Areas of Experience
- Judicial Review
- General Judicial Review
- Commercial Judicial Review
- Criminal Judicial Review
- Attorney General’s Panel of Approved Counsel
- Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID)
- Children's Rights
- Criminal Justice Rights
- Damages and compensation
- Detainee's Rights
- Employment Rights
- Equality Act 2010 rights (other than employment)
- Environmental regulation
- European Charter of Fundamental Rights
- Family Rights
- Government Legal Service
- Human Rights
- Immigration, Nationality and Asylum
- International Human Rights
- Local Authorities
- Migrant Workers - Rights-based approaches
- Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
- Serious Fraud Office
- Shale Gas & Oil, and Energy regulation
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, right across The 36 Group’s specialist fields.
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 discrete areas please use the search facility situated top right of this 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 are adept at dealing with public and administrative law issues in a commercial setting.
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
Our 36 Public & Human Rights practice group actively supports various charities and interest groups generally concerned with human rights including Liberty, JUSTICE, the Children’s Rights Alliance, the Howard League for Penal Reform and Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID), as well as being active members of the Bar Human Rights Committee and the Human Rights Lawyers Association.
36 Public & Human Rights comprises a dedicated group of barristers who are Public and Administrative law specialists. They are committed to promotion of the Rule of Law and the protection of Human Rights, in both domestic and international settings.
We are also able to put together bespoke teams combining public law specialists from 36 Public & Human Rights with specialists form other ‘36’ teams. For instance, in one Supreme Court case, our family specialists from 36 Family (led by Will Tyler QC) were assisted by one of our Human Rights specialists (Miriam Carrion Benitez) in a family case that engaged human rights issues.
Commitment to the Rule of Law and Human Rights - some further information:
- Several members of 36 Public & Human Rights are authors and contributors to the leading textbook ‘Criminal Judicial Review’ (Hart Publishing)
- Richard Wilson QC, LL.D is a former winner of The Lawyer’s ‘Public and Administrative Lawyer of the Year’ annual award. Richard was successful in the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in ZO (Somalia), which established the right of those making subsequent applications for asylum to protection under the EU Receptive Direction. He also led the legal team for the Claimants in Bahta, which established the principles to be applied in public law cases on costs. Richard was part of a United Nations Development Programme team that provided training in reasoned decision-making for first instance judges (i.e. the legally qualified-magistracy) in Guyana, South America.
- Ben Amunwa is an expert legal educator, blogger and barrister practising in employment, commercial and public. He is the founder and editor of Law Mostly, a blog that deals with topical legal issues in public law, employment and commercial contracts. Ben is also author of ‘Supporting Migrant Workers - Rights based approaches’, a booklet that shows migrant workers and those acting for them how they might be defended against ill-treatment in the workplace. Click Here
- James Collins is a former winner of ‘Barrister of the Year’ at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards. James is committed to providing legal services and representation to the most vulnerable members in society.
- 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 was also appointed by the Jersey State Authority to chair the public inquiry into events at the Haut de la Garenne children’s home. Report.
- Miriam Carrion Benitez’s work in public law and human rights stems from a long–standing interest in social justice. She strongly believes in the protection and development of the rights of individuals and since 1990, Miriam has been actively involved in human rights. Her experience ranges from litigation before the European Court of Human Rights, lecturing and training lawyers and judges to work with grass roots organisations and advisory and advocacy work at the Bar. She 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.
- Kathryn Howarth has worked at international criminal tribunals, including the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the State Court for Bosnia & Herzegovina. Between, 2008 – 2012, she was trial and then appellate counsel for the prosecution in The Hague, on the case against Charles Taylor, the former President of Liberia. She examined witnesses during the prosecution and defence cases and drafted numerous pleadings before Trial and the Appellate chamber’s of the Court. Kathryn regularly conducts lectures and training in relation to international criminal law, including its domestic application.
- David Ball before coming to the Bar worked at Liberty. There, he worked on a number of test cases pending variously before the High Court, the House of Lords, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. David was awarded an EU scholarship by the Centre for Capital Punishment Studies and was an intern at the Public Interest Litigation Clinic in Missouri, assisting in appeals for defendants on death row. He has recently advised an international charity on cases pending before the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the Court of Justice for the Economic Community of West African States. He is currently working for the Serious Fraud Office in a complex multi-jurisdictional case involving suspected international corporate corruption where he is advising and assisting in various applications for international mutual legal assistance.
- Emilie Pottle, in terms of her international criminal law work, is junior counsel for the Crown in the prosecution of Agnes Taylor for offences of torture carried out during the first Liberian Civil War. She was part of the team defending Saif Gaddafi before the International Criminal Court. She has acted in cases before the ICTY and ICTR and advises NGOs and governments on matters of international criminal law and conducts training on the prosecution of international crimes for lawyers and judges internationally.
- Saoirse Townshend compliments her practice with her passion for international human rights work. This began as a legal researcher at the Humanitarian Law Centre in Belgrade and advising in the foreign policy department in Washington D.C. for the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Adapting her advocacy skills from the court-room to the field, Saoirse is regularly posted on OSCE election monitoring missions in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. Saoirse has acted as pro-bono counsel in refugee camps in Chios, Greece where she represented Syrian refugees at hearings which would determine whether they would be deported to Turkey following the EU-Turkey deal.
- Florence Iveson’s strong interest in judicial proceedings relating to international crime has lead to her working on a complex multi–jurisdictional case for the Serious Fraud Office involving possible international corporate corruption.