Alison Gerry

a.gerry@doughtystreet.co.uk

Year of Call

2003
Alison Gerry
Profile

Alison has particular expertise in human rights and specialises in prison law, actions against the police, inquests, mental health, and public law. 

 

In July 2007 Alison was awarded the LAPG Young legal aid barrister of the year award and in December 2006 she was also short listed for the Peter Duffy Award (formerly the Young Human Rights Lawyer of the Year Award).  She was nominated for “her tenacity and dedication to grassroots human rights issues", and "for her work in representing vulnerable people and for her battles on behalf of the families of prisoners and mental health patients who have died in detention".

 

Before joining Doughty Street, Alison Gerry was the Human Rights Adviser to the Consular Directorate at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. She is the Chair of the Human Rights Lawyers Association.

 

Alison’s notable human rights cases include the House of Lords case of Van Colle and another v Chief Constable of the Hertfordshire Police (Secretary of State for the Home Department and others intervening) [2008] 3 WLR 593 in which she was junior counsel for the NGO interveners. The joined cases concerned claims in negligence and breaches of Article 2 where the police were alleged to have failed to protect the lives of the victims of crimes. She has also appeared as junior counsel in the Privy Council in Atain Takitota v. The (1) Attorney General, (2) The Director of Immigration (3) Minister of National Security, Appeal No 71 of 2007, where she represented a Petitioner who had been unlawfully detained for over 8 years in prison in the Bahamas.

Prison Law and Criminal Justice

Alison regularly represents prisoners in civil claims as well in judicial reviews and in parole related matters. She was junior counsel in the successful group litigation claim against the Home office concerning the treatment of opiate dependant prisoners, in which the Home Office conceded liability in negligence, breach of human rights and assault. She has also conducted civil trials on behalf of prisoners against prison officers, including in particular in assault, negligence and breach of human rights.

Alison has also conducted a number of appeals against sentence and conviction in the Court of Appeal.

Actions Against the Police and Public Authorities

Alison is regularly instructed in claims against the police in assault, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment and misfeasance. Alison’s most notable cases concerning actions against the police include acting as junior counsel in the successful claim against South Wales Police  brought by Stephen Miller, Tony Paris, Yusef Abdulahi (the ‘Cardiff Three’), and John and Ronnie Actie. The case concerned one of Britain’s most notorious miscarriages of justice.

Mental Health and Court of Protection

Alison has extensive experience in the field of mental health, having represented patients both in Tribunals, in judicial reviews and before the county courts. She is also co-author of “A guide to the Mental Capacity Act 2005”. Alison has also conducted Court of Protection work and represented mentally ill offenders both at trial and appellant level.

Inquiries and Inquests

Alison has represented bereaved families in many Inquests, mostly in respect of those who have died in custody, including in the police, prison and mental health context. She notably represented the family of Naomi Bryant who was killed by Anthony Rice, a life sentenced prisoner who had been recently released on life licence.  Alison was instructed by Liberty and successfully argued that Article 2 was engaged and the State therefore had an obligation to hold an Article 2 compliant investigation.

Administrative and Public Law

Alison is regularly instructed in prison, police and mental health related judicial reviews. Recent examples include the successful challenge to and Inquest verdict ( R (on the application of Rossana Hair) (Claimant) v HM Coroner for Staffordshire (South) (Defendant) & ors and the successful (on appeal) challenge to a Category A prisoner’s categorisation (R (on the application of Mackenzie) v Secretary of State for Justice).

International Law

Alison has experience of Constitutional law, in particular in cases concerning the Caribbean. In addition to her death penalty work Alison has been instructed in cases in the Turks and Caicos Islands (R (on the application of Michael Misick) v Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonweatlh Affiars) and in Belize [Civil Appeal No.07 of 2011].

Alison has experience in applications to the European Court of Human Rights, as well as before the Inter American Court of Human Rights. Notable cases before the European Court of human Rights include an application on behalf of a child who had been made the subject of a mandatory and indefinite Sexual Offences Notification Order, and on behalf of a mentally disordered offender who is seeking to appeal his life sentence.  Alison was also junior counsel in Boyce & Joseph v R [2005] 1 AC 400 (challenge to the mandatory death penalty in Barbados before the Inter American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica.

Alison was also junior counsel in a group litigation claim against Trafigura, brought by nearly 30,000 claimants in the Ivory Coast, for personal injuries following the dumping of “toxic waste” at various sites in Abijan, Ivory Coast.Alison was also junior counsel in a group litigation claim against Trafigura, brought by nearly 30,000 claimants in the Ivory Coast, for personal injuries following the dumping of “toxic waste” at various sites in Abijan, Ivory Coast.

Alison has also appeared in the Privy Council in death penalty cases, including in Boyce & Joseph v R (2005) 1 AC 400 (challenge to the mandatory death penalty in Barbados) and successfully before the Inter American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica. She is also now advising African lawyers who are bringing similar challenges to the death penalty in Malawi, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia.

Product Liability and Group Actions

Alison also has expertise in Group Litigation and was junior counsel in the successful group litigation claim against the Home office concerning the treatment of opiate dependant prisoners, in which the Home Office conceded liability in negligence, breach of human rights and assault.

Alison was also junior counsel in a group litigation claim against Trafigura, brought by nearly 30,000 claimants in the Ivory Coast, for personal injuries following the dumping of “toxic waste” at various sites in Abijan, Ivory Coast.

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