Public Law, Regulatory & Human Rights
Areas of Experience
- Judicial Review
- General Judicial Review
- Commercial Judicial Review
- Criminal Judicial Review
- European Charter of Fundamental Rights
- Human Rights
- Immigration, Nationality and Asylum
Some of our barristers are Public Law specialists. Most of our barristers deal with Human Rights issues as and when they arise during the course of their day- to-day barrister’s practice.
Public and Administrative law: what is it?
Public and administrative law is concerned with legal challenges by way of statutory appeal or judicial review of decisions made by public bodies (which includes a court or tribunal and any person certain of whose functions are functions of a public nature).
Our Public Law work
Challenges to decisions by public bodies may arise in any legal or factual setting where a public body makes a decision that affects the rights or duties, privileges or immunities, powers or liabilities of individuals (who may be natural or corporate).
Our barristers, drawn from different specialist practice areas, are regularly instructed in cases of statutory appeal or judicial review in a wide variety of circumstances including but not limited to immigration and asylum, homelessness and social housing, education, extradition, family law, criminal judicial review, commercial judicial review and planning. For more information on our work in these areas click on the relevant practice area at the foot of this page (see grey section of page).
Commercial Judicial Review
What is it?
Commercial Judicial Review is a distinctive branch of judicial review, subject to its own special considerations. It is concerned with challenges by businesses and other entities to regulatory decisions by government (central or local) or other regulators, where the challenge is made for the purpose of protecting business or commercial interests.
The key difference between Commercial Judicial Review and other areas of judicial review is the focus placed on commercial decisions by regulators. Commercial judicial review is essentially concerned with the supervision of public bodies responsible for the regulation of economic activities.
Markets and Sectors
A number of public bodies have statutory power to regulate different markets or sectors, including:
- Oil & Gas
- Financial Services
- Local Authorities (including planning, and minerals authorities)
- Food and Drink
- Trade and Industry
- Public Utilities
- TV and Radio Broadcasting, OFCOM
- Gaming Industry
These public bodies include Government Departments and independent agencies.
What we offer
Some of our members specialise in commercial and business law, financial regulation and consumer law, and are also public law specialists – and so adept at dealing with public and administrative law issues in a commercial setting. For instance:
Richard Wilson QC, who has a special interest in the regulation of Shale Gas & Oil, is author of ‘Judicial Review: An Introduction to the Key Principles’, which is a chapter in the practitioner textbook Criminal Judicial Review (Hart Publishing). For more information on what we offer Shale Gas & Oil regulation. Read more>>
Simon Harding is a contributing editor to ‘Jordans Business Start-up Pack’. The book provides newly formed business with essential regulatory and compliance information. Simon is also a public law and judicial review specialist.
We assist businesses, entities or regulators when there are challenges to decisions by regulators that (1) deal with the regulation of different markets; or (2) public procurement procedures and decisions. In both situations regulatory decisions may affect the business or commercial interests of entities, and so falls within the scope of “Commercial Judicial Review”.
During challenges issues may be raised concerned with Human Rights, European Union law and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Members of our public law team represent litigants taking or responding to human rights challenges, in both public and private law cases. We have also represented parties in cases before the European Court of Human Rights (Strasbourg) concerned with extrajudicial killings by State agents and failures to investigate.
We particularly undertake work concerned with:
- Human rights based challenges in immigration and asylum cases
- Article 8 ECHR issues in family matters
- Private claims involving public bodies in education and criminal justice where
- Article 8 ECHR issues in housing matters
Some of our reported cases:
- Re I (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1765 – whether placement for adoption a breach of father and maternal grandmother’s Article 8 rights
- Re H (Care Plan: Human Rights)  EWCA Civ 1009  1 FLR 191,  Fam. Law 1189 – whether in public law family proceedings a judge had jurisdiction to consider an application for an injunction under the Human Rights Act 1998, section 8(1)
- Musayeva v Russia (74239/01) (2008) 47 E.H.R.R. 25 – violation of Article 2 (extrajudicial killing and failure to carry out an effective criminal investigation) and violation of Articles 3 and 13
- Makhauri v Russia (58701/00) (2010) 50 E.H.R.R. 40 – violation of Article 2 (killing by state agents during a security operation and failure to carry out an effective investigation) and violation of Article 13
We actively support the various charities and interest groups generally concerned with human rights including Liberty, JUSTICE, the Children’s Rights Alliance, the Howard League for Penal Reform as well as being active members of the Bar Human Rights Committee and the Human Rights Lawyers Association.
Frances Oldham QC was a member of a delegation of lawyers, commissioned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and selected for knowledge and experience of human rights law and procedure relating to both crime and child welfare. Frances is was appointed by the Jersey State Authority to chair the public inquiry into events at the Haut de la Garenne children’s home.
Miriam Carrion Benitez is a Legal Consultant to a project funded by the European Commission at the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre, Metropolitan University, which seeks to assist Russian lawyers and human rights organisations throughout all stages of litigation in the European Court of Human Rights.
James Collins is a former winner of ‘Barrister of the Year’ at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards.