care law and accepts instructions in judicial review claims concerning community care provision, including support under the Children Act, Care Act, age assessment challenges and provision of accommodation and support to asylum seekers and victims of trafficking. She is highly experienced in handling urgent applications for interim relief.

Miranda has particular expertise in claims related to support and protection for victims of trafficking.

In 2021 Miranda appeared, led by Simon Cox, in a number of linked challenges to the Home Office’s failure to provide accommodation for failed asylum seekers during the pandemic, QBB et al v SSHD.

In 2020 Miranda appeared with Amanda Weston QC in EOG v SSHD [2020] EWHC 3310 (Admin), a successful challenge to the prohibition on working and lack of support for certain victims of trafficking. The High Court declared that the Home Office’s policy, which failed to provide any route to leave to remain or right to work for potential victims of trafficking, was unlawful.

Miranda has acted in a number of challenges that have led to beneficial changes in Home Office policy regarding the support given to victims of trafficking. She was instructed in NN & LP v SSHD, a successful challenge to the 45-day limit to support for recognised victims of trafficking. As a result of this litigation, the Home Secretary agreed to withdraw this challenge and remove the time limit which had previously been imposed on victims of trafficking seeking to access support. Miranda is currently led by Samantha Knights QC in a challenge to the level of financial support provided to victims of trafficking.

Miranda acted with Alex Goodman in YPG v SSHD, a challenge to the reduced levels of support available for victims of trafficking who are pregnant or have young children. The Home Office amended their policy as a result of this litigation, leading to higher rates of support for victims of trafficking.

Pro Bono Work

Miranda is committed to promoting access to justice through acting pro bono. She regularly undertakes advisory or representative work for a range of NGOs and charities and has worked with JCWI, PEN International, Refugee Rights Europe, and the Project for the Registration of British Children amongst others.

In 2016–2018 Miranda was a coordinator of the Refugee Legal Support Athens Project, which sends experienced immigration practitioners to Greece to provide legal advice and representation for asylum seekers. She has volunteered as an advocate in both Chios and Athens, during which time she gained particular experience of working with unaccompanied minors and on claims under the Dublin III regulation.

She represents immigration detainees on a pro bono basis for Bail for Immigration Detainees and has worked on various death row appeals for the Death Penalty Project.

Civil Law

Miranda has an extensive background in a range of private law areas, including employment, commercial and negligence claims. She has worked across the spectrum of civil law proceedings both as a judicial assistant in the Supreme Court and in private practice.

This means that Miranda is particularly well-placed to advise on civil proceedings arising out of public law challenges, including false imprisonment and/or damages claims. She is regularly instructed on civil damages claims arising out of tortious acts in the prison and detention estate.

Publications

  • The Impact of Paposhvili v Belgium: a country study (Journal of Asylum, Immigration and Nationality Law,
    forthcoming)
  • Human Rights in Criminal law (contributor, forthcoming)
  • Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice (10th edition), contributor
  • Healthcare and medical cases in immigration law: a practical guide for practitioners (with Rebecca Chapman) (2021)
  • Home Office policy on leave to remain for potential trafficking victims found unlawful (Free Movement blog, December 2020)
  • Athens Legal Support (Counsel Magazine, July 2017)
  • Limbo: a virtual experience of waiting for asylum (The Guardian, July 2017, contributor)
  • Athens Refugee Legal Support Project: what’s happening on the ground (Free Movement blog, June 2017)
  • The EU-Turkey refugee deal only succeeded in one thing (New Statesman, December 2016, co-author)
  • The constitutional implications of Brexit (Solicitors’ Journal, July 2016)

Awards

  • Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year – Newcomer of the Year finalist (2020)
  • Pegasus Scholarship (2017)
  • Administrative Law Bar Association Scholarship (2015)
  • Selected for Frank Knox Fellowship (not taken up) (2015)
  • Times Law Award Finalist (2014)
  • Inner Temple Major Scholarship (2012)
  • Inner Temple Exhibition (2011)
  • MPhil Scholarship, Classics Department, Cambridge University (2010)
  • King’s College Scholarship, King’s College, Cambridge (2009)
  • Henry Arthur Thomas Award, King’s College, Cambridge (2008)

Education

  • Bar Professional Training Course (Very Competent), Kaplan Law School
  • Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction), City Law School
  • MPhil in Classics (Distinction), King’s College, University of Cambridge
  • MA in Classics (First Class), King’s College, University of Cambridge

Professional Membership

  • Equality and Human Rights Commission (Panel of Counsel)
  • Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA)
  • Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA)
  • London School of Economics (Visiting Tutor)
  • Public Law Project
  • Refugee Legal Support: Athens

Recommendations

Chambers and Partners 2022, Administrative & Public Law (Up and Coming)

“Her tactics, legal analysis and client management skills are beyond her year of call.”

“She is incredibly precise and shows a genuine care and compassion for people.”

Chambers and Partners 2022, Immigration

“A fantastic barrister, whose drafting is excellent and who really thinks of everything for her clients.”

“Exceptional. … Miranda is a joy to work with, and a rising star at the Immigration Bar.”

Legal 500 2022, Immigration

“Miranda is superb. She is exceptionally clever and she writes beautifully. She is extremely organised and goes above and beyond to protect her clients’ interests.”

Chambers and Partners 2021, Immigration

“She is absolutely brilliant: highly knowledgeable, fantastically committed and approachable. A real delight to work with.”

James Elliot, Partner, Wilson Solicitors LLP, 2020

“She is someone who can get on top of huge amounts of documentation and at speed draft quality and effective grounds in a way that belies her year of call.”

Chai Patel, Legal Policy Director, JCWI, 2020

“She was extremely helpful and friendly, and made sure as counsel that we fully understood what was required and how best to present it. Her work was excellent, and she made extremely insightful and knowledgeable contributions to our planning and strategy around the case. It was clear that she not only understood the law, but also the wider context that we work in as an NGO.”

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