Human Rights

"James Packer and solicitor Toufique Hossain are key names at Duncan Lewis Solicitors, which has particular experience advising on immigration and civil liberties challenges."
Legal 500 2015 Edition: Administrative & Public Law (London)


"Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a depth of experience advising claimants in immigration and civil liberties judicial review challenges. James Packer and solicitor Toufique Hossain are key names".
Legal 500 2014 Edition: Administrative & Public Law (London)


"The ‘very good' Duncan Lewis Solicitors is valued for its ‘commitment' to clients, especially in human rights…"
Legal 500 2014 Edition: Immigration & Human Rights (London)

Praised for our depth in experience and commitment to Human Rights by Legal 500 2015 and 2014 editions, we are specialist civil liberties practitioners covering a number of areas of law including Immigration, Public Law, Community Care, Welfare Benefit, Childcare, Family, Housing and Crime. Our team of lawyers transcends a number of these key legal departments to ensure an effective and consistent multidisciplinary approach to our representation. We have extensive experience challenging human rights violations for victims of torture, trafficking, domestic violence and unaccompanied minors. A number of our clients are often very vulnerable with illnesses and/or severe mental health conditions.
 

Civil liberties are those freedoms and protections explicitly granted by our domestic law – such as the Data Protection Act, the Equality Act etc. Although Public bodies in the United Kingdom are naturally expected to act in accordance with domestic law, Duncan Lewis are ready to assist you if, as happens occasionally things do go wrong that require legal action.

Human rights law fills the gap between those explicit protections and the rights of individuals set out in the articles of the European Convention on Human Rights. Some of these articles, such as article 3 - the right to protection against ‘inhumane or degrading treatment’ are absolute and no breach of the right can be lawful. For other articles, such as article 8 - the right to ‘respect for private and family life’, the right is qualified, and breaches of the right may be lawful in some cases but not in others. If a decision is in accordance with domestic law, but interferes with a qualified right, then the interests of the individuals affected are weighed against those of society at large.

Unfortunately, British authorities often interpret human rights in an unduly restrictive manner, and it is frequently necessary to bring a legal challenge to secure those rights, and sometimes to secure compensation for breach of those rights.

Human rights are protected in law in a variety of ways:

  • They can be relied upon in appeals against the decisions of public bodies.
  • If the decision does not come with a right of appeal then the decision can be judicially reviewed and quashed on the basis that it breaches human rights (unless the sole remedy sought is damages).
  • If the sole remedy sought is damages, then a claim can be brought in either the County Court or the High Court under the Human Rights Act.
  • If a case has exhausted its domestic remedies – i.e. no further appeal can be brought under domestic law – then a further appeal can be made to the European Court of Human Rights, which can also grant temporary relief pending the resolution of the case.
  • The High Court can also strike down provisions of domestic law which are inconsistent with human rights law, unless the provision is contained in an Act of Parliament in which case it can make a ‘declaration of incompatibility’.

Contact our civil liberties & human rights law solicitors and specialist team now if you require advice on a civil liberties & human rights law matter. A member of our team will be happy to assist you.


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