Senior Coroner to issue a report on national lack of resources for people with Autism - Dec 2023
Martin Downs has a practice which covers Public Law involving Human Rights and Equality (including Children’s and Mental Capacity) law, Local Government (including Police and Education), Inquests and Professional Regulation. He has particular expertise as an appeal advocate (frequently when not having appeared at first instance).
As concerns children’s rights, Martin has a High Court practice covering a wide area. He devised (with Natasha Watson of Orbis Law) the strategy of using the inherent jurisdiction to tackle radicalisation and prevent young people being persuaded to fight in the Syrian civil war. He has appeared in leading cases on modern slavery, forced marriage and contested adoptions, both domestically and on an international scale.
In Employment and Professional Regulatory Law, many of Martin’s cases involve the GMC, Ofsted and Cafcass and concern safeguarding issues (e.g. Head teachers, Psychiatrists and Social Workers). He has some restrictions on where he can appear as Counsel as he has sat as an Employment Judge since 2012. He has significant experience in the EAT, High Court and Court of Appeal – particularly with injunctions.
His extensive experience in Police and Local Government includes judicial review of Local Authority decisions and Search Warrants (with section 59 applications if required) and also cases concerning safeguarding, disclosure, publicity and injunctions to protect children and vulnerable people. This ties into his inquests work, which includes cases concerning the Police, Local Government and the Police – particularly where Art 5 is involved.
He appears regularly in the Court of Protection in both welfare and property and affairs cases.
Martin also has particular expertise in Equality Law including in the provision of goods, facilities and services especially as concerns disability and sexual orientation discrimination.
He is also concerned with the provision of training and often lectures and gives seminars. Martin spoke on Radicalisation and the Prevent strategy at the 2017 Public Law Conference; Radicalisation, Schools and the Law at the Local Government and Education Law Conference 2017; and Costs, Public funding and Human Rights claims at the Court of Protection Conference 2017.
He has appeared on Newsnight and Panorama and has written for the Guardian as well as in law journals discussing such subjects as radicalisation, same-sex marriage and civil partnerships. He is regularly called upon to give his lecture, “Do you speak colloquial MHPS?” about problems with employment rights in the NHS.
With Nicola McGeown he co-founded a Quality Circle in 2017 in Sussex dedicated to disseminating the latest research amongst practitioners.
Since its launch, Martin has been on the editorial team for UK Human Rights blog.View full profile »
Martin Downs obtains Forced Marriage Protection Orders after change in law - Jul 2023
High Court Judgment on conflict with parents about hospital care and discharge of a child with a rare genetic condition - Nov 2022
Martin Downs in case concerning serious abuse and coercive control - Jun 2021
Martin Downs and Luisa Morelli appear in childhood vaccination injunction challenge - Jun 2021
Quality Circle Ponders adopting Charter of Respectful Working - Jan 2020
Martins Downs in significant child repatriation case from North Africa - May 2019
Goodman Ray and 1COR presenting seminar on Developments in International Children Law - Mar 2019
Nuffield Observatory publish Insight Piece on Quality Circle - Feb 2019
1COR & Orbis Law present ‘Mental Capacity Act 2005 Training for Local Government Lawyers’ - Nov 2018
Martin Downs and Anita Mehta speak at East Sussex Resolution AGM - Oct 2018
Seven 1COR members in landmark Supreme Court case - Aug 2018
West Sussex County Council hosts Quality Circle meeting on the Voice of the Child - May 2018
Martin Downs successful in international relocation appeal - Feb 2018
Martin Downs and Clare Ciborowska in case concerning placement of a child in The Gambia - Feb 2018
Martin Downs in new Radicalisation Judgment about protecting older children and vulnerable adults - Apr 2017
Martin Downs joins judges at the second LSE Featherstone Sexual Orientation and Identity Moot - Mar 2017
Adam Smith and Martin Downs speak at screening of film on Radicalisation - Nov 2016
Martin Downs in case on first anniversary of Modern Slavery Act - Aug 2016
Martin Downs speaks on the future of employment law at SJ Live 2016 - Mar 2016
Martin Downs in Second Court of Appeal challenge on Adoption - Dec 2015
Martin Downs on Newsnight on the subject of radicalisation - Oct 2015
Martin Downs acts in internet vilification case - Apr 2015
Martin Downs successful in Syrian Civil War Case - Mar 2015
Martin Downs in case about infant bone density - Mar 2015
Martin Downs in Court of Appeal win on Positive Duties of Local Authorities under Article 8 - Jul 2014
Seminar: The Court of Protection, A gilded cage is still a cage - Apr 2014
New Magistrate Court Appeals Guide incorporating upcoming rule changes - Mar 2014
Martin Downs in Court of Protection case setting out a new approach to deprivation of liberty cases - Jan 2014
Martin Downs and Jacqueline Roach in the case of E where it was held that English Courts cannot prevent foreign media reporting on a Slovakian boy placed into care in the UK - Jan 2014
Martin Downs in Court of Protection Forced Marriage case - Jan 2014
Martin Downs and Richard Ager and 1COR pupil Sophie Evans have drafted two guides on how to appeal against care and placement orders - Jan 2014
Martin Downs and Aviva Le Prevost successful in Court of Appeal challenge on Wardship - Jan 2013