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Aileen specialises mainly in public and human rights law, including education and community care law, and in employment law. She is particularly interested in equality/discrimination in which she is recognised internationally as a leading academic in the field. She is also actively involved in privacy, data protection and freedom of information work.

Aileen is described by the legal directories as:

  • “Easy to work with and always on top of her case” (Legal 500 2014),
  • “Provid[ing] insightful and pragmatic advice” and “Very user-friendly” (Legal 500 2015),
  • “attentive, client friendly, extremely thorough and straight-talking” (Chambers & Partners 2015),
  • “A recognised expert in the fields of education and discrimination law, and an excellent advocate”, “very responsive, highly pragmatic, and ha[ving] a deep and outstanding knowledge of the law”, “Known for her excellent technical knowledge of employment law … highly praised for her client service”, “certainly knows her onions when it comes to discrimination and jurisdictional questions”; “Very technical, very client-friendly and highly responsive” (Chambers & Partners 2016).

Aileen was appointed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Panel of Preferred Counsel in February 2015 having also been on the Commission’s previous panel.

Education Law

Aileen’s background as an academic gives her a particular insight into disputes arising in the context of higher education and she appears regularly in higher education judicial review challenges for the Office of the Independent Adjudicator and for a number of higher education institutions. She also appears for claimants in education cases (both in First-tier/Upper Tribunal and in the Administrative Court) and is involved in extensive advisory work in the sphere of education including, recently, on the application of the Prevent duty and on wider questions of freedom of expression, and is editor of the Education Law Reports.

Public Law

Aileen has a varied public law practice ranging from challenges by commercial bodies against public authority decision-making, on the one hand, to challenges to police and prison authorities on the other. She recently secured a £450 000 settlement in a Human Rights Act/ Data Protection Act challenge to a police force in respect of the wrongful disclosure of the sensitive personal data of a senior member of staff. Aileen is regularly instructed by Arts Council England and other arts organisations. She has represented care home providers in a range of challenges to local authority fee setting decisions. She recently appeared in the Supreme Court in R (Hunt) v North Somerset Council [2015] LGR 859 and in R (Bibi) v SSHD (Liberty intervening) [2015] 1 WLR 5055, and will shortly appear in R (Daly) v SSWP (on appeal from R (MA & Ors) v SSWP [2014] EWCA Civ 13, [2014] All ER (D) 217 (Feb)). She has extensive expertise in discrimination law challenges including PSED challenges, having appeared in a number of the important cases in this area (R (Hurley & Anor) v SSBIS [2012] All ER (D) 116 (Feb); R (Hajrula) v London Councils [2011] All ER (D) 119 (Apr) and R (Kaur & Shah) v Ealing London Borough Council [2008] EWHC 2062 (Admin), [2008] All ER (D) 08 (Oct)).

Employment

Aileen has a busy employment law practice at employment tribunal level and above. Recent appellate cases include Creditsights Ltd v Dhunna [2014] IRLR 953, on the extraterritorial reach of employment law, and Donkor v Royal Bank of Scotland UKEAT/0162/15/MC. She has provided extensive advice on all areas of employment law including restrictive covenants and other contractual matters and regularly appears for News Group Newspapers, successfully defending The Times against a religious discrimination challenge in Heafield v Times Newspapers [2012] EqLR 901 and an age discrimination claim in Clark v Times Newspapers (2012), and The Sun against a sex discrimination challenge in Self v News Group Newspapers Ltd (2012).  She has intervened in the Supreme Court in Jivraj v Hashwani [2011] IRLR 827, which concerned the employment status of arbitrators, and has appeared for the EHRC in a number of employment cases. She has intervened for the Commission and for Liberty in employment-related cases in the domestic courts and the ECHR. She regularly appears in high value discrimination claims for both claimants and respondents, as well as in TUPE and holiday pay claims.

Inquiries

Aileen is Junior Counsel to the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse, with responsibility for the ongoing investigations into the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches.

Recent and/or notable cases

Supreme Court

  • R (Hunt) v North Somerset Council [2015] LGR 859, [2016] 1 All ER 95, [2015] 1 WLR 3575 (costs)
  • R (Bibi) v SSHD (Liberty intervening) [2015] UKSC 68, [2015] 1 WLR 5055 (immigration)
  • Jivraj v Hashwani [2011] 1 WLR 1872, [2011] IRLR 827 (employment)
  • R (E) v Governing Body of JFS [2009] UKSC 15, [2010] 2 AC 728 (public law: education)

Privy Council

  • Rodriguez v Minister of Housing of the Government and Another [2009] UKPC 52, [2010] 3 LRC 653 (human rights, discrimination)

House of Lords

  • R (Carson) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2005] UKHL 37, [2006] 1 AC 173 (human rights, discrimination)

ECtHR

  • Eweida & Ors v United Kingdom (intervened for Liberty) (2013) 34 BHRC 519, [2013] IRLR 231 (employment, human rights, discrimination)
  • Redfearn v United Kingdom (intervened for EHRC) (2012) 33 BHRC 713, [2013] IRLR 51 (employment, human rights, discrimination)

Court of Appeal

  • Dhunna v CreditSights Ltd [2015] ICR 105, [2014] IRLR 953 (employment law: extra-territoriality)
  • R (Roberts) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and others [2014] EWCA Civ 69, [2014] 1 WLR 3299 (public law: police)
  • R (Hunt) v North Somerset Council [2013] EWCA Civ 1740, [2014] LGR 1 (public law: education)
  • Burger v Office of the Independent Adjudicator [2013] EWCA Civ 1803 (public law: education)
  • R (HRH Sultan of Pahang) v SSHD [2011] EWCA Civ 616, (2011) Times, 13 June (sovereign immunity)
  • R (N) v North Tyneside Borough Council [2010] EWCA Civ 135, [2010] All ER (D) 115 (Jun) (education)
  • Ladele v Islington London Borough Council (Liberty, intervening) [2009] EWCA Civ 1357, [2010] LGR 690 (human rights, employment)
  • R (Mohammed) v SSD [2007] EWCA Civ 1023, (2007) Times, 9 May (human rights, discrimination)
  • R (Johnson) v Havering LBC; YL v Birmingham CC [2007] EWCA Civ 26, [2008] QB 1, [2007] LGR 241 (human rights, scope of public authority)
  • Murphy v Slough BC & Anor [2005] EWCA Civ 122, [2005] ICR 721 (employment)
  • R (Purja & Ors) v Ministry of Defence [2003] EWCA Civ 1345, [2004] 1 WLR 289 (human rights, discrimination)

High Court

  • Thilakawardhana v Office of the Independent Adjudicator [2015] EWHC 3285 (Admin), [2015] All ER (D) 195 (Nov) (public law: education)
  • R (Ryder) v Lord Chancellor [2015] EWHC 1857 (Admin), [2015] All ER (D) 287 (Jun) (public law: prisons)
  • Mayfield Care Ltd and another v St Helen’s Council – [2015] EWHC 1057 (Admin), [2015] All ER (D) 171 (Apr) (public law: commercial)
  • R (Gopikrishna) v Office of Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education – [2015] All ER (D) 160 (Feb) (public law: education0
  • P v East Sussex County Council [2014] EWHC 4634 (Admin), [2015] ELR 178 (education)
  • Bnr v Governing Body Of Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School [2014] EWHC 1238 (Admin) (costs)
  • R (Mustafa) v Office of the Independent Adjudicator [2013] EWHC 1379 (Admin), [2013] All ER (D) 323 (May) (public law: education)
  • R (Members of Care North East Northumberland) v Northumberland CC [2013] EWHC 234 (Admin), [2013] LGR 265 (public law: commercial)
  • Burger v Office of the Independent Adjudicator [2013] EWHC 172 (Admin), [2013] All ER (D) 99 (Feb) (public law: education)
  • R (Redcar & Cleveland Independent Providers Association) v Redcar & Cleveland BC [2013] EWHC 4 (Admin) (public law: commercial)
  • R (Care North East Newcastle) v Newcastle CC [2012] EWHC 2655 (Admin) (public law: commercial)
  • R (Chapti) v Secretary of State for Home Department [2011] EWHC 3370 (Admin) [2012] 2 All ER 653
  • Hunt v North Somerset Council [2012] EWHC 1928 (Admin), [2012] All ER (D) 295 (Jul) (public law: education)
  • R (AMC) v Arts Council England [2012] All ER (D) 242 (Jun) (public law: commercial)
  • R (Hurley & Anor) v SSBIS [2012] EWHC 201 (Admin), [2012] All ER (D) 116 (Feb)

EAT

  • Donkor v Royal Bank of Scotland UKEAT/0162/15/MC
  • Hyde & Anor v Planned Maintenance Engineering Ltd UKEAT/0408/12/GE, [2013] All ER (D) 29 (Oct): service provision change, TUPE

Upper Tribunal

  • C v Governing Body of I School (SEN)[2015] UKUT 217 (AAC) (challenge to exclusion)
  • A London Borough v B (SEN); R(A London Borough) v FtT (HESC); R (B) v Governing Body of the A Voluntary Aided Primary School and a London Borough [2013] UKUT 0347 (AAC) (obligation to admit)

In addition to advocacy Aileen does extensive advisory and training work, in particular on human rights, discrimination/equality and employment law. She advised the EHRC (of whose standing panel of counsel she is a member) in its assessment of HM Treasury’s 2010 Spending Review, and assisted the Commission in its 2012 report “How Fair is Britain”. She was until 2016 the UK’s National Expert on the European Networks of Legal Experts in the Field of Gender Equality and of Experts in the Non-discrimination Field.

Aileen is Professor of Human Rights Law at King’s College London; Vice President of the Institute of Employment Rights; editor of the Education Law Reports, a member of the editorial committees of Public Law, European Human Rights Law Review and the International Journal of Discrimination and the Law; a trustee of the British Institute of Human Rights and a former Executive Committee Member of the Human Rights Lawyers Association and the Industrial Law Society. She has published very widely on human rights, discrimination and employment law.

Books

Discrimination, Equality and the Law (Hart: 2014)

Labour Law: Cases and Materials (with H Collins and KD Ewing), CUP 2012 (3rd ed); Hart: 2005 (2nd ed) and 2000 (1st ed)

Discrimination Law: Text, Cases and Materials (Hart: 2005 (2nd ed) and 2000 (1st ed))

Discrimination Law Handbook (ed.) (LAG, 2005 (2nd ed) and 2002 (1st ed))

Equality and Diversity (ed), (London: Institute of Employment Rights, 2003)

Women under the Law; the False Promise of Human Rights (Essex: Longman, 1999)

Just Wages For Women (Clarendon Press, 1997)

The Future of Labour Law (ed) (Mansell, 1996)

The Case For Taking the ‘Date’ out of Rape (London: Pandora, 1996)

Pay Equity – Just Wages for Women? (London, Institute of Employment Rights, 1994)

With K.D. Ewing, Law at Work (2nd ed, London, UNISON Education and Training, 1994)

Recent articles/Chapters in books

“Litigating the Public Sector Equality Duty: The Story So Far” (2015) 35 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 453

“Equality and Multiculturalism” [2011] Current Legal Problems 1

“Lessons from the Past? Northern Ireland, Terrorism now and then and the Human Rights Act” in T. Campbell, K.D. Ewing and A. Tomkins, Rescuing Human Rights (OUP, 2010)

“Class wars? Religion and (In) equality in the Workplace” (2009) 38 Industrial Law Journal 1-29

Chapters on Article 14 and domestic discrimination provisions in S. Bailey and N. Taylor, Bailey, Harris & Jones: Civil Liberties Cases, Materials and Commentary (6th ed OUP, 2009)

Contributor to R. Clayton and H. Tomlinson, The Law of Human Rights (2nd ed, OUP, 2009)

Chapter on Article 14 in M. Janis, R. Kay and A. Bradley, European Human Rights Law: Text and Materials (3rd ed, OUP, 2008)

“Harassment” (Chapter 4) in D. Schiek, L. Waddington and M. Bell (eds.) Cases, Materials and Text on National, Supranational and International Non-Discrimination Law (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2007)

“Reconfiguring Discrimination Law” [2007] Public Law 74-94

“Cracking the Comparator Problem, ‘Equal’ Treatment and the role of Comparisons” [2006] European Human Rights Law Review 650 – 677

“Do Privacy Rights Disappear in the Workplace?” (2003) European Human Rights Law Review 120-140

“Principles of Equality and Protection from Discrimination in International Human Rights Law” (2003) European Human Rights Law Review 157-175

“Discrimination Law and the Human Rights Act 1998” in T. Campbell, K.D. Ewing and A. Tomkins (eds), Sceptical Approaches to Human Rights (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001)

“Women and the Human Rights Act” (2000) 51(3) Northern Ireland Law Quarterly

“Regulating Pay Discrimination” in H. Collins, P. Davies and R. Rideout (eds.), Legal Regulation of the Employment Relation (Kluwer, 2000)

Aileen accepts instructions under Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.

Speeches

Aileen is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars; both purely academic and those orientated more towards practitioners and/or trade union activists and managers. She regularly addresses European audiences in her capacity as UK National Expert on the Gender Equality Law and Non-discrimination Networks and has spoken at seminars and conferences in Japan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Belgium, Turkey, Croatia, Austria, Germany and elsewhere as well as, domestically, to the TUC, the Industrial Law Society, the Haldane Society, JUSTICE, the Institute of Employment Rights and Incomes Data Services on a wide variety of subjects including equal pay, discrimination/ equality, privacy, data protection and human rights. She has also delivered extensive equality training to regulatory bodies, commercial organisations and judges.

Aileen accepts instructions under the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.

DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS
WHAT THEY SAY:

“Easy to work with and always on top of her case” (Legal 500 2014)

“Provid[ing] insightful and pragmatic advice” and “Very user-friendly” (Legal 500 2015)

“attentive, client friendly, extremely thorough and straight-talking” (Chambers & Partners 2015)

“A recognised expert in the fields of education and discrimination law, and an excellent advocate”, “very responsive, highly pragmatic, and ha[ving] a deep and outstanding knowledge of the law”, “Known for her excellent technical knowledge of employment law … highly praised for her client service”, “certainly knows her onions when it comes to discrimination and jurisdictional questions”; “Very technical, very client-friendly and highly responsive” (Chambers & Partners 2016).