Summary of Key Duncan Lewis’ Civil Liberties & Human Rights cases:
Human rights issues can arise in almost any type of case. The following are only a small selection of examples of cases in which Duncan Lewis have acted where human rights were the crucial consideration:
Article 2 – Right to life:
On a day to day basis we represent vulnerable individuals whose life is being threatened through return to their country of claimed persecution. This along with Article 3 forms the main stay of our work, as it is most frequently invoked in these types of cases. However it will also arise in cases relating to absence of medical treatment and care of the vulnerable both, within medical establishments and prisons.
Article 3 – Right not to suffer torture, or inhuman and degrading treatment:
This firm has a long-developed specialism in dealing with Article 3 cases, this often resolves around the whether someone being returned to another country will be tortured. In domestic law, Article 3 is often invoked in relation to degrading treatment and may also relate to levels of care within medical establishments. Article 3 is an absolute right; as such no one may torture or cause another to suffering degrading treatment where the state can prevent it. In domestic law, we represented the Petitioner Limbuela in the House of Lords’ leading case on breaches of Article 3 in the United Kingdom.
SSHD v Limbuela,  1 AC 396 – Setting the standard for the application of Article 3 to domestic issues regarding homelessness causing inhuman and degrading treatment.
KH (Afghanistan) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 1354 – Reviewing the law in relation to the removal of a national to another country when such a removal in its self would be inhuman and degrading.
S.H.H v The United Kingdom 60367/10 - HEJUD  ECHR 102: Ruling of European Court of Human Rights on returning disabled asylum seekers
Article 4 – Prohibition against slavery and forced labour
These cases are exceptionally rare, however the issue has most recently arisen in relation to cases relating to Work Placement schemes for the long term unemployed, and/or other work schemes that have been put in place. Article 4(1) the prohibition on slavery is an absolute right as such no one may be enslaved for any reason within the United Kingdom, nor may the UK send someone to a place where this may happen.
We have extensive experience defending clients in trafficking cases, in which third country nationals are brought into the United Kingdom for forced labour and/or sexual exploitation. There are specialist procedures in such cases, and we have brought successful challenges in the High Court for failures to give trafficking victims the benefit of these provisions.
Article 5 – Right to Liberty and Security
Article 5 occurs more often than is commonly recognised even by lawyers. As soon as someone stops you in the street, your liberty is being interfered with, if this is a state agent or a state agent was under a duty to stop that detention, a claim can be made. The application will either be to stop that ongoing detention or to receive recognition that historic detention was unlawful.
We have secured the release from unlawful detention of dozens of detainees and prisoners, taking many of those cases forward to successful claims for damages.
R (on the application of Aziz) v SSHD  All ER (D) 237 (Feb); - Release of a detained person held under immigration powers for an exceptionally long period of time.
Suckrajh v The Asylum & Immigration Tribunal & Anor  EWCA Civ 938: Test case: concerning the limitations of the power to detain under the 'fast-track' system for mere administrative convenience. The UNHCR was granted permission to intervene as an Interested Party.
R oao Lamari v SS Home Department  EWHC 1630 - detention following a promise to the Court by the Defendant to release the claimant was unlawful, and contempt of court
Article 6 – Right to fair trial
These cases remain exceptionally rare and will apply mainly in relation to criminal matters. Were the standards fall below those expected, challenges can be made. By way of example in cases were the Magistrates fail to allow evidence to be called in defence, a challenge can be made to that Court directly to the High Court even before a final decision is made.
Ganson v Secretary of State for Justice (High Court - unreported) – refusal to allow a prisoner the opportunity to take legal advice had rendered his trial unfair
Article 7 – No punishment without law
This is an exceptionally rare circumstance where a person is punished without a law proscribing their acts as unlawful.
Article 8 – Right to family and Private Life
This issue is very common in relation to immigration cases were families are being separated by action of immigration law. Article 8 issues happen in domestic incidents, involving the separation of families and or the need of care of the elderly. It is less common to evoke private life, however Duncan Lewis are developing this area, surrounding the right to work, and to pursue your profession.
DT (Eritrea)  EWCA Civ 442 - indicating that permission to work forms part of your day to day life as such cannot be indiscriminately interfered with.
AV v Chief Constable of City of London (Unreported) – Lawfulness of retention of DNA, fingerprints and photos.
Article 9 to 11 – Article 9 - Freedom of thought, conscience and religion, Article 10 – Freedom of Expression, Article 11 - Freedom of Assembly
These are rarely invoked rights within domestic law and often not strong enough to prevent removal under international law. These Articles are often used in conjunction with each other. The Article may often be used by protestors who have their protests restricted and or are prevented from expressing their views on many subjects.
Article 12 – Right to marry
Exceptionally rarely invoked article in relation to the right to men and woman to marry.
Article 14 – Prohibition of Discrimination
This Article must be used in conjunction with one of the other articles and as such is rarely invoked.
Smith v SSHD (unreported) – damages for a UK citizen detained under immigration powers on a discriminatory basis
Duncan Lewis are representing a number of core participants in the Grenfell Inquiry. The disaster has been described as the worst loss of life in post-war Britain and the inquiry will have far reaching consequences for the nature of the design and construction of tower blocks in the future. We have a dedicated team that specialises in this area of law and has the knowledge and expertise to deal with the sensitive issues that the inquiry raises.
The inquiry team consists of solicitor Nilma Shah as well as consultants Linda Barker, Elizabeth Rebello, Leilani Helmi and Joshua Terry. Criminal defence Director Nicholas De Freitas and his team are also heavily involved in assisting core participants.
Our specialist inquiry team work closely with clients to gain insight into clients’ situations. The breadth of the team’s experience means that they can assist clients in preparing evidence and are well-prepared to appear at a hearing.