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, he 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. Much if his work has an international element including child abduction and the placement of children outside the jurisdiction by Local Authorities (his experience would cover virtually every country of the EEA and also many states in the US, Russia, South Asia and Israel.) He has a particular expertise in Media Law in this field and on restrictions on disclosure. Recently he has appeared in a series of cases representing Polish families in Appellate cases in England and Wales. He has also appeared in a series of cases where one parent has murdered another or there is alleged NAI (especially if treating physicians face allegations as well).
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 »
Read through some of the highlights of 2019 in the 1COR Bundle - Sep 2019
Protecting children from harm: CN & GN v Poole Borough Council - Jun 2019
Seven 1COR members in landmark Supreme Court case - Jul 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
Law Pod UK Ep. 13: Tackling radicalisation through the civil courts - Oct 2017
1COR hosts Local Government & Education Law Conference - Sep 2017
1COR Hosts 2017 Court of Protection Conference - Sep 2017
1COR Public Law Seminar – Life, Liberty & Security - Sep 2017
1 COR Annual Magazine: Bundle now available for clients and colleagues - Jul 2017
Martin Downs in the significant family case of Re W (No. 4) - Jul 2017
The Times reports on Chambers extremism cases - Jun 2017
Martin Downs in new Radicalisation Judgment about protecting older children and vulnerable adults - Apr 2017
Marina Wheeler QC in Public Interest Immunity & Radicalisation case - Apr 2017
Martin Downs participating in LSE Featherstone Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Moot 2017 - Mar 2017
Martin Downs in Right to Life Radicalisation case - Oct 2016
Martin Downs in case on first anniversary of Modern Slavery Act - Jul 2016
Martin Downs in Inquest on Police Failures to protect a child - Jun 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 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
Martin Downs co-authors Same Sex Marriage book - May 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 appeared in the case of “E” - Jan 2014
Martin Downs in Court of Protection forced marriage case - Jan 2014
Martin Downs and Aviva Le Prevost successful in Court of Appeal challenge on Wardship - Jan 2013
Four Members in key case on the independence of Children’s Guardians - Jul 2011