Dijen Basu QC

Call 1994 | Silk 2015

Overview

Described by Chambers & Partners as “a creative thinker and an absolutely outstanding cross-examiner”, Dijen specialises in Judicial Review, Employment and Police Law. A qualified doctor, he is a particularly effective cross-examiner of medical and scientific experts in technically complex litigation and inquests.

Dijen is clerked primarily by Lee JohnsonJennifer Pooler and Jubeda Begum.

An enormously impressive and engaging advocate, he is very precise both orally and in writing, and he takes no prisoners

Chambers & Partners

Dijen was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court in 2009  and a member of the Attorney General’s Panel of Special Advocates in 2010.

Police  Law & Public law

Dijen is consistently ranked by Chambers & Partners as a leading silk for Police Law.

He advises and represents police forces and other police organisations in relation to matters of civil and public law unique to policing such as:

  • Entry, search and seizure by police officers, under search warrants and/or under PACE powers;
  • Police powers, including defending judicial review claims brought against police forces challenging their exercise of powers;
  • Counter terrorism;
  • Defending claims brought against police alleging assault (including use of firearms), false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, misfeasance in a public office and discrimination;
  • Defending human rights claims;
  • Policing protests;
  • Charging organisers for the cost of providing Special Police Services at events such as football matches and large concerts; and
  • Information Law: data protection and freedom of information.

Notable cases include:

MLIA & CLEL v Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary [2017] EWHC 292 (QB): Lavender J: Dijen successfully defended the police (leading Mark Thomas) in a claim brought by a mother and daughter who reported serious allegations of domestic violence against the daughter’s ex-partner to police in 2005.

R (A & others) v The Central Criminal Court & Anor [2017] EWHC 70 (Admin), Gross LJ & Ouseley J: Dijen appeared at the Old Bailey in order to apply for search warrants in a highly sensitive investigation and successfully defended claims for their quashing. The police were permitted to retain the mobile phones seized.

Ipswich Town Football Club Co Ltd v Chief Constable of Suffolk Constabulary [2017] 4 WLR 195: Dijen  represented the police (leading Catriona Hodge) in a claim concerning the right of police to charge for the policing of events. The force were successful at first instance but the Court of Appeal overturned the judgment.

Koraou v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police [2016] QB 161, Court of Appeal: Lord Dyson MR, Laws & Kitchin LJJ: Dijen acted for the Chief Constable, defending the claimant’s appeal in one of the first two cases (the other being DSD v Commissioner of Police, with which it was heard) to reach the Court of Appeal, concerning whether Article 3 imposes an investigatory duty, the breach of which sounds in damages. The Chief Constable was successful.

Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Constabulary v Allard [2015] ICR 875, Court of Appeal:: with Jeremy Johnson QC, Dijen represented the Chief Constable (as he had below) in this appeal concerning overtime entitlements of police informant (source) handlers.

R (M) v Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary & Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] 1 WLR 1176, Court of Appeal: Dijen represented the Chief Constable before the Court of Appeal who held that the force did not breach a sex offender’s Article 8 rights by conducting unannounced visits to assess his risk of reoffending.

R (Mackaill & ors) v Independent Police Complaints Commission & ors [2015] ACD 19 QBD Div Ct (Davis LJ & Wilkie J): This case arose out of a meeting between Police Federation officers and the Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP shortly after the notorious ‘Plebgate’ incident at the gates of Downing Street which ended Mitchell’s career.

Greatrex v Chief Constable of Gwent Constabulary: Dijen acted for the Chief Constable whose officers had arrested a 67-year old man, who had never before been in trouble with the police and who was released without charge. Every aspect of the arrest was challenged but the focus was on necessity. After a 5-day trial before HHJ Seys-Llewellyn QC and a jury, the jury returned verdicts in the chief constable’s favour.

R (A) v Chief Constable of Kent Constabulary [2013] EWCA Civ 1706. Enhanced Criminal Records Certificate case concerning a nurse.

R (Minter) v Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary & Secretary of State for the Home Department  [2014] 1 WLR 179, Court of Appeal: claimant held to be subject to the sex offenders’ notification regime for life. Dijen represented the successful chief constable.

Inquests

Dijen has considerable experience in inquests where his experience as a doctor can give him the edge, especially where there are complex scientific and medical questions. Examples include deaths in custody, or following contact with the police, and unexpected deaths in hospital, both in the National Health Service and in the private sector.

He represented Surrey Police in the first 12 pre inquest review hearings in relation to the inquest into the death of Alexander Perepilichnyy, up to the point where the Chief Coroner replaced the Senior Coroner with the Recorder of London.

Mr. Perepilichnyy was a Russian émigré and businessman, whose unexplained death at the age of 44 years has been claimed to have been connected with his having ‘whistle-blown’ in relation to a large-scale fraud implicating the Klyuyev organized crime group. There were enormously complicated scientific and medical issues thrown up by this case in the preparatory stages.

Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence

As a former practising doctor, Dijen is regularly instructed in cases involving personal injury and clinical malpractice, including professional misconduct and clinical negligence claims. His medical background makes him a particularly effective cross-examiner of medical experts and gives him a natural facility with medical and scientific material (including reading indecipherable doctors’ notes!).

Between 1986 and 1991, Dijen read medicine at the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s and St Thomas’. In 1988, he won the Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins’ Prize for Biochemistry, awarded for the best examination and viva performance in that subject, and in 1991, Dijen was awarded a M.B., B.S. degree with Distinction in Surgery. Less than 10% of all London University medical graduates gained a Distinction in any of the Finals subjects in 1991.

He then practised medicine full time for a year, gaining Full Registration with the General Medical Council (which he continues to hold today), and continued to practise on a locum basis thereafter to fund his legal training.

Notable cases include:

Representing a primary care trust in a case involving a doctor accused of indecently assaulting a patient in which the doctor mounted an unsuccessful appeal to the Administrative Court, concerning a point relating to legal professional privilege (see Balu v Dudley Primary Care Trust [2010] All ER  217 (Jun)).

In Tyler v Easterbrook, Dijen acted for a young man who sustained a very serious brain injury in a car accident. On 30 August 2012, he represented the claimant at a joint settlement meeting at which he negotiated settlement at just over £1.2 million plus costs.

He acted for a husband and wife who sustained psychiatric injury when they witnessed their daughter being struck by a car driven by a drunk driver on Christmas morning. She succumbed to her injuries a month later and the couple recovered (in settlement) over £1 million in damages.

Dijen was instructed on behalf of a man gravely injured when knocked off his motorcycle by a Range Rover being driven by a well-known footballer. He secured settlement just short of £1 million.

Representing a former SAS soldier who was crushed by a 2-tonne machine being moved negligently by his business partner. The defendant disputed liability, alleging that the claimant had devised the negligent system of moving the machine. The liability trial in the High Court ended with the claimant succeeding on liability and recovering his costs on the indemnity basis. He settled his claim for £750,000.

Employment

Dijen has extensive employment law experience in the police and medical sectors as well as more generally. Many of his cases are at Court of Appeal level. Illustrative examples of his work include:

Boardman v Nugent Care Society & another [2013] ICR 927, Court of Appeal: Dijen acted for a teacher dismissed for an assault on a pupil.

Aitken v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2012] ICR 78, Court of Appeal. Disability Discrimination: the claimant police officer suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder the symptoms and signs of which made him appear dangerous. He claimed that he had been discriminated against as a result of his perceived dangerousness. Dijen successfully defended the force all the way up to the Court of Appeal.

Balu v Dudley Primary Care Trust [2010] All ER (D) 217 (Jun): Dijen successfully represented the PCT throughout the proceedings (a hearing, and then 2 appeals) concerning a doctor accused of misconduct toward a patient. The doctor was subsequently ‘struck off’ the medical register by the General Medical Council.

Guernina v Thames Valley University [2008] EWCA Civ 34, Court of Appeal: Dijen acted for the successful employer in an appeal concerning national terms and conditions for university lecturers.

Coors Brewers Ltd v Adcock and others [2007] ICR 983, Court of Appeal: This concerned the question whether discretionary bonuses could be recovered as unlawful deductions under the Wages provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996. Dijen represented over 500 claimants in this litigation.

Scope v Thornett [2007] ICR 236, Court of Appeal: Dijen successfully represented the charity in its appeal against a ruling of the EAT against it on the assessment of compensation. The Court of Appeal agreed that, even if there was a degree of speculation involved in the question whether the employee would have lost her job in any event, it was the duty of the tribunal to assess the probability that that would happen in determining compensation.

National Power v Young [2001] ICR 328: Court of Appeal: Time Limits in Equal Pay claims brought in an employment tribunal.

Kapadia v London Borough of Lambeth [2000] IRLR 699: Court of Appeal: Disability Discrimination and whether the Employment Appeal Tribunal had erred in substituting its own finding that the claimant was disabled for the employment tribunal’s finding that he was not. This was the first ever case to be supported by the Disability Rights Commission, which was later absorbed within the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

INFORMATION LAW

Dijen has a special interest in data protection and the law of freedom of information, in particular, as they relate to the police and public bodies, including healthcare organisations.

 

Reflections

Having trained and practised as a doctor, I can visualise any given clinical situation, whether representing a clinician facing criticism for decisions taken in the heat of the moment or acting on behalf of victims of medical disasters in understanding where mistakes have occurred.

I never forget that individuals are at the heart of  every case, whether I am instructed to represent a large organisation or a public or governmental body. That makes me strive all the harder to get the best possible result in every case.

“I consider cross-examination, whether on the facts, on expert evidence or on raw issues of credibility, to be the core skill of an advocate. Done properly, it can be pure theatre.”

I still love learning new law:  contrary to popular perception being a QC means I have to do that now more than ever before.

Some time ago, after I had cross examined a key witness, my instructing solicitor told me that I had been a ‘smiling assassin’ but I don’t remember smiling! I consider cross-examination, whether on the facts, on expert evidence or on raw issues of credibility, to be the core skill of an advocate. Done properly, it can be pure theatre.

Recommendations

“He is a creative thinker and an absolutely outstanding cross-examiner.”
Chambers & Partners

“An enormously impressive and engaging advocate, he is very precise both orally and in writing, and he takes no prisoners.”
Chambers & Partners

“Extremely bright and well prepared, but also approachable too.”
The Legal 500

“He is incredibly eloquent, he goes the extra mile all the time and his work ethic is immense.”
Chambers & Partners

“The jury likes his style, and he is intelligent and well prepared.”
Chambers & Partners

“His advice is spot-on and he provides a very quick turnaround of papers.”
Chambers & Partners

“He is very pleasant to work with and conveys confidence.”
Chambers & Partners

“Well regarded for cases involving the medical profession and police.”
The Legal 500

 “first-rate”; “has sound judgement”; “is a real expert on police law”
Chambers & Partners

“knows his stuff” and is “spot on in his analysis”
Chambers & Partners

“He has a broad employment law practice which includes industrial action, whistle-blowing and discrimination cases” 
Chambers & Partners

“an all-round performer”; “making real strides in the employment law world”
Chambers & Partners

“has good communication skills”; “is well liked by clients”; “is very thorough and approachable”
Chambers & Partners

“He is known for his accessibility, speed of response and quick identification of the main issues of a case” (Chambers UK 2010)

Education & Qualifications

1992 – present: Full Registration with the General Medical Council (non practising)

1991 MB, BS degree (with Distinction in Surgery) [Less than 10% of all London University medical graduates gained a Distinction in 1991]

1991 Guy’s Hospital Medical School

1988 Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins’ Prize for Biochemistry

Appointments

2010: Attorney General’s Panel of Special Advocates

2009: Recorder of the Crown Court

Privacy

Dijen adopts and adheres to the provisions of the privacy notice which can be accessed here.

ADDITiONAL Information

For further details of Dijen’s practice please contact a member of the clerking or client care team.

Bar Council Membership No: 32420
Registered Name: Dijendra Bhushan Basu
VAT Registration No: 653818809