"1 Crown Office Row has a solid reputation in the human rights sphere, and has "a number of key individuals" in the field present at the set. Its tenants act for appellants and respondents across a broad spectrum of areas including immigration, mental health and medical law." (Chambers and Partners 2013)
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 regularly acting for both claimants and defendants.
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 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.
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.
In addition to this The UK Human Rights Blog (www.ukhumanrightsblog.com) was launched on 31 March 2010 and is written by members of Chambers.
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