Charlotte Kilroy

Year of Call

Charlotte Kilroy

Charlotte Kilroy is a public law practitioner with particular emphasis on human rights and immigration.


Her recent significant cases are:


  • BB v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 9 Court of Appeal (Civil Division), 23 January 2015 - The Court of Appeal allowed the appeals of seven Algerians who were challenging a decision of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission to dismiss their appeals against their deportation to Algeria under the controversial Deportation With Assurances (DWA) programme. Those appeals to SIAC were significant because they were the first time that ‘protected evidence’, whereby the Home Secretary was prevented from disclosing evidence adduced by the Claimants beyond a tight confidentiality ring, had been relied on in accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision in W(Algeria) [2012] 2 AC 115. The Court found that SIAC had misdirected itself on Article 3 ECHR and had also reached a perverse conclusion on the question of whether the assurances provided by the Algerian government that the seven men would not be tortured could be verified. The Court remitted the appeals to SIAC. Charlotte Kilroy acted for the Appellants, together with Dinah Rose QC, Stephanie Harrison QC, Amanda Weston and Anthony Vaughan.
  • Kamoka v Security Service [2015] EWHC 60 Queen's Bench Division, 22 January 2015 - The Security Services, together with the Home Secretary, sought to strike out the claims of seven individuals who are bringing claims against them for false imprisonment, misfeasance in public office and/or conspiracy arising out of their detention pending deportation to Libya, control orders and asset freezing measures imposed while Colonel Qadhafi was in power. The Claimants’ claims are based on documents found in the buildings of Libyan intelligence services following the fall of Colonel Qadhafi which show collusion by UK security services in the rendition and interrogation of detainees held in Libya and Saudi Arabia between 2004 and 2010. The Claimants argue that the extent of UK collusion in these unlawful activities was not disclosed to relevant decision-makers and courts charged with making decisions relating to their deportation, detention and/or freezing of their assets, and that if it had been those measures could not lawfully have been imposed. The Court dismissed the Security Services’ strike out applications. Charlotte Kilroy acted for the Claimants, together with Tom de la Mare QC, Danny Friedman QC, Dan Squires and Helen Law. (Read More)
  • DD v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 3820 Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court), 20 November 2014 - The Claimant, who has been subjected to a Terrorist Prevention and Investigation Measure (TPIM), argued at a preliminary hearing into the lawfulness of that measure, that the TPIM’s conditions violated his rights under Article 3 ECHR due to his severe psychiatric condition which led him to believe amongst other things that the tag attached to his ankle contained a camera and a bomb. The Court accepted that the TPIM conditions caused him severe anguish but found that where a detention measure was necessary to contain a risk to national security, it could not violate Article 3 ECHR no matter how severe the anguish caused. The court granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal. Charlotte acted for the Claimant, led by Dinah Rose QC.
  • R. (on the application of Detention Action) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, judgments of 9 July 2014, 25 July 2014, 9 October 2014, and 16 December 2014 [2014] EWCA Civ 1634, [2014] EWCA Civ 1270 [2014] EWHC 2245 [2014] EWHC 2525. In this landmark public interest litigation the Claimant challenged the Home Secretary’s policy of detaining individuals for the sole purpose of fast-tracking their asylum claims (Detained Fast-Track or DFT). It was the Claimant’s case that the decisions of the Court of Appeal and House of Lords in Refugee Legal Centre [2005] 1 W.L.R. 2219 and Saadi  [2002] 1 W.L.R. 3131 could no longer be relied on to show that the DFT process was fair and lawful. The High Court agreed, and held that the operation of the policy carried an unacceptable risk of unfairness in relation to vulnerable or potentially vulnerable applicants and was thus unlawful. The Court of Appeal held in addition that the Home Secretary’s policy of detaining individuals post-decision and pending appeal on DFT criteria was unlawful because it was unclear, and that even if it had been clear enough, detention during this period could not be justified on DFT criteria. The Court of Appeal ordered the Home Secretary to release all those detained pending their appeals who did not meet general detention criteria. Charlotte, led by Nathalie Lieven QC, acted for the Claimants.
  • DIL v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2014] EWHC 2184 Queen's Bench Division, 02 July 2014 Charlotte was junior counsel for the Claimants in this successful challenge to the Metropolitan Police’s attempt to rely on the policy of Neither Confirm Nor Deny (NCND) in order to refuse to plead a defence to claims for deceit, misfeasance in public office, assault and negligence brought by five women who had had sexual relationships with undercover police officers from the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) who were pretending to be activists. Led by Phillippa Kaufmann QC.(Read more)
  • R. (on the application of Lumsdon) v Legal Services Board [2014] EWHC 28 Divisional Court, 20 January 2014 This was a major challenge to the Legal Service Board’s decision to introduce a Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) for all criminal practitioners. The public interest claim, which was backed by the Criminal Bar Association, argued that QASA violated fundamental principles of the rule of law, European Union law and Article 6 ECHR. The claim was dismissed, appealed to the Court of Appeal and leave is now being sought from the Supreme Court. Charlotte Kilroy was Junior Counsel for the Claimants, led by Dinah Rose QC and Tom de la Mare QC. (Read more)
  • AKJ and others v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, Court of Appeal [2014] 1 W.L.R. 285 The Court of Appeal allowed in part appeals brought by three women suing in tort and under the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) for damage caused by an undercover police officer. Mark Kenney, who had engaged in deceptive sexual relationships with them while posing as an activist.  The Court said that the judge below was “plainly wrong” in deciding that their High Court tort claims should be stayed pending the resolution of HRA claims in the secretive Investigatory Powers Tribunal (“IPT”); the alleged prejudice relied upon by the defendants did not outweigh the claimants’ right to have their claims heard in open court in accordance with procedures aimed at securing common law requirements of natural justice.  The Court rejected, however, the argument that the IPT had no jurisdiction to hear the HRA claims because establishing or maintaining an intimate sexual relationship by a covert human intelligence source was conduct which was not capable of regulation under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 1998. Charlotte Kilroy, led by Phillippa Kaufman QC acted for three of the claimants.
  • Bank Mellat v HM Treasury [2014] A.C. 700, Supreme Court, 19 June 2013 The Supreme Court concluded that it had the power to hear closed evidence in a appeal from a judgment of the Court of Appeal reached following a closed procedure held under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008, even though there was no express statutory power enabling it to do so. The Court also gave guidance on the circumstances in which it is appropriate to hold closed hearings. Charlotte Kilroy, led by Dinah Rose QC, acted for the intervener Liberty.
  • AKJ v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, High Court, [2013] 1 W.L.R. 2734 The police sought to strike out the claims of three women bringing claims in tort and under the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) in relation to the conduct of Mark Kennedy, an undercover police officer who had posed as an environmental activist while engaging in long-term sexual relationships with them.  The police contended that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 1998 (RIPA) meant that all the claims should be heard by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) where proceedings are largely held in secret and in the absence of claimants. The Court dismissed the strike out in relation to the claims in tort, holding that the IPT had no jurisdiction over tort claims, but acceded to the strike out in relation to the HRA claims. It also stayed the tort claims until the HRA claims had been heard by the IPT. The Claimants appealed. Charlotte, led by Phillippa Kaufmann QC, acted for the Claimants.
  • Al Rawi v Security Service [2011] 3 WLR 388. The Supreme Court held that the adoption of a closed evidence procedure in civil proceedings would constitute a fundamental departure from the basic principles which govern common law trials. It was not therefore open to a court to adopt this procedure in the absence of statutory authority.
  • R(Medical Justice) v Home Secretary [2011] EWCA 1710. The Court of Appeal upheld the High Court's decision that the Home Office's policy of giving little or no notice of removal directions to certain categories of individuals was ultra vires because it abrogated the constitutional right of access to justice.
  • ELS v Home Office. The Claimant, a victim of rape, trafficking and forced prostitution, brought a claim for damages against the Home Office for violating her rights under Articles 3 and 4 ECHR when it refused her asylum claim and returned her to Moldova whereupon she was severely ill-treated and re-trafficked for sex. The Home Office agreed to settle the claim for an undisclosed sum.
  • W (Algeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWCA Civ 898 (The common law right to an irreducible minimum standard of fairness has been excluded by statute in appeals against deportation)
  • R (Medical Justice) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWHC 1925 (The Home Office's policy of giving little or no notice of removal to certain categories of asylum-seekers was quashed as ultra vires because it infringed the constitutional right of access to justice)
  • HA and NE v Home Office [2010] EWHC 1940 (The claimants, a mother and child, were entitled to damages for false imprisonment because their removal could not be viewed as imminent and the Home Office had therefore detained them in breach of its policy)
  • Al Rawi v Security Service [2010] EWCA Civ 482 (The High Court has no power to introduce a closed evidence procedure into trials of ordinary common law claims for damages)
  • Aamer v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2009] EWHC 3316 (The Divisional Court made a Norwich Pharmacal order that the Foreign Secretary should disclose documents in its possession which might show that the Claimant had been ill-treated while in the custody of foreign states).
  • R (L.) v. Commr of Police for the Metropolis [2010] 1 A.C. 410, SC (The Supreme Court ruled that when deciding under the Police Act 1997 whether to disclose information about an individual's past to an employer on an enhanced criminal record certificate the police must weigh the need to protect children against an individual's right to private life under Article 8 ECHR. The Court of Appeal had been wrong to conclude in X v Chief Constable of West Midlands [2005] 1 W.L.R. 65 that there was a presumption in favour of disclosure).
  • R (Cart) v. Upper Tribunal; R (U) v. Special Immigration Appeals Commission [2010] 2 W.L.R. 1012, DC (The Divisional Court held SIAC was not, by virtue of its status as a superior court of record, immune from judicial review by the High Court; SIAC's decision to revoke the U's bail solely on the basis of closed evidence violated his rights under Article 5(4) ECHR and therefore fell to be quashed).


Past cases also include:

  • BPB v European Commission (Plasterboard) [2008] 5 C.M.L.R. 18
  • R v Jones [2007] 1 AC 136, HL (justiciability of crime of aggression in relation to criminal law defences)
  • R(L) v Commissioner of Metropolitan Police [2007] 4 All ER 128, CA (scope of police power to disclose information to employers under section 115 of the Police Act 1997)
  • R (Casey) v Crawley BC [2006] B.L.G.R. 239, Admin (eviction of travellers from unauthorised site),
  • I and O [2005] EWHC 1025 (re age assessments of disputed minors),
  • K v Croydon Crown Court [2005] 2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 96, (Sentencing judicial review in relation to minor convicted of immigration offence),
  • BACONGO v Department of the Environment [2004] UKPC 47 (environmental impact assessment of a large dam in Belize)
  • Tokai Carbon and others v European Commission (Graphite Electrodes) [2004] ECR II-1181
  • R (CND) v Prime Minister [2002] EWHC 2777 (legality of proposed invasion of Iraq).
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