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Antonia is an immigration and public law specialist with particular expertise in asylum, immigration, community care and trafficking claims

Antonia works across the fields of asylum, immigration and public law with a specialism in refugee and asylum claims. Before joining the Bar, Antonia worked for NGOs including the Refugee Council, and has accumulated over 14 years of experience working in support of refugee and migrant rights.

Antonia is regularly instructed in the First-Tier and Upper Tribunals, High Court and Court of Appeal on asylum and public law cases, with a particular focus on complex claims and those involving victims of torture and sexual violence. Combining her backgrounds in the NGO field, Antonia is highly regarded for her ability to engage with particularly vulnerable clients and to approach her cases with a strong client-focus.  She is particularly well placed to undertake cross-cutting work in the fields of immigration, children’s rights and public law.

Antonia is regularly instructed in public law challenges on behalf of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children whose age is disputed by the Home Office or local authorities in addition to asylum support challenges.

She also acts in deportation and human rights cases and is regularly instructed in EEA and criminal deportation cases as well as challenges to unlawful detention. Antonia has extensive experience in emergency and out of hours applications.

Antonia is currently appointed as Counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse on the Children outside the UK (Phase 2) and Child Sexual Exploitation by Organised Networks investigations.

She has been a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Panel since 2019.

Reported cases

Immigration and asylum

Patel v Secretary of State for the Home Department; Secretary of State for the Home Department v Shah [2019] UKSC 59 – instructed by Liberty as intervener before the Supreme Court considering derivative rights of residence held by Zambrano carers.

KK (Sri Lanka) & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 59

KK (Sri Lanka) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 2412 

MST and Others (national service – risk categories) Eritrea CG [2016] UKUT 00443 (IAC) – Country guidance case considering the risk on return for Eritrean nationals, in which the UNHCR acted as intervener.  Considering whether there had been change in the country situation following a change in the Home Office’s policy to the human rights situation in the country. The case established that the risk categories for Eritrean asylum seekers should be maintained and extended to provide a protection against a breach of Article 4 (2) ECHR for those required to undertake national service in Eritrea which was found to constitute forced labour.

MST and Others (Disclosure – restrictions – implied undertaking) Eritrea [2016] UKUT 00337 (IAC) 

Ayinde and Thinjom (Carers – Reg.15A – Zambrano) [2015] UKUT 560 (IAC) - EEA test case concerning the rights of Zambrano carers to a derivative right of residence under Reg. 15A(4A), and whether requiring an adult dependent EEA national to enter state care, in the alternative to receiving care from a family member, amounted to an infringement of the genuine enjoyment of their rights as EEA nationals.

 

Public law / Community care

R (on the application of HBTN) v Sunderland City Council & Ord [2019] EWHC 3221 (Admin)

R (F) by his litigation friend Maria Houlihan v Manchester City Council [2019] EWHC 2998 (Admin)

R (K) v Milton Keynes Council [2019] EWHC 1723 (Admin)

R (on the application of General Abdulwaheed Shannan Al Rabbat) v Westminster Magistrates’ Court [2017] EWHC 1969 (Admin) - A private prosecution brought by a former Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Army seeking the prosecution of Tony Blair, Jack Straw and Peter Goldsmith QC for the crime of aggression in invading Iraq in 2003.  Led by Michael Mansfield QC. Heard before the Lord Chief Justice with the Attorney General intervening.

Immigration and Asylum Law

Antonia specialises in asylum and refugee law, representing both high-profile individuals and vulnerable clients including those who have been the victims of trafficking, serious human rights abuses and torture.  She has particular experience working with clients who have complex mental health problems.

She is well regarded for her extensive knowledge of asylum law and policy and her sensitivity in working with vulnerable clients. Antonia is dedicated to the advancement of refugee rights and regularly works for NGOs and Law Centres, who are in particular need of high-quality representation.

She has a particular interest in complex policy challenges in relation to the cessation and revocation of refugee status in line with UNHCR standards, cases of disputed and doubtful nationality and the interpretation of medico-legal reports as independent evidence of torture.

Antonia is highly experienced in refugee claims from Sri Lanka, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Her knowledge of country information is extensive and she excels in presenting complex factual cases. 

Administrative and Public Law

Antonia specialises in public and administrative law in immigration and asylum cases as well as in age-dispute/age assessment challenges for asylum-seeking children and asylum support challenges. 

In the field of asylum law, she is regularly instructed in asylum fresh claims and challenges to clearly unfounded certificates as well as complex claims involving statelessness applications and the Dublin III regulation.

Antonia has particular experience in judicial review challenges against local authorities and the Home Office on behalf of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, including age dispute challenges, challenges to detention, termination of support and dispersal and challenges to transfer under the National Transfer Scheme.  She is presently instructed on a number of complex cases involving disputes between local authorities about the responsibility for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. 

Community Care

Antonia specialises in cases that involve a cross-over between community care and immigration. She has particular experience in public law challenges on behalf of age disputed and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children including challenges to local authority age assessments and cases that involve detention and transfers under the Dublin III Regulation. In addition, she regularly acts in judicial review challenges under the Children Act 1989 and in relation to asylum support (section 95 and section 4).

Public Inquires

Antonia is currently instructed as junior counsel to the inquiry (led by Henrietta Hill QC) in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse: Children outside the UK investigation and the investigation into Child Sexual Exploitation by Organised Networks.

Training

Antonia regularly delivers training both for, and in partnership, with NGOs and community organisations particularly focusing on the asylum system and issues affecting asylum-seeking and refugee clients.  She regularly speaks public events on refugee and broader human rights issues.