Alex Gask

a.gask@doughtystreet.co.uk

Year of Call

2008
Alex Gask
Profile

Alex's professional focus is on the protection of civil liberties and human rights. He has a depth of knowledge and expertise in this area having worked as a campaigning lawyer with the human rights organisation Liberty before moving to the bar and Doughty Street.

Within that focus on human rights, Alex has a varied civil practice in which he predominantly represents vulnerable individuals in actions against public authorities, but also acts for and advises NGOs. In addition to claims before the domestic courts, Alex also has experience in drafting applications and interventions before the European Court of Human Rights.

 

Current instructions include:

  • Acting for the Howard League and Prisoners’ Advice Service on a public law challenge to the removal of legal aid from prisoners.
  • Acting for victims in a claim against undercover police officers who deceitfully engaged in intimate relationships with the targets of their surveillance. 

 

What the Directories Say

Alex is ranked in Chambers & Partners for both Civil Liberties and Human Rights and Police Law: Mainly Claimant (Band 2). He has previously been noted to be "approachable and good with clients”, able to “really think on his feet" and “smart with an academic approach." Comments in the 2015 edition include:

 

He is incredibly bright and hard-working"

"Very bright and talented, he is easy to work with and spot-on in his analysis of legal issues."

 "He is a really hard-working, bright and incisive junior who is a pleasure to work with."

 

Publications

Alex has written articles for journals including the New Law Journal and the European Human Rights Law Review. He is a co-author of Halsbury’s Laws of England: Rights and Freedoms (2013), and wrote the chapter on 'Powers to Stop, Search, Enter and Seize' in Colvin and Cooper's 'Human Rights in the Investigation and Prosecution of Crime' (Oxford, 2009). Alex also contributed to the 4th and 5th editions of Supperstone, Goudie & Walker 'Judicial Review'. He is currently working on a police actions text book.

Actions Against the Police and Public Authorities

Alex regularly represents clients who have been wrongly arrested, assaulted or have otherwise been mistreated by the police. He recently helped to secure an apology and sizeable compensation form the Met Police for UK Uncut protesters unlawfully sprayed with CS spray – see here.

He has a particular interest in claims relating to public order, having been involved in several of the principle cases in this area, including R (Laporte) v DPP, R (Gillan) v Metropolitan Police Commissioner; Austin & Saxby v Metropolitan Police Commissioner; R (Wood) v Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

Away from the more common causes of action, Alex is comfortable holding public authorities, including the police, to account for discrimination, for violations of human rights and for breaches of the Data Protection Act/misuse of private information.

Prison Law

Alex frequently represents clients held in prison. His work involves representation at all levels - parole board hearings; claims for damages; and judicial review. He has brought judicial review claims challenging matters such as flawed adjudications, unlawful recategorisation & reallocation decisions and disproportionately restrictive licence conditions.

Alex appeared in the Court of Appeal in the case of Iqbal v Prison Officers Association which explored liability for false imprisonment within the confines of a prison and in the High Court in Morgan v Ministry of Justice (responsibility under HRA and under non-delegable duty of care for death in prison custody).

Administrative and Public Law

Alex has a wealth of experience in judicial review claims, particularly those based on and involving issues under the Human Rights Act 1998. In addition to his work for adult clients, Alex has represented vulnerable children in public law challenges to the provision of community care services, and to flawed age assessments by local authorities.

Alex recently represented a youth whose complaint against the police led to misconduct charges that were wrongly dismissed despite overwhelming evidence. The Administrative Court upheld the claim that the decision to dismiss the charges was irrational – R (Miller) v Chief Constable of Merseyside [2014] EWHC 400 (Admin).

Inquests and Inquiries

Alex has represented families at inquests into the death of their loved ones, including deaths in custody, where he has helped to secure verdicts highlighting failures by the authorities. In Article 2 inquests Alex’s knowledge and experience of human rights law has proved invaluable.

International Law

Alex's focus on protecting the rights of the vulnerable has extended to high profile international cases, including  the ‘Mau Mau’ litigation, Mutua & others v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2012] EWHC 2678 (QB) (seeking compensation for victims of torture in Kenya when under British rule) and Al -Jedda v Ministry of Defence [2010] EWCA Civ 758 (unlawful detention of terrorist suspect in Iraq).

National Security

Alex has acted for clients in proceedings before the Special Immigration Appeal Commission (SIAC) and in Control Order/TPIM applications in the High Court.

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