PUBLIC & ADMINISTRATIVE
Serjeants’ Inn has a long and established reputation in public law, acting for both claimants and defendants in key human rights cases. Chambers is instructed in matters ranging from landmark cases concerning police powers to ground breaking medical treatment and welfare cases.
Illustrative examples of the calibre of our work in this field are two recent Supreme Court cases as follows:
- Re MN: instructed by the Clinical Commissioning Group in this appeal in which the Supreme Court will rule on the jurisdictional limits of the Court of Protection and the extent of parties’ rights under Articles 6 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights; and
- JR 55 v The Commissioner of Complaints for Northern Ireland [Supreme Court March 2016]: Gerry Boyle QC was instructed in this historic first ever case in the Supreme Court considering the extent of an ombudsman’s powers to award compensation and “name and shame” a doctor before the assembly in Northern Ireland. The case had potentially far reaching and expensive implications for medical practitioners and their defence organisations.
Members also regularly chair and appear in major public inquiries, such as the Manchester Arena Inquiry, the Undercover Policing Inquiry, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, The Freedom to Speak Up Review, the Leveson Inquiry and the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry,
Our expertise also encompasses human rights. We also have substantial experience of Article 2 inquests (such as the fresh inquest into the death of Private Cheryl James at Deepcut Barracks earlier this year) as well as judicial review of coroner’s decisions. Another recent example is Davis v Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis  EWHC 38 (QB) in which a claim was brought against the Metropolitan Police by an individual who had been shot by an officer. Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights was engaged, but it was not violated either by the act of the officer in shooting the Claimant, nor in consequence of the planning or conduct of the operation.
Our work on judicial review includes those relating to the Duggan and Plebgate matters and R (Gopikrishna) v. OIA, a long running judicial review of the higher education ombudsman considering the proper approach to errors by university panels.
Elliot Gold and James Berry have both served as members of the Attorney General’s London Panel of Junior Counsel and Edward Pleeth and James Berry are currently members of the B Panel. David Lawson leads our Public & Administrative Law team.
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