Viewing: Public Law for Stuart Withers

Third Six Pupil
Stuart joined No5 in February 2019 having completed a criminal pupillage at Farringdon Chambers. He accepts instructions in prison law, public law, inquests, actions against the police and crime. His supervisor is James Dixon.
Prison and Public Law
Prior to coming to the Bar Stuart gained extensive expertise in prison law as a paralegal at a leading human rights and civil liberties firm based in London. Through this Stuart developed expertise at representing clients at Parole Board hearings, independent adjudications and for various sentence planning matters.
Prior to coming to the Bar Stuart gained extensive expertise in prison law as a paralegal at a leading human rights and civil liberties firm based in London. Through this Stuart developed expertise at representing clients at Parole Board hearings, independent adjudications and for various sentence planning matters.
Cases Stuart assisted on include:
The Howard League & Prisoners’ Advice Service v Lord Chancellor [2017] EWCA Civ 244. A successful challenge to the legal aid cuts in prison law.
Hutchinson v the United Kingdom (Application no. 57592/08). An intervention before the Grand Chamber on whether whole life tariffs were compatible with Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
R (Youngsam) v The Parole Board [2017] EWHC 729 (Admin). A challenge against the Parole Board concerning whether Article 5 applied to recalled determinate sentenced prisoners.
Tara Hudson: a challenge to the Ministry of Justice’s policy on allocating transgender prisoners which resulted in a wholescale change in policy.
More recently Stuart has been asked to advise on a number of civil claims arising out of mistreatment by the Ministry of Justice. He recently settled a claim for breach of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010 where a Muslim prisoner had been discriminated against by a prison as the prisoner was not allowed to wear his religious headwear.
Stuart is currently instructed by the Prisoners’ Advice Service to draft a toolkit for LGBT prisoners to inform them of their rights, which will be disseminated to every prison in England and Wales.
Actions against the state and Inquests
Stuart has experience of representing families and public bodies at inquests. He recently represented Birmingham & Solihull NHS Trust in the inquest concerning the death of Kane Walker. A case which attracted national media interest.
Prior to coming to the Bar Stuart assisted on the inquest into the death of Amy El-Keira where a jury returned a verdict of neglect due to the level of care she received at the Priory.
Stuart has a keen interest in actions against the state. He has recently been instructed in a number of claims or police mistreatment, including where powers under Prevent have been used.
Stuart has a particular interest in challenging decisions made within the Criminal Justice System by way of judicial review.
Stuart is also an active member of the Police Actions Law Group (PALG).
Crime
During Stuart’s first six months of pupillage he spent a significant amount of time at the Central Criminal Court observing and assisting on complex and serious criminal trials.
During his second six Stuart appeared daily in the Magistrates’ Court and in the Crown Court.
A highlight of the cases he worked on in his second six include:
Instructed as a junior for a murder trial heard at the Central Criminal Court.
Instructed as a disclosure junior for a controlled prostitution case where 20,000 pages of phone downloads had to be scheduled and analysed at short notice.
Stuart has a keen interest in challenging the use of police powers, in particular stop and search and powers of entry and used his human rights and civil liberties background to help challenge this in criminal proceedings.
Stuart also developed an interest in Proceeds of Crime proceedings.
Mental Health
Stuart has experience of representing clients before Hospital Managers.
Before coming to the Bar
Prior to coming to the Bar, Stuart worked as a research assistant at Birnberg Peirce. He also worked as paralegal at Bhatt Murphy specialising in prison law, actions against the police, public law and inquests. Prior to this he was a paralegal at Kesar & Co where he specialised in prison law and criminal appeals.
Immediately before coming to the Bar he was an Advice and Information Officer at Liberty, where he was responsible for co-ordinating their public advice service and providing training to Magic Circle firms on range of issues including human rights and civil liberties, privacy and data protection.
Awards
Harmsworth Scholar of the Middle Temple
Memberships
Liberty
Police Actions Lawyers Group
The Trans Equality Legal Initiative
Qualifications
Law (LLB, hons), Queen Mary, University of London
MA Res ‘Covert surveillance of legal professional privilege’, Queen Mary, University of London
Bar Professional Training Course, Kaplan Law School
Publications
With Jane Ryan ‘Transgender Rights and Remedies’ (Sep 2016) Inside Times.
With Jane Ryan ‘Transgender issues in the criminal justice system’ (Nov 2016) Legal Action Group.