Prior to coming to the Bar, Cian spent ten years as a legal academic, teaching public and human rights law, criminal law, and international law. He was a Fulbright-Schumann Scholar at Georgetown and NYU.
Administrative and Public Law
Cian is instructed in several challenges to aspects of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In one, the Government has conceded the need to make changes to its policy on charges for hotel quarantine. In another, Cian is instructed to challenge hotel quarantine for double-vaccinated persons as a violation of Article 5 ECHR.
Cian has a particular interest in international matters or those with a cross-jurisdictional dimension. He assisted Geoffrey Robertson QC and Adam Wagner with the challenge to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s actions in relation to the death of Harry Dunn; and Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Adam Wagner in an intervention on behalf of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in AB v. Secretary of State for Justice  UKSC 28.
Cian also advises in relation to claims on behalf of those in prison, for example for violations of the right to private and family life, and the right to personal liberty.
Inquests and Public Inquiries
Cian acts on behalf of bereaved families in inquests touching on deaths in settings including prisons, in hospital, mental health custody, and in the community.
He was led by Maya Sikand QC in the inquest into the death of Mark Culverhouse, who took his own life while unlawfully detained at HMP Woodhill. The jury found that a defect in the system of licence recall and release, as well as detention in the Segregation Unit, contributed to Mark's death. Cian is currently led by Fiona Murphy in the inquest into the death of Shane Bryant, who died after a restraint by an off-duty police officer and members of the public in 2017.
Cian has particular expertise on the engagement of Article 2 ECHR and has given training on Article 2 and its role in inquests and related civil claims. He has also acted pro-bono under licence from Advocate, with support from INQUEST.
Community Care and Health
Cian undertakes a broad range of community care work, including:
representation before Special Educational Needs and Disability First Tier Tribunals;
claims for unlawful removal of children from their parents, for failure to remove children, and for delays in the issue of care proceedings;
assistance in a claim for delay in the issue of a deprivation of liberty proceedings.
Media and Information Law
Cian advises in relation to data protection claims – in particular against the police and public authorities in relation to the disclosure of sensitive personal data.
He has also assisted with:
the defence of a defamation claim brought against a public figure;
the preparation of the recent media Lawyers Association Online Safety Guide for Journalists.
International Human Rights Advocacy & Research
Cian is a member of the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Research Consortium. In addition to his teaching and research, Cian has led rule of law training for Advocates 4 International Development (A4ID) and been a communications volunteer for Liberty. He was a member of the legal sub-committee of the London Irish Abortion Rights Campaign and has also collaborated on events and programmes with The AIRE Centre, JUSTICE, and Lawyers without Borders.
Amongst Cian’s publications are an award-winning book, EU Counter-terrorism Law, and an edited collection on EU Security and Justice Law. He is the joint Editor in Chief of the Common Law World Review. His current publication projects include the editing of By Peaceful Means: International Adjudication and Arbitration – Essays in Commemoration of David D. Caron – as part of a team led by Judge Charles N. Brower and President Joan D. Donoghue of the International Court of Justice.