The Latest from Cloisters

News, Publications, Policies, Events and Blogs

Third edition of Employment Law and Human Rights published

A new edition of  Employment Law and Human Rights  (Oxford University Press) has been released. Widely considered an authority in the field of employment law and human rights, written by Cloisters' renowned author team; Robin Allen QC , Rachel Crasnow QC , Anna Beale ,   Claire McCann  and Rachel Barrett . New to the third ...
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COA dismisses whistleblowing judge’s appeal in Gilham v MOJ

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The Court of Appeal has today (21 December 2017) given judgment in the much awaited “are judges workers?” case of Gilham v MOJ . They have rejected the argument that judges work under contracts or that denying them whistleblowing rights breaches their human rights under Article 10 and 14. The judgment recognises that the distinction between those e...
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Schona Jolly QC on BBC World News: Why the world must act now to protect the Rohingya

Schona Jolly QC  appeared on BBC World News today to discuss human rights concerns of the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar.  Schona explained that the urgent priority is to ensure that there is no continued impunity, that access is needed to Rakhine state in order to collect and preserve evidence and that the international community mus...
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Declan O'Dempsey to speak at the Council for Racial Equality’s Inaugural Human Rights and Equality event

Declan O'Dempsey to speak at the Council for Racial Equality’s Inaugural Human Rights and Equality event
On 6 April 2017 Declan O’Dempsey will be at UNISON’s headquarters in Belfast addressing the Northern Ireland Council for Racial Equality’s Inaugural Human Rights and Equality event: “ Brexit and Human Rights Protections ” on “How businesses can use the law to combat racism”. Declan’s talk will cover the way in which employers and businesses can use...
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Cloisters column: Reforming the Soft Tissue Injury (whiplash) Claims Process – Government consultation and reform in the ‘post-truth’ age?

Cloisters column: Reforming the Soft Tissue Injury (whiplash) Claims Process – Government consultation and reform in the ‘post-truth’ age?
Cloisters: Equality and Human Rights in Practic e by Martyn McLeish Recommended reading:   this article on George Osborne’s 2015 proposal. In the 2015 autumn statement the then Chancellor announced proposals for whiplash claims and an increase to the small claims limit in personal injury actions. The Government has now published its Consu...
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Declan O’Dempsey to provide training to the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Declan O’Dempsey to provide training to the Equality and Human Rights Commission
Cloisters is proud to announce that Declan O’Dempsey of Cloisters has been awarded the contract to provide training to the Equality and Human Rights Commission on the use of international treaties in UK law. Catherine Casserley together with Declan will provide the training materials for the course on the 23 rd March this year. The training aims to...
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Cloisters column part two – ‘Premature Labelling? A child-centred approach to questions of gender identity’

Cloisters column part two – ‘Premature Labelling? A child-centred approach to questions of gender identity’
Cloisters: Equality and Human Rights in Practice This is part two of a two-part series on trans rights from leading equality and human rights barrister Claire McCann at Cloisters. Part one  explores toilets and gender identity. Toilets have not been the only battleground. In fact, hardly a week goes by without a news story about tran...
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Survivors’ pensions and the Unmarried

Survivors’ pensions and the Unmarried
Rachel Crasnow QC considers the recent judicial review by Denise Brewster for review (reported at [2017] UKSC 8). In this important case about the status of cohabiting partners and the objective justification of socio-economic policy, the Appellant Denise Brewster and her partner Lenny McMullan had lived together for 10 years before he suddenly die...
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Schona Jolly and Simon Dyer to become QCs

Schona Jolly and Simon Dyer to become QCs
Today, Cloisters is delighted to announce that Schona Jolly and Simon Dyer will be appointed as QCs. Schona Jolly is a legal expert in employment, discrimination, human rights and civil liberties whilst Simon Dyer specialises in personal injury and clinical negligence.

Cloisters column: ‘The age of Trump and “Brexit”: is the balance between gay rights and religious freedom changing?’

Cloisters column: ‘The age of Trump and “Brexit”: is the balance between gay rights and religious freedom changing?’
Cloisters: Equality and Human Rights in Practice The age of Trump and “Brexit”: is the balance between gay rights and religious freedom changing? How far should the right to freedom of religion and belief be protected when it conflicts with the rights of other protected groups? This is a fundamental question which has been the subject of polarised ...
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Schona Jolly to speak at the annual Sakharov Debate in December

Schona Jolly to speak at the annual Sakharov Debate in December
Cloisters’ Schona Jolly is speaking at the annual Sakharov Debate, sponsored and organised by the UCL European Institute, and the Office of the European Parliament in the UK. Schona will be discussing the effect of Brexit on workers’ rights and equality as part of a panel considering how any post-Brexit rights will be enforced, and what the UK huma...
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Human rights implications of Brexit: Cloisters provides evidence to Joint Committee on Human Rights

Human rights implications of Brexit:  Cloisters provides evidence to Joint Committee on Human Rights
Schona Jolly , Rachel Crasnow QC , Jason Galbraith-Marten QC , Dee Masters and Jennifer Danvers  provided written evidence to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights concerning the human rights implications of Brexit. They argued that there were fundamental tracts of legislation relating to workers’ rights that are likely to be remov...
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Cloisters’ barristers have made a submission to the UK Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights

Cloisters’ barristers have made a submission to the UK Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights
The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) has launched an inquiry into the human rights implications of Brexit. It has asked about the potential impact of withdrawal on human rights protected by EU law, including include labour rights, disability rights and rights to freedom from discrimination.  JCHR Chair Harriet Harman said: "EU law provid...
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John Horan lectures as Foreign Expert in Polish Disability Forum Conferences

John Horan lectures as Foreign Expert in Polish Disability Forum Conferences
John Horan has been asked by the Polish Disability Forum to lecture on the UNCRPD and disabled people’s right in Wroclaw (29 th September), Warsaw (6 th October) and Poznan (7 th October).  A transcript of the lecture will be made available on this website once it has been published.

Time for Action – The Lawyers’ Refugee Initiative

Time for Action –  The Lawyers’ Refugee Initiative
With Europe experiencing the worst refugee crisis since World War II, Patricia Hitchcock QC reports on The Lawyers’ Refugee Initiative in a published article that can be read in full (click here ). In light of the current refugee crisis, a major demonstration calling for action is to take place on 17 th September in London (convening at Hilton Park...
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Legal 500 2016 recognises Cloisters’ Compelling Advocacy, Astute Advice and Exceptional Client Care:

Legal 500 2016 recognises Cloisters’ Compelling Advocacy, Astute Advice and Exceptional Client Care:
        Cloisters is delighted to announce that Legal 500 2016 continues to consider our barristers as Leaders at the Bar for Clinical Negligence, Employment, Human Rights & Civil Liberties, Inquests & Inquiries, Personal Injury and Sports law (see here ).  We have been newly included this year for our work on Inque...
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The Conseil d’État in France has recently overturned a ban on “burkinis”: Is French secularism now under attack?

The Conseil d’État in France has recently overturned a ban on “burkinis”: Is French secularism now under attack? Dee Masters , Cloisters This article argues that the recent decision of the Conseil d’État concerning the ban on “burkinis” will have very little impact on the interplay between secularism, religious freedom and the principle of non-disc...
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Prevent Duty Part 4: Practical operation of a “due regard” duty: lessons from the Equality Act 2010 for the application of the Prevent Duty by universities

Prevent Duty Part 4:  Practical operation of a “due regard” duty:  lessons from the Equality Act 2010 for the application of the Prevent Duty by universities
In his fourth article on Prevent Duty Declan O'Dempsey  looks at the similarities between the Prevent Duty to have due regard and consider what the practical application of that duty to have due regard will look like in the light of the existing body of case law on the analogous s 149 of the Equality Act 2010. The duty under section 149 Equali...
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Race Discrimination and Housing in post-Brexit Britain

Race Discrimination and Housing in post-Brexit Britain
In this article  Catherine Casserley and Tom Gillie  consider race discrimination in housing and, in particular, the obligations that landlords have not to discriminate themselves and to take action when their tenants are experiencing discrimination and harassment by other tenants. The reported racist incidents have surged since the ...
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Bitter taste for Byron staff – how to handle the immigration obligations

Bitter taste for Byron staff – how to handle the immigration obligations
By Sally Cowen Last week Byron, the upmarket burger chain called their employees into a meeting, which was cast as a meeting to teach them how to cook burgers. Immigration officers turned up to this (allegedly) stooge meeting (the employees were not there to learn how to cook burgers, but apparently to be investigated by the Immigration Service). I...
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Prevent Duty Part 3: British Values, Human Rights and handling “due regard” duty in practice

Prevent Duty Part 3: British Values, Human Rights and handling “due regard” duty in practice
In this third article Declan O'Dempsey looks at the concept of “British Values” in the context of the Prevent Duty.  It appears in the definition of “extremism” in the Guidance.  British values are mentioned in the Guidance.  However only examples are given of what constitute British values. In a post Brexit discussion these values h...
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The Prevent Duty Part 2: Government Guidance and Practical Guidance

The Prevent Duty Part 2: Government Guidance and Practical Guidance
By Declan O’Dempsey In this article I deal with the government issued guidance on the Prevent Duty under section 21 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 as it applies to universities. What the guidance says Section 29 of the 2015 Act permits the Minister to issue guidance on the Prevent Duty.  It states that authorities must have reg...
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Part 1: the Prevent Duty for Universities

Part 1:  the Prevent Duty for Universities
By Declan O’Dempsey [1] “Broad terms such as “extremist” or “radical” are not capable of being defined with sufficient precision to enable universities to know with sufficient certainty whether they risk being found to be in breach of the new duty and therefore subject to direction by the Secretary of State and, ultimately, a mandatory court order ...
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A part of inclusion? Disabled people and the right to a fair hearing

A part of inclusion? Disabled people and the right to a fair hearing
John Horan considers two recent cases that highlighted particular difficulties that disabled people face in obtaining a fair hearing before the courts.  Both cases ( Rackham v NHS Professionals Ltd and  Galo v Bombardier Aerospace UK )   provide a common-sense framework of considerations which a court or tribunal must bear in mi...
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Schona Jolly to speak at BIICL 'Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa Region' event

Schona Jolly to speak at BIICL 'Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa Region' event
Cloisters' Schona Jolly , Vice Chair Bar Human Rights Committee, will speak at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) event entitled: Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa Region on Wednesday 13 July 2016 at Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London. Time:17.30 - 19.00. This event will...
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Samira Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions NV: a dangerous new concept of direct discrimination

Samira Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions NV: a dangerous new concept of direct discrimination
Declan O’Dempsey considers the opinion of the Advocate General in Case C-157/15 Samira Achbita and Centrum voor gelijkheid van kansen en voor racismebestrijding v G4S Secure Solutions NV . Overview Principles of law should be designed from behind a “veil of ignorance”, not standing on the ramparts of Fortress Europe.  The Advocate General (AG)...
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Supreme Court hears wheelchair user Paulley’s landmark appeal against bus company

Supreme Court hears wheelchair user Paulley’s landmark appeal against bus company
The Supreme Court heard today why bus companies must ensure that wheelchair users like Mr Doug Paulley (represented by Cloisters’ barristers Robin Allen QC and Catherine Casserley ) must have priority in using wheelchair spaces and why bus companies must end ‘first come, first serve’ policies. Facts In February 2012, wheelchair user Mr Paulley trie...
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Sheryn Omeri considers first ever guilty plea at the International Criminal Court

Sheryn Omeri considers first ever guilty plea at the International Criminal Court
In this month’s issue of Counsel magazine, Cloisters’ Sheryn Omeri writes about the first ever guilty plea to be offered up by a Defendant to proceedings before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the case of Prosecutor v Al Faqi Al Mahdi, one of the cases on which Sheryn worked while based in the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC. Sheryn c...
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The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights Back in the Spotlight

The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights Back in the Spotlight
The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights Back in the Spotlight By Schona Jolly The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, yet again, finds itself amidst controversy in Britain as it gets tossed into the domestic Leave/Remain referendum debate. Does it impinge upon national sovereignty? Did Britain really sign up to this extension of rights? Does the Charter...
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Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act Incompatible with Convention Rights

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act Incompatible with Convention Rights
Catriona Stirling considers the case of Z (a child) (No.2) [2016] EWHC 1191 (Fam) , in which Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, has made a declaration under s.4 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) that s. 54(1) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (HFEA) is incompatible with Article 8 together with Article 14 of the Eur...
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Cloisters, proud sponsors of the Bob Hepple Equality Award 2016

Cloisters, proud sponsors of the Bob Hepple Equality Award 2016
Cloisters are proud to sponsor the Bob Hepple Equality Award 2016 on 30 June 2016. The event, organised by the Equal Rights Trust and the Industrial Law Society, will take place at Dechert LLP, Queen Victoria Street, London. The Award, established in the name of the late Professor Sir Bob Hepple QC champion of equality and non-discrimination, conti...
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Reasonable adjustments: exercising the right to be heard

Reasonable adjustments: exercising the right to be heard
John Horan considers a decision concerning the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Equal treatment bench book, and the lessons that can be learned from it by the lawyers of disabled people seeking to use tribunals and courts in this country. In Rackham v NHS Professionals Limited UKEAT/0110/15 , 16 December ...
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Cloisters sponsors conference to discuss the ‘Lords Report on Disability and the Equality Act: Turning Recommendations into Reality’

Cloisters sponsors conference to discuss the ‘Lords Report on Disability and the Equality Act: Turning Recommendations into Reality’
Cloisters is proud to co-sponsor the conference to discuss the ‘ Lords Report on Disability and the Equality Act:Turning Recommendations into Reality ’ on 27 April 2016 at the Max Nasatyr Room, Third Floor Suite, Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre, 108 Stamford Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9NH. This timely event, co-organised by Catherin...
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Robin Allen QC and Prof. Muriel Robison to speak on key Discrimination Law updates at the Forum for Research into Equality and Diversity seminar

Robin Allen QC and Prof. Muriel Robison to speak on key Discrimination Law updates at the Forum for Research into Equality and Diversity seminar
Robin Allen QC and Professor Muriel Robison will provide key Discrimination Law updates for lawyers and HR practitioners at a seminar hosted by the Forum for Research into Equality and Diversity (FRED) in collaboration with the University of Northampton on April 11 2016 at Aston University, Birmingham from 6pm – 8pm. The two-hour course will cover ...
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House of Lords Select Committee condemns Equality Act’s failures to secure equality for disabled people

House of Lords Select Committee condemns Equality Act’s failures to secure equality for disabled people
On 24 March 2016, the House of Lords’ Select Committee published its report on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability entitled “The Equality Act 2010: the impact on disabled people” . Catherine Casserley acted as the Select Committee’s specialist adviser for the Report. She has appeared in a number of the cases referred to in the Report and obtained ...
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Sheryn Omeri on the destruction of cultural property and the first International Criminal Court prosecution

Sheryn Omeri on the destruction of cultural property and the first International Criminal Court prosecution
After spending three months at the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2015, Sheryn Omeri has written of the progress of one of the cases on which she worked in an article published in the January 2016 issue of Counsel . The case of Prosecutor v Al Faqi will be the ICC’s first prosecution for destruction of cultural property, defined as a ...
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Starbucks held to account by Tribunal for its discrimination and victimisation of a dyslexic employee represented by Rajiv Bhatt

Starbucks held to account by Tribunal for its discrimination and victimisation of a dyslexic employee represented by Rajiv Bhatt
Rajiv Bhatt successfully represented the Claimant, Ms Meseret Kumulchew, in her sex and disability discrimination, victimisation and whistleblowing case against Starbucks, Vishal Ballee (the store manager at the time) and Sharon Sherrett (the area manager).  The case,  Kumulchew v Starbucks .  has been widely reported by the BBC . Ms...
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Access to Justice: the EAT considers how courts can provide reasonable adjustments for disabled people

Access to Justice: the EAT considers how courts can provide reasonable adjustments for disabled people
In Rackham v NHS Professionals Ltd Langstaff P (as he then was), in the EAT, has given judgment on the existence and nature of the duty on tribunals and courts to make reasonable adjustments for disabled litigants. Rackham v NHS Professionals Ltd [2015] UKEAT/0110/15: the issues The Claimant brought a case of disability discrimination and unfair di...
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How disabled people can get a fair hearing from the law courts

How disabled people can get a fair hearing from the law courts
John Horan and Nathan Roberts persuaded the President of the EAT, Langstaff P (as he then was), in the case of JW Rackham v NHS Professionals Ltd [2015] UKEAT to issue guidance for disabled people including a recommendation as to the Equal Treatment Bench Book’s ground rules hearing. The ground rules hearing has never been judiciously considered be...
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Age discrimination and the taxation of pension income

Age discrimination and the taxation of pension income
By Robin Allen QC and Dee Masters In Finland there is a supplementary tax on income from a retirement pension (“the Supplementary Tax”).  It is charged at a rate of 6% provided that the pension income is greater than €45,000.  Crucially, it is paid in addition to the income tax which would ordinarily be levied. A Finnish national challeng...
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Bar on Straight Civil Partnerships is Lawful

Bar on Straight Civil Partnerships is Lawful
Bar on Straight Civil Partnerships is Lawful – Tom Gillie, a pupil at Cloisters, considers the Admin Court’s recent judgment in the judicial review claim brought by Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan. Many might think that the fact couples of the opposite sex cannot enter into civil partnerships, while their same sex counterparts can, is discriminatory. Bu...
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Schona Jolly appointed Joint Vice-Chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee

Schona Jolly appointed Joint Vice-Chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee
Schona Jolly has been appointed joint Vice-Chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee, the international human rights arm of the Bar Council of England and Wales. Schona, head of Cloisters’ Human Rights and Civil Liberties Group and sitting as a Council member of Justice, specialises in discrimination and equality law, employment law as well as intern...
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Spying on Employees: Has the European Court of Human Rights really given carte blanche to employers?

Spying on Employees: Has the European Court of Human Rights really given carte blanche to employers?
Schona Jolly looks at the recent judgment in Barbulescu v Romania . British newspapers have been swirling with scaremongering stories that suggest the right to privacy in the workplace is dead. This week, the European Court of Human Rights gave an interesting judgment in Barbulescu v Romania which has led to media speculation that ‘Europe’ now give...
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Robin Allen QC to speak at the Discrimination Law in 2016 Conference

Robin Allen QC to speak at the Discrimination Law in 2016 Conference
On 25 January 2016 Robin Allen QC will join an eminent panel of experts to speak at the  Discrimination Law in 2016 Conference: ‘The authoritative review of the most dynamic area of employment law in Scotland ‘. Robin’s session will cover the issue of ‘Discrimination because of religion or belief and sexual orientation’. This ever popular annu...
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Declan O’Dempsey to lead workshop at the European Equality Law Network Legal Seminar 2015

Declan O’Dempsey to lead workshop at the European Equality Law Network Legal Seminar 2015
Declan O’Dempsey will lead a workshop at the European Equality Law Network Legal Seminar 2015 on 24 November 2015  at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Brussels.   He will present a study on the EU concept of disability & reasonable accommodations in the light of the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities . The se...
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Goods, facilities and services: Age discrimination problems arise in unexpected places

Goods, facilities and services: Age discrimination problems arise in unexpected places
By Dee Masters and Siân McKinley Overview There has been a ban on age discrimination in goods, facilities and services in Great Britain since 1 October 2012 but very little litigation or publicity.  However, age discrimination problems can arise in some unexpected but common areas.  It seems likely that service providers have been lulled ...
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Declan O'Dempsey to chair panel of experts at Annual Human Rights Conference

Declan O'Dempsey to chair panel of experts at Annual Human Rights Conference
Declan O’Dempsey is chairing a panel of equality experts at the 17 th Annual Human Rights Law Conference (2015) at Church House London.  The 17th annual conference will examine a broad range of topical human rights issues, and key legal experts will interpret and discuss recent case law and legislative developments. Declan will be delivering a...
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Declan O'Dempsey to speak at ERA Seminar - Applying EU Anti-Discrimination Law.

Declan O'Dempsey to speak at ERA Seminar - Applying EU Anti-Discrimination Law.
Declan O’Dempsey is to speak at the Ecole Nationale de la Magistrature, Paris, at a conference on Applying EU Anti-Discrimination Law – a Seminar for members of the Judiciary on 19-21 October 2015, organised by ERA on behalf of the EU Commission with the support of the French National School for the Judiciary.  Declan will deliver a talk to a ...
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Cloisters' barristers join 343 lawyers in criticising UK’s “deeply inadequate” response to refugee crisis

Cloisters' barristers join 343 lawyers in criticising UK’s “deeply inadequate” response to refugee crisis
Cloisters’ barristers, Sir Stephen Sedley , Robin Allen QC , Patricia Hitchcock QC , Caspar Glyn QC  and Schona Jolly  are among 343 lawyers who have signed a statement attacking the government for its "deeply inadequate" response to the Syrian refugee crisis. The signatories include the most senior ranks of the retired judiciary. Sir Ste...
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High Court rules that doctors can withdraw life-sustaining treatment from 11-year-old boy

High Court rules that doctors can withdraw life-sustaining treatment from 11-year-old boy
Linda Jacobs and Catriona Stirling , instructed by the Bar Pro Bono Unit, have represented the family of an 11-year-old boy at the hearing of an urgent application by an NHS Trust for a declaration that it would not be unlawful to withdraw the medical treatment that was keeping him alive. The child, X, ( in the case of matter of the inherent j...
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Ahmad Al Faqi in International custody at the Hague

Ahmad Al Faqi in International custody at the Hague
At 8am on Saturday, 26 September 2015, Ahmad Al Faqi, one of the architects of the violence in Timbuktu, Mali in 2012 which saw the repression of the local population and the destruction of numerous ancient shrines, arrived at the International Criminal Court’s detention centre in the Hague after having been surrendered by the authorities in Niger....
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How far can charities engage in political campaigning?

How far can charities engage in political campaigning?
Declan O’Dempsey has published a podcast about how far charities can engage in political campaigning.  Here he: Considers how the restrictions in charity law on political activity affect in particular charities concerned with human rights and/or equality.   Covers the guidance issued by the Electoral Commission and by the Charity Commissi...
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29 Cloisters' barristers ranked in Legal 500 2015

29 Cloisters' barristers ranked in Legal 500 2015
Cloisters is delighted to announce that 29 members have been ranked in civil liberties, clinical negligence, employment, personal injury and sports practice areas in the Legal 500 2015 edition. What they say:  Solicitors have ‘absolute confidence in any barrister’ from Cloisters, which is best known for its employment, personal injury and...
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Rachel Barrett returns to Cloisters Chambers

Rachel Barrett returns to Cloisters Chambers
Cloisters is delighted to welcome Rachel Barrett back from a year’s secondment to the Supreme Court and Privy Council, where she acted as Judicial Assistant to Lord Wilson and Lord Hodge JJSC. She was closely involved in several high profile cases across Chambers’ areas of practice, including Greater Glasgow Health Board v Doogan [2014] UKSC 68 (co...
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Is the Government’s recent Trade Union bill compliant with the European Convention on Human Rights?

Is the Government’s recent Trade Union bill compliant with the European Convention on Human Rights?
By Ed Williams and Sarah Fraser Butlin In what has been billed as the biggest crackdown on trade union rights for 30 years, the Conservative government have published a draft Trade Union Bill along with three separate consultation documents on ballot thresholds in important public services, hiring agency staff during industrial action and tackling ...
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Schona Jolly to speak at the JUSTICE Human Rights Law Conference 2015

Schona Jolly to speak at the JUSTICE Human Rights Law Conference 2015
Cloisters’ Head of Human Rights and Civil Liberties Group, Schona Jolly will join a panel of experts to speak on the latest Equality and Human Rights issues at the Justice Annual Human Rights Law Conference on 12 October 2015. The conference, aimed at all human rights lawyers, offers a great opportunity to update legal knowledge, gain valuable...
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I’ll smoke if I want to. Unless I’m in hospital

I’ll smoke if I want to. Unless I’m in hospital
By Jason Galbraith-Marten QC The government has just announced its intention to ban smoking in all prisons in England and Wales. No doubt such a ban will be challenged as an unlawful interference with prisoners’ rights. A recent case from the Court of Session (Inner House) in Scotland may give an indication about how such a challenge will fare. In ...
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Catherine Casserley appointed specialist adviser to the House of Lords’ Equality Act 2010 and Disability Select Committee

Catherine Casserley appointed specialist adviser to the House of Lords’  Equality Act 2010 and Disability Select Committee
Cloisters is delighted to announce that Catherine Casserley has been appointed specialist adviser to the House of Lords’ Equality Act 2010 and Disability Select Committee.  This is a part-time role and Catherine remains in full-time practice at Chambers. The Select Committee was appointed on 11 June to consider the impact of the Equality Act 2...
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Supreme Court grants wheelchair user Paulley permission to appeal in landmark case

Supreme Court grants wheelchair user Paulley permission to appeal in landmark case
FirstGroup Plc v Paulley The Supreme Court today (8 July) granted the Appellant Mr Paulley (represented by Cloisters’ barristers Robin Allen QC and Catherine Casserley ) permission to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision in a case considering what reasonable adjustments a bus company is required to make in order to accommodate disabled wheelchair ...
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Is equality, diversity and human rights yesterday's debate?

Is equality, diversity and human rights yesterday's debate?
This theme will be considered at Liverpool John Moores University's Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Conference on 4 November 2015 where Cloisters' Robin Allen QC will be keynote speaker. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is a fast changing scene and this popular event will review the past five years since the Equality Act 2010 came i...
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US Supreme Court legalises same-sex marriage and other developments

US Supreme Court legalises same-sex marriage and other developments
On Friday 26 June 2015 same-sex marriage was recognised as a constitutional right in the USA. Siân McKinley looks at the judgment in Obergefell v Hodges , and future areas of development for the UK. Obergefell v Hodges The Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution provides that no state shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, wit...
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After the Arab Spring: Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Middle East

After the Arab Spring: Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Middle East
Cloisters' barrister Schona Jolly will join a panel of eminent speakers at the seminar  After the Arab Spring: Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Middle East  which will explore existing and emerging forces across the Middle East four years after the start of the 'Arab Spring'. The panellists will examine the current human rights sit...
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PIP disability benefits delay unlawful

PIP disability benefits delay unlawful
Sally Robertson considers the ruling in  R (Ms C & Mr W) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] EWHC 1607 (Admin). On 5 June, Mrs Justice Patterson in the Administrative Court ruled that the Department for Work and Pensions’ delay in delivering Personal Independence Payments (PIP) to two claimants was unlawful.   PIP was in...
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Robin Allen QC to chair session at the 10th World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Brussels

Robin Allen QC to chair session at the 10th World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Brussels
Cloisters' Head of Chambers, Robin Allen QC , is invited to chair a session at the Joint Council of Europe- European Commission - Age Platform Europe - ENNHRI's high level conference to mark the 10th World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The conference titled ' Tackling elder abuse in Europe: a renewed commitment or a missed opportunity?' will take plac...
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Jonathan Mitchell QC joins Cloisters as associate member

Jonathan Mitchell QC joins Cloisters as associate member
We are delighted to announce that Jonathan Mitchell QC has joined Cloisters as an associate tenant.  Jonathan, a member of the Scottish Bar, brings with him his great skill and experience in commercial law ,  discrimination and equality , employment , sports and entertainment , human rights , regulatory and public law . He is renowned for...
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Schona Jolly tells The Times why pressure must be put on the government to reveal new bill of rights.

Schona Jolly tells The Times why pressure must be put on the government to reveal new bill of rights.
In an interview with The Times today, barrister and Head of Cloisters'  Civil Liberties and Human Rights Group , Schona Jolly joined other leading legal figures to call upon David Cameron for clarity on plans to scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a new bill of rights. The prime minister has so far given little indication as to what...
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Schona Jolly shortlisted for 'Barrister of the Year' at the Lawyer Award 2015

Schona Jolly shortlisted for  'Barrister of the Year' at the Lawyer Award 2015
Chambers is delighted to congratulate Schona Jolly on being shortlisted for 'Barrister of the Year' at The Lawyers Award 2015. Schona is head of Cloisters' Civil Liberties and Human Rights Group and on the Bar's Human Rights Committee. The shortlist for The Lawyer Awards 2015 was announced today. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony o...
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Modern Slavery Act 2015—the first steps in the right direction

Modern Slavery Act 2015—the first steps in the right direction
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA 2015) was one of the last bills to receive Royal Assent before Parliament was dissolved for the election. Schona Jolly , head of Cloisters' Human Rights Group, considers the new law and its shortfalls in this article published in Halsbury Law Exchange.

Neither a gallop nor a Sunday evening stroll

Neither a gallop nor a Sunday evening stroll
An update on the conjoined trials of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé By Sheryn Omeri The prosecutions of former President of the Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo, and his Sports Minister, Charles Blé Goudé, came before the Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (‘ICC’) on 21 April 2015 for the first time since June and October 2014 respe...
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Seven members appointed to the Equality & Human Rights Commission Panel of Preferred Counsel

Seven members appointed to the Equality & Human Rights Commission Panel of Preferred Counsel
All Cloisters' employment specialists are experts in the area of  E quality Law , so we are delighted to announce that seven of its members have been appointed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) new Panel of Preferred Counsel.  They are: Robin Allen QC ;  Paul Epstein QC  ;  Declan O’Dempsey ;  Cather...
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Cloisters to host Discrimination Lawyers Annual General Meeting

Cloisters to host Discrimination Lawyers Annual General Meeting
Cloisters Chambers is to host the Discrimination Law Association’s AGM on 21 January 2015. The event features guest speaker Roger Kline, Research Fellow at Middlesex University and author of The “snowy white peaks” of the NHS: a survey of discrimination in governance and leadership and the potential impact on patient care in London and England...
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Cloisters' barrister Rachel Crasnow appointed Silk

Cloisters' barrister Rachel Crasnow appointed Silk
Chambers is delighted to announce that Rachel Crasnow  has been appointed Queen’s Counsel. This appointment recognises her long-held reputation as an outstanding employment and discrimination expert and advocate. As a junior Rachel featured in some of the most high-profile and complex litigation in her fields and joins Cloisters’ team of ...
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Chemical weapons and the ICC

Chemical weapons and the ICC
Can the International Criminal Court (ICC) start prosecuting for the use and supply of chemical weapons? Cloisters barrister  Sheryn Omeri considers the ICC’s options in an article featured in Counsel Jan 2015. For the full article read: Chemical Weapons and the ICC by Sheryn Omeri

New EHCPs : challenges and top tips

Cloisters barristers Yvette Genn and Sarah Fraser Butlin were on the panel of speakers at the charity Scope’s Family information Day event on 8 January hosted by the clinical negligence team of Pennington Manches. The primary focus of the event was Education, Health and Care Plans. Sarah and Yvette ran an extremely well received session on this top...
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Has the EU caught human rights cold or flu? CJEU rejects as incompatible with EU law the Accession agreement to the ECHR

Has the EU caught human rights cold or flu? CJEU rejects as incompatible with EU law the Accession agreement to the ECHR

Court of Justice of the European Union: Opinion 2/13

 By Declan O' Dempsey

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First case in EAT to consider caste-based discrimination

First case in EAT to consider caste-based discrimination

The EAT has today handed down judgment in the case of Chandhok v Tirkey.

This the first case in the EAT to consider caste-based discrimination. A link to the judgment can be found here. and a link to our previous post summarising the arguments in the appeal can be found here.

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Obesity can be considered a disability: EU court rules

Obesity can be considered a disability: EU court rules

By Claire McCann

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has handed down a key judgment today on the vexed question of whether obesity constitutes a disability within the meaning of EU law.

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Cloisters barrister Caspar Glyn QC comments on proposed law relating to exploited migrant workers

Cloisters barrister Caspar Glyn QC comments on  proposed law relating to exploited migrant workers

Caspar Glyn QC, Cloisters' barrister,  comments to BBC World at One and the BBC on proposed new criminal offences in relation to exploited migrant workers.

For BBC coverage on this go to: BBC news

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A prisoner’s right to vote: straining European relations

“Democracy values everyone equally even if the majority does not” [1] ... unless you happen to be a prisoner in the UK that is.... Summary In this article, I argue that there is an urgent need for a more rational approach to the debate about prisoners’ rights to vote - which has become an emotive issue in the United Kingdom. This is particularly so...
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Supreme Court grants permission to appeal in Taiwo v Olaigbe

The migrant domestic worker who suffered mistreatment and victimisation by her employers has been granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. Cloisters’ barristers Robin Allen QC  Head of Chambers and Christopher Milsom will represent the Appellant in this leading case. For background news on case development go to Cloisters news: Taiwo v Ol...
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Article 6 – the Right to a fair trial – and discrimination in the Armed Forces

At a time when the UK’s membership of the European Convention of Human Rights (“ECHR”) and our domestic Human Rights Act 1998 (“HRA”) is a hot political topic, it is timely that the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) has handed down a judgment considering Article 6 ECHR in relation to special time limit provisions for discrimination complaints brou...
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Schona Jolly: A view on future of Human Rights in the UK, according to the new Conservative proposals

The future of human rights in Britain according to the Conservative Party Britain is waking up this morning to the prospect that our future rights will be eroded under a Conservative government. There is jubilation, at least in some newspaper front pages about the return to British values, away from the “madness” of human rights, but the Conservati...
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Robin Allen QC and Rachel Crasnow have written Employment Law and Human Rights

Robin Allen QC and Rachel Crasnow have written Employment Law and Human Rights
Robin Allen QC and Rachel Crasnow have written Employment Law and Human Rights £49.95 (with Anna Beale) OUP, 2nd Edition September 2007)