1 Crown Office Row's Experience in Human Rights Litigation
Before the European Convention on Human Rights and Freedoms was incorporated into domestic law, we frequently appeared both before the Strasbourg Court and the Commission, developing an expertise in human rights litigation which prepared us well for the Human Rights Act 1998. We conducted the first series of seminars with the civil rights organization "Justice" on human rights and the common law and 13 members contributed to the well-received book "An Introduction to Human Rights and the Common Law", predicting the profound effect the Convention would have on areas of practice hitherto untouched by European human rights law.
These predictions have been borne out and since October 2000 we have played a leading part in the expanding role of the Convention in a wide range of practice areas.
Our human rights expertise has been called upon across a broad spectrum of litigation, including:
- Medical law: members of chambers have secured important rulings on the compatibility of disciplinary tribunals with the due process provisions of the tribunal
Assisted Suicide: we have brought a ground breaking challenge to the prohibition of assisted suicide under the 1961 Suicide Act and its compatibility with the right to autonomy under the Convention
Immigration and asylum: Chambers' detailed familiarity with Convention jurisprudence in this area adds to its established expertise in immigration hearings
Environmental law and planning: Chambers' specialism in this area includes detailed knowledge of potential Convention arguments
Mental Health: established expertise in judicial review of decisions and proceedings under the Mental Health Act involving important Convention rights on detention, the right to private life etc.
Inquests: we have been involved in a number of cases addressed to the application of Article 2 to inquests into deaths in hospital and funding for legal representation at inquests.
Indirect Taxation and VAT: members of chambers routinely argue human rights points in relation to VAT legislation and Customs and Excise policies
We have been involved in the following cases:
Freedom of speech (Spycatcher; Wingrove v UK; Independent Publishing v Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago).
Privacy (W v Edgell and R v Preston)
Right to Life and Freedom from inhuman treatment (R v SSHD ex parte McQuillan and D v UK)
Right to Life and Self-Determination (Pretty v DPP; B v NHS Trust Hospital
Right to Found a Family and damages for clinical negligence (Briody
Damages (Kuddus v Chief Constable of South Leicestershire Police; Gregg v Scott)
Inquests (Kahn v Secretary of State for Health; Goodson v HM Coroner for Bedfordshire)
Conscientious Objection (Kahn v RAF Summary Appeal Court)
Mental Health (H v Secretary of State for Home Department; R(DB) v Dr SS, Dr G and SSHD)
We have advised and acted for civil liberties organisations and others on human rights issues on a pro bono basis and are happy to do so again in the future. We also act for Government Departments in human rights cases.
Human Rights Update Service
Our Human Rights Update service is accessible via www.1cor.com or can be found at www.humanrights.org.uk
It contains over 900 summaries and commentaries on civil, domestic and Strasbourg cases, including important admissibility decisions of the Strasbourg Court. It is free, updated weekly, set out clearly by practice areas and has an excellent search engine. Delia Venables, author of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers and a recognised authority on web-based legal resources, has written that "One Crown Office Row's Human Rights Update is one of the most significant free legal resources to appear on the web for some time".
Anticipating the wide impact the Human Rights Act would have in all areas of law, One Crown Office Row started this guide and regular cases analysis in 1998. It is happy to share this resource as a public service.
Members of Chambers in the Human Rights group are: