Joseph Markus was called to the Bar in 2012. He specialises in publicly funded cases in the fields of housing, immigration and asylum, and community care, with a particular focus on public law. He has been instructed in a number of high-profile cases across his practice areas from County and High Court level to the Supreme Court.
Joseph is recommended in the Legal 500 (2021) as Band 1 in social housing and Band 2 in Public Law, described as “an exceptionally bright barrister with a very detailed insight into all aspects of housing law. He is approachable and is always happy to help in any way he possibly can. He is dedicated to helping vulnerable tenants and has a good manner with some very challenging clients with complex needs.” He is recommended in Chambers 2021 as Band 3 in social housing, described as “an enthusiastic and brilliant lawyer”, and Band 2 for immigration, described as “a very sharp legal mind”.
Joseph is also a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Panel of Preferred Counsel (‘B’ Panel). He has particular expertise in claims brought under the Equality Act 2010, both in a housing context and otherwise.
Joseph is a judicial review specialist, with a practice covering his core areas of practice as well as a range of other fields. Some examples of his work in this area include:
- R (Rayner) v Leeds Magistrates’ Court  EWHC 1964 (Admin): This case concerned a challenge on fair trial grounds to a failure to adjourn an application for a premises closure order in circumstances where an application for legal aid remained outstanding;
- R (Elkundi) v Birmingham City Council  EWHC 1024 (Admin): This case concerned the nature of the main housing duty under section 193(2) Housing Act 1996, and whether the authority operated an unlawful system for the discharge of that duty;
- R (Bangs) v SSHD: In this case, a declaration of incompatibility was made by consent under section 4 Human Rights Act 1998 in view of historic discrimination within British nationality law;
- R (Kiarie) v SSHD  UKSC 42: This was the successful challenge to the “deport first, appeal later” scheme, on the basis that it was incapable of fair operation in the claimant’s case;
- R (KL (Albania)) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 605: This appeal was designated as a lead appeal concerning the correct approach to certification of human rights claims as ‘clearly unfounded’;
- R (Gudanaviciene) v Director of Legal Aid Casework  EWCA Civ 1622: This was a successful challenge to the Lord Chancellor’s guidance dealing with exceptional case funding and to a decision to refuse funding to the claimant for her deportation appeal;
- R (Nealon) v Secretary of State for Justice  EWCA Civ 355: This case concerned a challenge to the amended section 133 Criminal Justice Act 1988, which governs compensation for miscarriages of justice, on the basis that the amended form was incompatible with the presumption of innocence protected by Article 6(2) ECHR; and
- R (MS) v Independent Monitor  EWHC 655 (Admin): A successful challenge to the Independent Monitor’s decision that information – arising from a series of aged allegations of indecency towards females – contained within an enhanced criminal records certificate was relevant, credible and ought to be disclosed.
Immigration and asylum
Joseph’s practice covers First-tier and Upper Tribunal appeals, as well as judicial review both in the tribunal and High Court and second appeals to the Court of Appeal, across the full spectrum of immigration, asylum and nationality law. His work includes:
- R (Din) v SSHD  EWHC 1046 (Admin): In this case, following a trial in the High Court, a declaration was made that the claimant was a British citizen;
- OO (Burma -TS remains appropriate CG) Burma  UKUT 52 (IAC): In this case, the Upper Tribunal gave guidance that politically active returnees to Burma remained at risk, notwithstanding changes in the country.
Housing & Homelessness
Joseph has experience of a broad range of housing and homelessness cases, including possession trials, homelessness appeals, claims for unlawful eviction and housing disrepair, judicial review, committal and injunction applications, as well as the closure orders regime under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. His work includes:
- AM v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police  EWHC 796 (Admin): This case was an appeal by way of case stated against a finding by the Youth Court that the appellant had breached an injunction. The High Court clarified the nature of the consultation requirement before breach proceedings could be initiated;
- Rochdale Boroughwide Housing Ltd v Izevbigie  EWHC 790 (Ch): This case concerned the lead regional case concerning whether agreements with United Utilities amounted to an agreement for the sale and re-sale of water within the meaning of the Water Resale Order 2006.
- Leeds City Council v Persons Unknown: A case where the High Court discharged an injunction improperly obtained by the Council under section 222 Local Government Act 1972, which had the purpose of restraining begging in Leeds City Centre.
Joe has a particular interest in Gypsy/Traveller cases and has experience of Mobile Homes Act and trespasser possession claims across both England and Wales. His cases include:
- R (VC) v North Somerset Council: This case concerned a successful challenge to the Council’s housing allocation scheme, on the basis that its “local connection” requirement indirectly discriminated against Gypsies and Travellers and that in framing that requirement the Council failed to comply with its public sector equality duty; and
- R (O’Brien) v Bristol City Council  EWHC 2423 (Admin): Joe obtained an injunction on behalf of a family of Irish Travellers facing eviction from a site beneath the M5 motorway.
- R (Kiarie) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKSC 42,  1 WLR 2380,  HRLR 7: Lead challenge to the Home Secretary’s “deport first, appeal later” power, inter alia, on the basis that removing an appellant pending his or her appeal is incompatible with the procedural protections conferred by Article 8 ECHR.
Court of Appeal
- R (FR (Albania)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 605,  Imm AR 1341: Lead appeals concerning the correct approach to be taken to cases where the Home Secretary certifies a claim as being clearly unfounded;
- R (Nealon) v Secretary of State for Justice  EWCA Civ 355,  QB 571,  3 WLR 329,  2 Cr App R 11,  Crim LR 772: Court of Appeal rejects claim that miscarriage of justice compensation provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 1988 are incompatible with the presumption of innocence;
- R (Kiarie) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1020,  1 WLR 1961,  3 All ER 741,  Imm AR 209,  INLR 212; and
- R (Gudanaviciene) v Director of Legal Aid Casework & Anr (British Red Cross Society intervening)  EWCA Civ 1622,  1 WLR 2247,  3 All ER 827: Court of Appeal concludes that Lord Chancellor’s exceptional case funding guidance wrongly mischaracterised the case-law on Articles 6 and 8 ECHR and decided that funding was required in TG’s case to avoid a violation of Article 47 CFR in a deportation appeal.
- Rochdale Boroughwide Housing Ltd v Izevbigie (United Utilities Water Ltd intervening)  EWHC 790 (Ch): Lead case concerning whether RBH’s agreement with United Utilities amounted to an agreement for the sale and re-sale of water within the meaning of the Water Resale Order 2006;
- R (MS) v The Independent Monitor of the Home Office  EWHC 655 (Admin),  4 WLR 88: Successful challenge to the Independent Monitor’s decision that information contained within an enhanced criminal records certificate was relevant and credible and ought to be disclosed;
- R (Nealon) v Secretary of State for Justice  EWHC 1565 (Admin);
- R (O’Brien & Anr) v Bristol City Council (Secretary of State for Transport intervening)  EWHC 2423 (Admin): Eviction of family of travellers from unauthorised encampment in Bristol; challenge to suitability of ‘bricks and mortar’ interim accommodation; and
- R (Gudanaviciene) v Director of Legal Aid Casework & Anr  EWHC 1840 (Admin).
- OO (Burma – TS remains appropriate CG) Burma  UKUT 52 (IAC): Country guidance which confirms that despite signs of improvement and the new civilian-led government of Burma, there continues to be a risk of persecution for political activists;
- Secretary of State for Work & Pensions v AN (PIP)  UKUT 681 (AAC): Appeal concerning the correct interpretation of Activity 3 of the PIP Regulations;
- Secretary of State for Work & Pensions v PG (JSA)  UKUT 616 (AAC): Established on appeal, contrary to a different Upper Tribunal authority, that an applicant can rely on the DWP website when seeking to backdate a claim for benefit; and
- AB v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions (DLA)  UKUT 89 (AAC): Appeal concerning the treatment of non-renewal claims for benefit.
- Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Panel of Preferred Counsel (“B Panel”);
- Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers; and
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Leading Junior, Tier 2
Joseph is an exceptionally bright barrister with a very detailed insight into all aspects of housing law. He is approachable and is always happy to help in any way he possibly can. He is dedicated to helping vulnerable tenants and has a good manner with some very challenging clients with complex needsThe Legal 500, 2022
Social Housing: Ranked Tier 2
"Joseph Markus is 'forensic in case analysis, excellent on his feet, and very persuasive. He is very calm in manner, which is reassuring to the clients he serves."
'Joe is extremely bright and willing to take novel and difficult points and cases. He is very calm and a quietly effective advocate. He has a very good, reassuring manner with clients. He has a obvious and demonstrable commitment to working with the vulnerable and disadvantage. He is always quick to respond and turn work around.’The Legal 500 2021
Administrative and Public Law (including Civil Liberties and Human Rights): Ranked Tier 2
‘Passionate and committed to obtaining the best possible outcome for his clients.’The Legal 500 2021
Leading Junior Social Housing - Northern (Bar): A public law practitioner who often appears in housing-related judicial reviews. He has a strong knowledge of equality and human rights issues and draws praise for his work on homelessness cases.
"Extremely bright." "A very good and very persuasive advocate on his feet. "Recent work: Acted in Rochdale Boroughwide Housing v Izevbigie (United Utilities Water Ltd intervening), a test case concerning the nature of RBH's agreement with United Utilities by which it agreed to recover water charges.Chambers and Partners 2019
Leading Junior Immigration - Northern/North Eastern (Bar): Developing a strong name in the market for his expertise in immigration, nationality and asylum law. His practice encompasses First-tier and Upper Tribunal appeals and he is commended by peers for his involvement in Supreme Court appeals at an early state of his career.
"He is technically completely in command, extremely impressive and truly great at what he does."
Recent work: Acted in a judicial review which challenged the 'good character' amendment to the British Nationality Act 1981 as incompatible with Article 8 ECHR.Chambers and Partners 2019
Incredibly bright, passionate and fantastic with clients.The UK Legal 500 2019
Developing a strong name in the market for his expertise in immigration, nationality and asylum law. His practice encompasses First-tier and Upper Tribunal appeals. Strengths: "Incredibly clever, a star of the future and very thorough." "He's a genius, so clever and really good at technical cases." Chambers and Partners 2018