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Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC

Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers

London, United Kingdom

About Me

Caoilfhionn is a QC at Doughty Street Chambers who specialises in human rights & public law. She is recognised in the legal directories as having expertise in Public Law, Human Rights, Civil Liberties, community care & actions against the police/ inquests. She has a particular specialism in media & 'open justice' issues, & strategic litigation/ test cases. Many of her cases & clients are high-profile & sensitive: for example, acting for bereaved families in the 7/7 London Bombings & Hillsborough inquests; for media organisations in the Gareth Williams inquest; & she currently acts in a challenge to the denial of free NHS abortions to women from Northern Ireland. 

She has acted in many landmark cases, including recently:

•R (Hurley and Others) v. SSWP [2015] EWHC 3382 (Admin) (whether the benefit cap discriminates against severely disabled people & their carers)

•R (HC) v SSHD [2013] EWHC 982 (Admin); [2014] 1 WLR 1234; [2013] Crim LR 918; [2013] ACD 94 (acted for HC in this test case on treatment of 17-year-olds in police custody as adults rather than children; it has resulted in a change to the law, affecting 70,000 17-year-olds in custody every year)

R (Nicklinson) v. MoJ [2014] UKSC 38; Times, June 26 2014 ('right to die'; acted for British Humanist Association) 

•R (T & JB) v. SSJ and SSHD [2014] UKSC 35; [2015] AC 49; Times, June 23 2014 (disclosure of childhood cautions; for Equality & Human Rights Commission)

•R (British Sky Broadcasting Ltd) v. Central Criminal Court [2014] UKSC 17; [2014] 2 WLR 558; [2014] 2 All ER 705; [2014] EMLR 18 (illegality of closed hearings in production order cases; for Media Lawyers’ Association)

•R (SG) v. SSWP [2015] UKSC 16; [2015] 1 WL|R 1449 (for Appellants; whether benefit cap breaches UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and whether it is discriminatory to women)

•City and County of Swansea v. XZ [2014] EWHC 212 (Fam); Media Lawyer, 11 February 2014 (reporting restrictions; acted for national media organisations)

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Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC's Passles

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Councils should make care leavers exempt from council tax - but local changes are not enough; national change is needed

In December 2016 I blogged about how Hammersmith and Fulham had become the first London council to make care leavers exempt from council...

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Huffington Post highlights plight of families living in unsuitable B&B accommodation

B&B accommodation has long been recognised to be unsuitable for families. It caters only for very short-term stays, will generally...

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Northern Ireland is the EU’s business in Brexit negotiations: Irish Times opinion piece today

Writing in today's Irish Times, I argue that critics of the EU who claim it is "meddling" in "internal UK affairs" which are "none of the...

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Tower Hamlets children's services failing. Why did it take an Ofsted inspection to spot this?

In April, Ofsted published a damning report on Tower Hamlets children's services, finding that there are "widespread and serious failures...

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