"The calibre of counsel at Garden Court North was described as 'truly outstanding'. Known for their 'matchless dedication to cases', they enjoy the support of some of the most 'friendly and supportive' administrative staff on circuit."
Chambers & Partners 2009 - The Bar - Northern - Crime more
Chambers possesses a substantial body of criminal advocates with experience at all levels. In keeping with our founding principles we specialise in defence work and have a particular interest in cases with civil liberties implications. All members of the team are committed to defence work and will actively seek to ensure that a defendant's fundamental rights are protected.
The core of our criminal defence work is in the Crown Court involving all types of serious crime including murder, serious assaults, firearms offences, theft and serious fraud, drugs manufacture, importation and supply, proceeds of crime proceedings and confiscation hearings, IPP sentences, public order offences and sexual offences. The criminal team also has a strong presence in appellate work at all levels including the Divisional Court, Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) and the Supreme Court. Members of Chambers have brought cases before the European Court of Human Rights. A number of members are experienced in miscarriage of justice cases, especially those referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission. We have a strong commitment to pro bono work where public funding is unavailable.
Work in the Magistrates Court is undertaken, particularly in cases arising from political protests and demonstrations. Members of the team are regularly instructed in cases involving Anti Social Behaviour Orders ( ASBOs).
Members are also experienced in defending gang injunctions (" Gangbos"), in which the proceedings take place in the County Court, acting for both adult and juvenille respondants. more
We take a particular interest in cases with implications for civil liberties and the right to protest . Our more experienced practitioners have appeared in cases arising out of the miners strike of 1984-5, the struggle by print-workers to save their jobs in the dispute with union-busting employer Eddie Shah in Warrington in the 1980s and many other cases involving the struggle for workers' rights as well as activities carried out by environmental campaigners. In more recent times our practitioners have appeared in cases involving animal rights campaigns, cases arising out of the disturbances in Oldham and Burnley in 2001, climate change and anti-road widening protests.
Members of the crime team are also instructed in Inquests , particularly involving deaths in custody and in actions against the police . Practitioners have considerable experience in the Administrative Court in case stated appeals and judicial reviews concerning custody time limits and natural justice. We have successfully taken numerous cases concerning the rights of prisoners .
"Down to earth yet rigorous approach with political clout" (BB, instructing solicitor)
"The calibre of counsel at Garden Court North was described as 'truly outstanding'. Known for their 'matchless dedication to cases', they enjoy the support of some of the most 'friendly and supportive' administrative staff on circuit." (Chambers & Partners 2009) more
"...counsel noted for an unswerving commitment to civil liberties" (Legal 500 2007) more
> Click here to see details of reported cases.
The criminal team is committed to education seminars and holds regular update seminars on both legal developments such as the forthcoming seminar series on the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and also on topics with a particular focus on case law developments such as Articles 5 and 6 of the ECHR and ASBOs. The team ran a series of seminars in 2002 on the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 on s.23 CJA 1998, delay, prison law, bail, entrapment / admissibility, abuse of process and appeals against conviction and was one of the only Chambers in the North to provide training in the field.
> Click here to see details of our criminal law seminars archive.
Criminal law updates
The crime team produce regular legal updates in order to supplement their seminar training activities. These are availabile on the website.
> Click here to view criminal law updates and how to subscribe by email.
Experienced criminal team
Chambers has an experienced criminal team, and is able to provide Queen's counsel, leading junior or junior counsel as appropriate. Members are instructed by firms from all over the Midlands and the North of England and regularly attend Crown Courts throughout these areas and are highly regarded in terms of experience, reputation, credibility and trust. Each member of our criminal team shares a common determination to pursue vigorously the interests of every client through the achievement of forensic excellence, and we take a particular pride in our proven ability to provide skilled and committed representation at each stage of the criminal trial process.
Members' professional credentials are enhanced by a distinct approachability whereby both instructing solicitors and lay-clients are put at ease. Instructing solicitors will be contacted by telephone prior to any court hearing and the outcome of a case is fed back promptly upon return wherever possible. In relation to lay-clients, members pride themselves on an excellent 'bedside manner', particularly with difficult clients, and will ensure they fully explain the process and prospects of success.