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Charlotte Kilroy is a public law and human rights specialist.

Charlotte Kilroy is a public law and human rights specialist. She has a broad practice in areas including asylum and human rights law, constitutional law, actions against the police, and civil claims for damages. 

Recent litigation includes:

  • R(Medical Justice) v SSHD. Charlotte is acting for Medical Justice in its challenge to the SSHD’s policy of using no notice removal windows to remove individuals from the UK.  The High Court granted Medical Justice an injunction preventing the SSHD from removing individuals except by way of removal directions in March 2019. That injunction remains in place until Medical Justice’s appeal against the High Court’s judgment is heard by the Court of Appeal in July 2020. Charlotte is instructed by Public Law Project, together with Alison Pickup and Anthony Vaughan. For press coverage see the BBC and The Mirror.

  • R(PN) (Uganda) v SSHD. Charlotte acted for the claimant PN in her successful challenge to the fairness of her 2013 appeal determination under the 2005 Fast-Track Rules, obtaining a mandatory order that the SSHD use her best endeavours to return her from Uganda to the UK. Coverage of the case is available in The Guardian and Free Movement.

  • R(FA and others) v SSHD; R(FwF) v SSHD, R(KF v SSHD). Charlotte acts for a number of unaccompanied minors seeking to join family members in the UK under the family reunification provisions of EU Regulation 604/2013 (Dublin III) who have successfully challenged the SSHD’s failure to comply with Dublin III time limits and her policy of sending “holding letters” where time limits are due to expire.

  • R(MS) v SSHD. Charlotte acted for the respondent MS in this unsuccessful appeal concerning whether the Upper Tribunal was entitled to decide for itself whether two brothers seeking family reunification under EU Regulation 604/2013 (Dublin III) were related as they claimed. The SSHD argued that the right to review on fact and law in Article 27 Dublin III did not apply to refusals of take charge requests. The Court of Appeal, as requested by MS, dismissed the appeal on the grounds that it was entirely academic; MS had now arrived in the UK to join his sibling and even if Article 27 did not encompass refusals of TCRs, which the Court was inclined to think it did, the Tribunal was in any case required to assess for itself whether the brothers were related under Article 8 ECHR as explained in Balajigari. The judgment and livestream of the hearing is available here 

  • Kate Wilson v Metropolitan Police Commissioner. On 3 October 2018, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal rejected a third attempt by the police to halt the progress of Ms Wilson’s claim for violations of her Articles 3,8,10,11 and 14 ECHR rights arising out of the conduct of several undercover police officers, including Mark Kennedy, in infiltrating her life as an environmental activist. The police have admitted that they violated Ms Wilson’s Article 3 ECHR rights as a result of Mark Kennedy’s deceitful sexual relationship with her, but have not explained whether senior police officers knew about the relationship when they authorised his deployment. Charlotte represents Kate Wilson. See here.

  • R(Citizens UK) v SSHD [2018] 4 WLR 123. Charlotte represented Citizens UK in their successful challenge to the fairness of the process the Home Office set up in France for considering the claims of over 1000 unaccompanied asylum seeking children to join family members in the UK. The Court of Appeal found the process was procedurally unfair and that the Home Secretary had materially led the High Court. See here and here.

  • R(MS by his litigation friend MAS) v SSHD, Judgment of Upper Tribunal 19 July 2018. Charlotte represented unaccompanied asylum-seeking minor MS in his successful challenge to the Home Secretary’s refusal of claim under EU Regulation Dublin III to join his brother in the UK. The judgment confirms that the Home Office has an investigative duty on receipt of a request from another Member State, and cannot simply refuse a request based on information in Home Office files; the Tribunal also concluded that Article 27 Dublin III together with Article 8 ECHR entitled MS to a hearing in which the Tribunal itself considered the evidence as to whether he was related to MAS. See here.

  • R(AT) v SSHD [2017] EWHC 2714; [2018] A.C.D. 15; R(ES) v SSHD [2017] EWHC 3224 (Admin); [2018] A.C.D. 20, R(AT) v SSHD [2017] EWHC 3210. The Court refused to grant the Home Secretary relief from sanctions after non-compliance with the CPR provisions on service of his defence, including in one case, preventing the Home Secretary from appearing at the hearing of the claim. Charlotte represented the claimants.

  • Kamoka v Security Services [2017] EWCA Civ 1665. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal of five Libyans seeking damages for their detention between 2005-2007 pending deportation to Colonel Qadhafi’s Libya under the deportation with assurances programme (DWA) on the basis of documents showing the UK security services were at the time involved in unlawful renditions to Libya. The High Court had struck out their claims as an abuse of process. 

  • Charlotte represented three unaccompanied Syrian refugee children and a vulnerable adult stuck in the Calais “Jungle” who obtained a mandatory order that the Home Secretary admit them to join their family members in the UK. This litigation forced France and the UK to improve their implementation of the family reunification provisions in the EU Dublin III Regulation and has led to hundreds of unaccompanied children being permitted to travel lawfully from across Europe to the UK to join family members. Charlotte continues to represent children seeking to join family members in the UK and, in conjunction with the charity Citizens UK, Migrants Law Project and Bhatt Murphy Solicitors, to bring litigation aimed at ensuring that effective systems are set up to enable these children to realise their fundamental rights (see R(AM) v SSHD [2017] UKUT 262; R(ZAT and others) v SSHD [2016] 1 WLR 4894; R(MK, IK and HK) v SSHD [2016] UKUT 00231).

  • Between 2013-2015, Charlotte acted for the charity Detention Action in the litigation which led to High Court and Court of Appeal judgments that a) the Home Secretary’s detained fast-track asylum system (DFT) was operating unlawfully, b) her fast-track detention policy was unlawful and c) the Tribunal’s Fast Track Procedure Rules were structurally unfair and ultra vires. The DFT, which had been in operation for over 15 years, was suspended shortly afterwards. In 2017 Charlotte continues to appear in claims where the courts are considering the consequences of these findings for past appeal determinations  (see R(TN) v SSHD [2017] 1 W.L.R. 2595; R(Detention Action) v SSHD [2015] 1 W.L.R. 5341; R(Detention Action) v SSHD [2014] EWCA Civ 1634; R(Detention Action) v SSHD [2014] EWHC 2245).

  • Between 2011-2014, Charlotte represented eight women deceived into having relationships with undercover police who brought a claim against the Metropolitan police for deception, assault, negligence, misfeasance in public office and breach of their rights under Article 3 and 8 ECHR. The police eventually settled the claim with the issue of a landmark apology accepting that the women’s fundamental rights had been violated, and damages (see here). The circumstances in which this deception took place is now the subject of an ongoing public inquiry announced by Home Secretary Theresa May in 2015.(See AJA v Commissioner of Police [2014] 1 W.L.R. 285; DIL v Commissioner of Police [2014] EWHC 2184). Charlotte is currently representing one of the claimants Kate Wilson in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal as she seeks declarations that her rights have been violated under the Human Rights Act 1998.


Other significant litigation in which Charlotte is currently involved includes:

  • Challenges to the lawfulness of the Home Secretary’s Restricted Leave policy, by which the government uses ordinary discretionary immigration powers to impose significant restrictions on freedom of movement, access to employment, and education on individuals whom she cannot remove from the UK because they would face torture or ill-treatment in their home countries (see MS v SSHD [2018] 1 WLR 389; G v SSHD [2016] EWHC 3232).
  • Damages claims against the Home Secretary and the UK Security Services made on behalf of 11 Libyans detained between 2005-2007 pending deportation to Colonel Qadhafi’s Libya under the deportation with assurances programme (DWA). The claims are based on intelligence material found in Libya after the fall of Colonel Qadhafi which shows there was collusion between UK and Libyan intelligence services in interrogations of terrorist suspects in Libya at the time the deportation proceedings were ongoing (Kamoka v Security Service [2016] EWHC 769; Kamoka v Security Service [2015] EWHC 60). 


Charlotte’s past cases include:

Deportations and the Special Immigration Appeals Commission

  • In April 2016 SIAC allowed the appeals of a group of five Algerians whom the Home Secretary had been attempting to deport to Algeria since 2005 under the DWA programme. After years of appeals, SIAC accepted the Algerian men’s case that the assurances offered by the Algerian government were insufficient to contain the risk of torture the men faced because the assurances could not be adequately verified. Charlotte had been representing three of the Appellants since 2008 (see hereBB v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 9).

Control orders

  • DD v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 1681. The Court found that the imposition of a condition requiring the Appellant to wear an Electronic Tag violated his rights under Article 3 ECHR due to the severity of his mental health condition. Charlotte acted for the Appellant.


  • R (on the application of Lumsdon) v Legal Services Board [2014] EWHC 28 Divisional Court, 20 January 2014 Charlotte acted for the Claimant in this 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.

Constitutional Law

  • Bank Mellat v HM Treasury [2014] 1 AC 700, Supreme Court, 19 June 2013 The Supreme Court concluded that it had the power to hear closed evidence in an 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 acted for the intervener Liberty.
  • Al Rawi v Security Service [2012] 1 AC 531. 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. Charlotte Kilroy acted for Mr Al Rawi.
  • R (Cart) v. Upper TribunalR (U) v. Special Immigration Appeals Commission [2010] 2 WLR 1012 (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). Charlotte acted for the Claimant “U”.


  • 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. Charlotte acted for Medical Justice.
  • R (L.) v. Commr of Police for the Metropolis [2010] 1 AC 410. 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. Charlotte acted for L.