Adam Straw

a.straw@doughtystreet.co.uk

Year of Call

2004
Adam Straw
Profile

Adam specialises in judicial review, human rights and civil claims against public authorities. He has acted at all levels including at the Supreme Court and Strasbourg. He acts for claimants, NGOs and other organisations.

 

His practice  includes  cases  involving  inquests,  prisons, police, surveillance, intercept evidence, closed proceedings, international law, terrorism, mental health, children’s rights, discrimination, immigration detention, and community care. Adam was awarded Chambers & Partners Human Rights & Public Law junior of the year 2014, and LAPG Young Legal Aid Barrister of the year in 2010.

 
What the Directories say

 

Adam is ranked in band 1 by Chambers and Partners 2017 in (1) administrative & public law, (2) inquests and public inquiries, and (3) police law. He is ranked in band 2 in civil liberties and human rights. Feedback in Chambers & Partners includes the following:

 

"A junior of choice in this field, he's an amazing human rights thinker who knows the law inside out."

 

"He has an outstanding intellect and work ethic and is one of the best juniors around."

 

"Hard-working and cerebral, he is in high demand because he's so good to work with."

 

"A formidable barrister who has incredible intelligence and brilliant judgement."

 

"He is very approachable, knowledgeable, extremely thorough and reliable, and a delight to work with." "He has an incredible legal mind - he really knows the law and has a sixth sense about what arguments will run in the Administrative Court.”

 

"He is coveted by solicitors, and he deserves it. He will always come up with creative and brilliant solutions to whatever problems you throw at him. He is the complete package." One rival barrister commented: "I would be proud to have him at my chambers, and I would be happy to have him as a junior on any case. He is just amazing." 

 

Publications 

 

  • Contributing editor, section on Article 2 in the Simor QC and Emmerson QC (Ed), Human Rights Practice encyclopedia.
  • Inquests – a Practitioner’s Guide: LAG (2014) with Leslie Thomas QC, Daniel Machover and Danny Friedman QC.
  • Contributing author to Judicial Review (2014) 5th edition, Butterworths, Supperstone, Goudie and Walker.
  • Future proofing: running human rights arguments under the common law [2015] JR 193
  • Surveillance, Data and Privacy [2013] JR 440, with Hugh Southey QC.
  • Recent developments in inquest law and practice: a regular series in Legal Action, with Leslie Thomas QC.

Administrative and Public

Adam represents claimants, NGOs and private organisations in a broad range of public law and human rights cases. He was an author for Judicial Review (2014) 5th edition, by Supperstone, Goudie and Walker; and for Simor QC and Emmerson QC, Human Rights Practice. He regularly presents seminars on Administrative law, such as for the Public Law Project. Recent cases include the following:

  • R (Hallam and Nealon) v. Secretary of State for Justice [2017] QB 571. Adam represents Sam Hallam, who challenges the compatibility of new legislation on compensation for miscarriages of justice, with article 6 ECHR. The Supreme Court has granted permission to appeal.
  • R (Scarfe) v. Governor of HMP Woodhill [2017] EWHC 1194 (Admin). Adam was instructed by the Claimants who sought orders requiring the Defendant to take action to tackle the unprecedented level of suicide at HMP Woodhill.
  • R (Duggan) v. Assistant Coroner for North London [2017] EWCA Civ 142. Adam acted for the family of Mark Duggan in this challenge to the conclusion at his inquest.
  • R (Rahmatullah) v. Secretary of State for Defence [2017] 2 WLR 219. Adam represents Mr Rahmatullah in this claim about the investigation of, and liability for, mistreatment by the British and US armies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • In re. McGuigan. Adam represents the Hooded Men in this public law claim seeking an investigation into the Ministerial authorization of their torture. He also represents the men in respect of the application to reopen the important decision of Ireland v. UK [1980] 2 EHRR 25, which is said by some to have legitimized torture in subsequent conflicts.
  • R (Keyu) v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2016] AC 1355. Adam represented the intervener in a claim regarding the duty to investigate historic deaths, and those taking place abroad.
  • R (L) v. Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2016] EWHC 2880 (Admin). Adam acted for the Claimant in this challenge to a decision to allow a police officer to retire and thereby avoid facing disciplinary proceedings.  
  • R (Hawke) v. Secretary of State for Justice [2016] ACD 56. The court concluded there had been a breach of the public sector equality duty in formulating a policy about where prisoners would be located, by failing to have due regard to the needs of disabled people. Adam represented the Claimant.
  • R (Nunn) v. Chief Constable of Suffolk [2015] AC 225. A case about miscarriage of justice and the scope of the duty on the police to disclose relevant material to a convicted offender. Adam represented Mr Nunn.
  • R (Joseph) v. Director of Legal Aid Casework [2015] EWHC 2749 (Admin). Adam represented the Claimant who challenged a decision not to provide funding for legal representation at an inquest into a fatal police shooting.
  • R (Sandiford) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (SC) [2014] 1 WLR 2697. Adam represented Mrs Sandiford. The Supreme Court advised the Foreign Secretary to urgently review his policy not to provide funding for legal representation for a British national facing the death penalty abroad, and to consider whether to make an exception in this case.
  • R (FI) v. Home Secretary [2014] HRLR 30. Challenge to the national framework on the use of force during removal of immigration detainees.
  • R (Litvinenko) v. Home Secretary [2014] HRLR 6. Adam represented the Claimant in this successful challenge to the Home Secretary’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into the killing.
  • R (Duggan) v. Association of Chief Police Officers [2014] EWCA Civ 1635. A decision about the lawfulness of national policy on the investigation of deaths in police custody.
  • Attorney General v HM Coroner of South Yorkshire (West) [2013] ACD 22. The court quashed the original inquisitions and ordered fresh inquests into the Hillsborough disaster. Adam wrote the application by 63 families.
  • R (MPS) v Chairman of Azelle Rodney Inquiry [2013] ACD 3. The court upheld the Chairman’s decision to disclose material to Mr Rodney’s family.
  • R (MP) v. Secretary of State for Justice [2012] ACD 58. The court quashed the Secretary of State’s policy on childcare resettlement leave for prisoners. Adam acted for the children of prisoners.
  • R (JF) v. Secretary of State for Justice [2011] 1 AC 331. Adam represented the Claimant, who successfully argued that the absence of a right to a review for those subject to the sex offender registration requirements was contrary to article 8 ECHR.

 

Inquiries and Inquests

Adam has acted for the family of the deceased in respect of many of the most controversial recent inquests and inquiries. They include the deaths of Mark Duggan, Alexander Litvinenko, Anthony Grainger, Jean Charles de Menezes and the Hillsborough tragedy. Adam acted for the family of Azelle Rodney at the inquest and inquiry into his death, which ended with the first ever upheld conclusion of unlawful killing against a UK firearms officer. He has a particular expertise in cases involving sensitive material, police shootings, deaths following restraint, state sponsored assassination, public law challenges relating to inquests, and bringing about inquiries into controversial deaths or major disasters. For example, he acted for Mark Duggan's family in judicial review claims which argued that the national law should be changed to enable the IPCC to compel officers to attend interviews, and to ensure officers are separated before they give their first accounts, following a death in custody. The law has subsequently been changed. He co-authored the 2014 book 'Inquests - a practitioner's guide'. 

  • Leading counsel for the investigation into custodial institutions for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Current or pending cases include the Alexander Perepilichnyy inquest, the inquest into the death following police restraint of Leon Briggs, representing Neville Lawrence at the pending public inquiry into undercover policing, and representing the family of Jermaine Baker who was shot by a police officer.
  • The Mark Duggan inquest, and related public law challenges, such as R (Duggan) v. Assistant Coroner for North London [2017] EWCA Civ 142. Adam acted for the family of Mark Duggan in this challenge to the conclusion of his inquest.
  • R (Rahmatullah) v. Secretary of State for Defence [2017] 2 WLR 219. Adam represents Mr Rahmatullah in this claim about the investigation of, and liability for, mistreatment by the British and US armies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Secretary of State for the Home Department v. HM Senior Coroner for Surrey [2017] 181 JP 157. This case defined the correct approach to be taken to claims of PII where the underlying material cannot be seen by a coroner.
  • R (Keyu) v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2016] AC 1355. Adam represented the intervener in a claim regarding the duty to investigate historic deaths, and those taking place abroad.
  • Da Silva v. United Kingdom [2016] 63 EHRR 12. Adam represented the family of Jean Charles de Menezes in this challenge to the UK law on self-defence.
  • R (Joseph) v. Director of Legal Aid Casework [2015] EWHC 2749 (Admin). Adam represented the Claimant who challenged a decision not to provide funding for legal representation at an inquest into a fatal police shooting.
  • The Alexander Litvinenko inquest, and related litigation including R (Litvinenko) v. Home Secretary [2014] HRLR 6. Adam represented Mr Litvinenko’s family in this successful challenge to the Home Secretary’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into the killing.
  • R (Duggan) v. Association of Chief Police Officers [2014] EWCA Civ 1635. A decision about the lawfulness of national policy on the investigation of deaths in police custody.
  • Attorney General v HM Coroner of South Yorkshire (West) [2013] ACD 22. The court quashed the original inquisitions and ordered fresh inquests into the Hillsborough disaster. Adam wrote the application by 63 families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster.
  • Foreign Secretary v HM Coroner for North London [2013] EWHC 1786. The court decided that the deceased’s family was an interested party to a judicial review against the Coroner's decision.
  • The Azelle Rodney inquiry, and related litigation including R (MPS) v Chairman of Azelle Rodney Inquiry [2013] ACD 3. An important case about disclosure at public inquiries. The court upheld the Chairman’s decision to disclose material to Mr Rodney’s family.
  • R (E) v. Chairman of Azelle Rodney Inquiry [2012] EWHC 563 (Admin). The court upheld Chairman’s decision not to screen police witnesses when they gave evidence.
  • R  (AP)  v.  HM  Coroner for  Worcestershire [2011]  EWHC  1453 (Admin). A case involving the scope of the article 2 duties for the police and local authorities to protect vulnerable and disabled people.
  • R (McLeish) v. HM Coroner for North London [2010] Inquest LR 202. Adam represented the mother of the deceased in a successful challenge to delay by the coroner in disclosure of relevant information.
  • R (Lewis & ors) v. HM Coroner for Shropshire [2009] EWHC 661 (Admin). An important case about narrative verdicts at article 2 inquests, including a successful challenge to the coroner’s decision to prevent the jury from leaving a judgmental verdict and verdict of neglect.

Prison Law and Criminal Justice

Adam represents claimants in public law claims relating to all aspects of the criminal justice system, including the prison service, police, CPS and IPCC. He acts in cases involving the international criminal justice system, such as those involving rendition and UK involvement in torture, and a claim on behalf of Mrs Sandiford that the UK Government should provide funding for legal assistance for British nationals facing the death penalty abroad. He also undertakes civil claims for damages, and has been successful in a number of claims for mistreatment and human rights breaches in custody, such as by handcuffing prisoners during medical treatment.

Please refer to the section on Administrative and Public law for examples of Adam’s cases in this field. Further examples are below, in each of which Adam represented the Claimant:

  • R (Dowsett) v. Secretary of State for Justice [2013] Eq. L.R. 491. A case about whether the policy for the search of male prisoners was discriminatory, and whether a civil claim for damages may be brought in the Administrative Court.
  • R (F) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013]  ACD  17.   Whether  transfer  of  a  prisoner violated article 3.
  • R (Modhej) v. Secretary of State for Justice [2013] 1 WLR 801. A decision on which sentencing regime applies to a person re-sentenced by the Court of Appeal.
  • R (Bell) v. Secretary of State for Justice [2011] EWHC 3942 and 3409 (Admin). A challenge to prison service policy on pre-tariff parole reviews.
  • R  (Gill) v.  Secretary of State for Justice  [2010] 13  CCLR 193. The court held the Secretary of State unlawfully discriminated against the Claimant on grounds of his learning disability, and also breached public law, by failing to provide him with offending behavior work.
  • R (Roberts) v. Secretary of State for Justice [2009] EWHC 2321 (Admin). The court held the Defendant unlawfully failed to publish policy on prisoner medical treatment.

Community Care and Health

Adam acts in a wide range of community care and social welfare cases. His public law work involves children, mental health, age assessments and challenges to refusals to fund or meet the care needs of individuals. He has successfully represented a number of organisations and businesses in challenges to licensing, tendering and procurement decisions, and to government funding cuts. He acts for all parties in Court of Protection cases.

  • R (Lords College of Higher Education) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWHC 2027 (Admin): court quashed decision to revoke college’s sponsor licence.

Equality and Discrimination

Adam is regularly represents claimants in judicial review and civil claims which involve discrimination and failure to comply with the equality duties. He has a particular interest in discrimination claims against  public  authorities. 

  • R (Hawke) v. Secretary of State for Justice [2016] ACD 56. The court concluded there had been a breach of the public sector equality duty in formulating a policy about where prisoners would be located, by failing to have due regard to the needs of disabled people. Adam represented the Claimant.] 
  • R (Dowsett) v. Secretary of State for Justice [2013] Eq. L.R. 491: whether policy on searching of male prisoners was discriminatory, and whether a civil claim for damages may be brought in the Administrative Court.
  • R  (Gill) v.  Secretary of State for Justice  [2010] 13  CCLR 193: Secretary of State unlawfully discriminated against the Claimant on grounds of his learning disability, and also breached public law, by failing to provide him with offending behavior work. Adam acted for the Claimant inmate.

Actions Against the Police and Public Authorities

Adam represents claimants in civil actions against public authorities. He specialises in claims involving breaches of human rights and those relating to deaths. 

  • R (Dowsett) v. Secretary of State for Justice [2013] Eq. L.R. 491whether policy on searching of male prisoners was discriminatory, and whether a civil claim for damages may be brought in the Administrative Court. 

  • FGP  v.  Serco  Plc  [2012]  EWHC  1485  (Admin):  acted  for  an immigration detainee who established that handcuffing him during medical treatment was a violation of article 3.

  • Geeta Ahir v. Director of Public Prosecutions [2011]: successful judicial review regarding CPS failure to prosecute, and unlawful disclosure of private information.

International law

Adam represents claimants in claims against the government involving international issues, such as cases involving rendition and UK involvement in torture, and a claim on behalf of Mrs Sandiford that the UK Government should provide funding for legal assistance for British nationals facing the death penalty abroad.

  • R (Rahmatullah) v. Secretary of State for Defence [2017] 2 WLR 219. Adam represents Mr Rahmatullah in this claim about the investigation of, and liability for, mistreatment by the British and US armies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • R (Sandiford) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (SC) [2014] 1 WLR 2697. Adam represented Mrs Sandiford. The Supreme Court advised the Foreign Secretary to urgently review his policy not to provide funding for legal representation for a British national facing the death penalty abroad, and to consider whether to make an exception in this case.

National security

Adam has a particular interest in claims involving sensitive material, closed material procedures, and national security. He has been involved in a number of claims relating to these issues, such as public law challenges linked to Alexander Litvinenko's death and the inquests involving Mark Duggan and Azelle Rodney. He recently presented a seminar with Hugh Southey QC on the Justice and Security Act 2013, closed material procedures, and public interest immunity.

Freedom of Information and Data Protection

Adam has a great deal of experience in this area. It includes judicial reviews of state decisions on the retention and disclosure of data, and interference with private life, going back to the Supreme Court decision of  R (F) v. Secretary of State for Justice [2011] 1 AC 331, in which the Supreme Court decided that the legislation requiring certain ex-offenders to register with the police, and the consequent risk of disclosure of their private data, breached article 8. His experience includes judicial reviews of state decisions not to publish information or policies (such as the pending Court of Appeal decision regarding the publication of policy on the use of force on immigration removals: R (FI) v. Secretary of State for Justice), and judicial reviews involving RIPA, such as a pending claim that the Act is incompatible with Article 2. He has been involved in a number of important cases involving surveillance, secrecy and RIPA, such as the Mark Duggan and Alexander Litvinenko inquests, and the Azelle Rodney inquiry. Adam has also written and presented seminars, including an article in the most recent edition of Judicial Review journal on data, surveillance and privacy.

Memberships

Member of steering committee of Inquest Lawyers Group

Administrative Law Bar Association

Mental Health Lawyers Association

Child Poverty Action Group


Experience

Tenant, Tooks Chambers, July 2006 to July 2013

Pupil, Garden Court chambers, in civil, public, and employment law.

Rt   Hon.   Tessa   Jowell   MP.   Caseworker,   researcher   and Parliamentary Assistant

Amnesty International. Researcher in the Legal and International Operations Department

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