Civil Liberties & Human Rights Solicitors

Civil liberties and human rights work encompasses many different areas of law, from miscarriages of justice to wrongdoing by the state. From civil claims against the police and public authorities involving inquests, such as air pollution and deaths in prison or police custody, to other forms of state detention, such as mental health detention. We represent bereaved families where a death has been caused by actions or failures by individuals working for the state. You may be a protestor or victim of crime who needs our help.

Our civil liberties and human rights lawyers specialise in gaining our clients compensation, apologies, admissions of wrongdoing and securing changes to protect you and others from similar breaches. As a London based human rights law firm, we have an exceptional track record of holding authorities to account, including:

  • Police forces
  • The Independent Office for Police Conduct
  • The Prison Service
  • The Ministry of Defence
  • The Crown Prosecution Service
  • Immigration detention centres and healthcare providers

Human Rights Solicitors

Our leading team of human rights lawyers are driven to uphold principles and fight against oppression and injustice. For over 40 years we have been at the vanguard of challenging unlawful actions by the state.

Our mission is to seek accountability from the state and redress for those whose rights have been infringed. We passionately believe in helping clients from all walks of life, irrespective of their resources.

Pioneering Work

Our human rights solicitors have been recognised for their pioneering work on some of the most sensitive and high-profile cases over many years.

They are renowned for the work on miscarriage of justice compensation claims and we have unrivalled expertise in this highly specialised field. Our solicitors are also challenging the restrictive eligibility criteria for entry to the statutory scheme for compensation for miscarriage of justice in the Court of Appeal.

Introduction to our Civil Liberties and Human Rights team

Outstanding Achievements

Our civil liberties & human rights lawyers are regular recognised for their outstanding achievements. These include Nancy Collins, finalist in the Public Law category and later winner of the 2018 Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year. In the same year Joanna Bennett joined the HJA’s awards list as a Legal Aid Newcomer 2018.

In 2019 Jocelyn Cockburn was shortlisted for Human Rights Solicitor of the year at the Law Society Excellence awards. These, along with the team and firm accolades, highlight the calibre of the team and the work we do for our clients.

Have your rights been infringed?

If you have suffered injustice at the hands of the State you don’t have to suffer in silence. Everyone has the right to be treated fairly, equally and with dignity.

Get in touch.

Civil Liberties & Human Rights legal service areas

Our specialist team of civil liberties and human rights lawyers deal with a wide range of cases.

Independently recognised as leaders in the field

We are top ranked in Chambers & Partners 2019 for Police Law and also ranked for Civil Liberties and Human Rights and Administrative and public law. We are also ranked in Legal 500 for Civil Liberties and Human Rights and Administrative and Public Law.

How to make a Civil Liberties or Human Rights claim

  • Contact our highly experienced team

Whatever your needs, our team of highly experienced solicitors can provide you with the help and advice you need. To seek advice from our specialist team of human rights solicitors you should contact one of our experienced team for free, either by telephone or through our online form.

  • We’ll gather the information to review your case

Once we have all the information we need we will then let you know if you have a case which we can assist with. Following us completing the case review if you have a case which we can help with we will then arrange a time to meet or talk through to discuss your needs and particular situation in greater detail.

  • Help you with the best resolution

You will then be allocated a solicitor specialising in the field to help you find the best possible resolution during a stressful and often sensitive time.

Frequently asked questions

How can you fund your case?

Funding a legal action through the courts yourself can cost a lot of money. You may be eligible for public funding known as Legal Aid for your case against the police if you meet the Legal Services Commission’s financial criteria. Alternatively, if we think you have a strong case, we may be able to agree a No Win No Fee agreement with you.

What is Judicial Review?

Judicial review is the process by which the courts can challenge the lawfulness of decisions made by public bodies.

For example, it could mean challenging a coroner’s verdict, a decision made by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, a decision by the CPS, or a decision made by the Ministry of Justice on eligibility for compensation claims for miscarriage of justice. For further details visit our page about judicial reviews.

What is Public Law?

This is the law which governs relationships between individuals and the government. Our day to day lives can be affected by public law which can include immigration, health, the environment and education. The role of public law is to regulate the relationship between the state and individuals.

How do you make a complaint against the police?

If the individual is 18 years or over then they will need to make a complaint themselves, which should be relatively straightforward with the support of a specialist police complaints solicitor.


View all FAQs.

Examples of our work

Public Inquiry

Client Case

Our human rights lawyers were instructed by around forty residents of Grenfell Tower, the surrounding walkways and local flats to represent them at the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017. Our human rights lawyers have worked closely with the housing team to prepare proposed terms of reference for the inquiry, to draft core participant applications and to advise our clients on the inquiry process. We represent bereaved family members and survivors.

Anti BNP

Client Case

Our human rights lawyers represented three protesters who were arrested whilst taking part in a counter-demonstration against a rally by the British National Party outside of the Houses of Parliament on 1 June 2013. The police placed conditions on the counter-demonstration and arrested the claimants for breach of these conditions. Two of the claimants were prosecuted and the third sustained serious injuries. There were questions over whether the conditions were lawful and/or properly communicated to those attending the demonstration. All three have received damages from the defendant.

Protestors bringing claims against the police

Client Case

Anti-English Defence League – We represented over 60 protesters who were arrested after participating in a demonstration against the English Defence League through Tower Hamlets in 2013. Among the claims were misfeasance, on the basis that the police arrested for intelligence gathering purposes, rather than a genuine belief that the protesters had committed an offence. The police have accepted that there is an issue over the legality of the arrests.

Snatch Land Rover Claimants

Client Case

HJA represented four relatives of servicemen who were killed when travelling in Snatch Land Rovers in Iraq, described as ‘mobile coffins’ by British soldiers, since 2007. The case finally reached its conclusion with a financial settlement in December 2016 and the receipt of a negotiated apology in May 2017. The apology is significant as the MOD had not acknowledged failings in relation to Snatch (and did not admit liability) but in the apology they recognised that steps should have been taken sooner to replace Snatch land rover vehicles from theatre which could have saved lives.