The department is a leading expert in public law, with particular expertise in challenges to decision makers in the criminal justice system, acting for victims, suspects and detainees. Such challenges are often necessary in the context of deaths in custody, as well as on ancillary criminal justice issues such as bail, prosecution decisions or the administration of justice in the lower courts.
As the department’s profile has grown within the square mile it has also seen increasing referrals from City firms. For corporate and HNW clients the team offers imaginative commercial judicial reviews against a wide range of decision makers on varied topics such as airports, Crown ownership of land, education, legal costs, and various types of public funding. This has coincided with the emergence of problematic aspects to police disclosure and barring powers.
The department is also regularly instructed by NGOs and charities such as INQUEST and AI to bring (or intervene in) public law challenges on a range of human rights issues.
Most legal challenges are resolved without litigation, but the department’s most recent Court of Appeal cases are Miah (requiring the IPOC to fully investigate a complaint of an airport stop by police) and Freedom and Justice Party (an intervention for NGOs on whether special mission immunity is part of customary international law making visitors on special missions immune from criminal process including serious international crimes).