Hayley Douglas


Year of Call

Hayley Douglas

Hayley specialises in crime, public law and human rights. In addition to her criminal defence practice, she undertakes work in related areas including extradition, crime-related public law, prison law, mental health law, inquests and civil actions against the police.


Before coming to the Bar, Hayley worked at the Court of Appeal as the Judicial Assistant to Sir Brian Leveson, President of the Queen’s Bench Division, where she assisted on a number of prominent criminal and public law appeals as well as applications in the Queen’s Bench Division.


Prior to this, Hayley was a Legal Officer at the law reform and human rights charity, JUSTICE, where the focus of her policy work was human rights, criminal justice and access to justice. Her experience included briefing Parliament on the human rights implications of bills such as the Crime and Courts Bill, drafting the charity’s responses to government consultations on legal aid and judicial review and contributing to a Europe-wide research project and publication on fair trial rights. She also worked on JUSTICE’s third party interventions in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.


Hayley regularly appears in the Crown, Magistrates’ and Youth Court, representing clients accused with a wide range of criminal offences including assault, theft, public order offences and sexual offences.

Recent cases include:

R v WR: common assault, dangerous driving, and failure to report an accident. The defendant was acquitted of four charges after a trial involving expert witness evidence.

R v KB: taking without consent, aggravated vehicle taking. The defendant was acquitted of three charges, with a successful half-time submission in respect of the aggravated vehicle taking, in circumstances where there was evidence of a ‘confession’.

Hayley is passionate about protecting the rights of vulnerable individuals, including children and young people. Having completed specialist training in the field, she applies an in-depth knowledge of youth justice law to her representation of children and young people in the Youth Court.

Criminal appeals:

During pupillage, Hayley assisted Tim Moloney QC and Jude Bunting in an appeal against conviction and sentence to the Court of Appeal. The three appellants, convicted of joint enterprise murder as children, raised issues relating to effective participation and the compatibility of the mandatory sentence of detention during Her Majesty’s Pleasure with Articles 3 and 5 ECHR.

Hayley also has experience of drafting submissions to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Administrative and Public Law

Hayley has expertise in a range of public law work.

During pupillage Hayley assisted her supervisors in a number of judicial reviews, including in relation to a local authority decision to reduce a disabled person’s personal budget and revise his care and support plan, a coronial decision refusing to resume an inquest following criminal proceedings, and the decision of body responsible for operating a self-certification scheme for building regulation compliance.

Recent cases include:

R (AB) v Secretary of State for Justice [2017] 4 WLR 153; [2017] EWHC 1694 (Admin): junior counsel to Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC representing the Equality and Human Rights Commission in its intervention in a case concerning the solitary confinement of a child in a Young Offenders Institution. The High Court found that the 16-year old boy’s treatment at HMYOI Feltham was unlawful, in breach of the YOI Rules and Article 8 ECHR.


Hayley has a fast developing extradition practice and appears regularly for requested persons at first instance in cases under both Parts 1 and 2 of the Extradition Act 2003.

She has appeared in cases where identity is disputed and successfully deployed a legal argument to prevent the admission into evidence of an Interpol Red Notice. She frequently argues cases involving children’s Article 8 EHCR rights.

Actions Against the Police and Public Authorities

With her overlapping experience of criminal and human rights law, Hayley is well placed to advise in civil actions against the police and has a growing practice in this area. She has experience of providing advice and drafting pleadings on matters including assault, false imprisonment, breach of Articles 3 and 8 ECHR, and breaches of the Equality Act 2010. During pupillage she has also assisted her supervisor in advising on settlement, including a Part 21 opinion on the merits of a settlement offer made to a child claimant.

Prison law and Criminal Justice

Hayley has drafted written representations on behalf of prisoners in support of their appeals against refusal of admission to a prison Mother and Baby Unit and was successful in securing the offer of a place on the unit.

During pupillage, Hayley assisted her supervisors Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Jude Bunting in a number of prison law cases, including a judicial review of a parole board decision to retain a claimant as a Category A prisoner and to refuse him an oral hearing of his security category review. 

Mental Health and Court of Protection

Hayley frequently appears in the Court of Protection on behalf of local authorities and other interested parties. She has also advised clients on the necessity of making an application to the Court of Protection.

Hayley is regularly instructed in the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health) to represent detained patients. 

Inquiries and Inquests

Hayley is developing a practice representing bereaved families in inquests. During pupillage, Hayley assisted her supervisor Jude Bunting on an Article 2 inquest into the death in custody of a serving prisoner.

Hayley has provided assistance to Ruth Brander working on behalf of the non-police, non-state core participants in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Hayley worked on policy reform in relation to inquests at JUSTICE.


BA (Hons), Law, Somerville College, University of Oxford

LLM, Human Rights and Public International Law, University College London

Bar Professional Training Course, City Law School, City University


Scholarships and Awards

Astbury Scholarship, Middle Temple

Margaret Pollock Prize, Somerville College



Human Rights Lawyers Association

Police Action Lawyers Group

Inquest Lawyers Group

Administrative Law Bar Association



About cookies on our website

Following a revised EU directive on website cookies, each company based, or doing business, in the EU is required to notify users about the cookies used on their website.

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience of certain areas of the site and to allow the use of specific functionality like social media page sharing. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but as a result parts of the site may not work as intended.

To find out more about what cookies are, which cookies we use on this website and how to delete and block cookies, please see our Which cookies we use page.

Click on the button below to accept the use of cookies on this website (this will prevent the dialogue box from appearing on future visits)