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Presented with the support of Herbert Smith Freehills and Blackstone Chambers.

Download the pdf version of the programme here.

9.30 – 17.25


Chair: Shaheed Fatima QC, Blackstone Chambers

9.30 – Introduction

Jo Hickman, Director, Public Law Project

9.35 – Opening Address: Making the administrative court electronic: The case management system of the future

Mrs Justice Cockerill

10.00 – Top public law cases of the year

Tristan Jones, Blackstone Chambers

Alison Pickup, Public Law Project

Mark Smyth, Herbert Smith Freehills

10.45 – Duty of candour and cooperation 

Charlotte Kilroy QC, Doughty Street Chambers

Iain Steele, Blackstone Chambers

11.15 – Break 

11.30 – Explaining algorithms and automation: A guide for lawyers 

An overview of the different technologies, relevant research on human-computer interaction including algorithmic ‘fairness’ and other technologies the use and application of which will be of interest to public lawyers.

Reuben Binns, Oxford University Department of Computer Science

12.00 – Morning breakout sessions

Please select one of four.

1.Automation and evidence 

How do you prove that an automated decision may have impacted adversely on people’s rights? What are the practical implications for design and delivery that the state needs to consider when  making systems lawful, and what evidence would need to be presented to challenge automated decisions through judicial review?

Chair, Katy Sheridan

Megan Goulding, Liberty

Christopher Knight, 11 KBW

Dr Joe Tomlinson, Research Director, Public Law Project and Senior Lecturer in Public Law, University of York

Amanda Weston QC, Garden Court Chambers

2. The child’s voice in public law

Public law provides a unique and necessary function when it represents the interests of children. This session looks at recent challenges to authorities and policy including the ‘child spies’ case, developments in the law for child refugees and bereavement benefits for parents.

Chair, Jason Pobjoy, Blackstone Chambers

Professor Helen Stalford, University of Liverpool

Victoria Pogge von Strandmann, Simpson Millar

Jennifer Twite, Head of Strategic Litigation, Just for Kids Law

3. The Modern Slavery Act, public law and technology

This session looks at the implementation of the Modern Slavery Act, the use of technology in ensuring that obligations imposed by legislation are being met, and recent case law developments in modern slavery and trafficking.

Chair, Naina Patel, Blackstone Chambers

Daniel Hudson, Herbert Smith Freehills

Craig Melson, Programme Manager, Tech UK

Nusrat Uddin, Wilson Solicitors LLP

4. Judicial review of the regulators – an update

This session is an update on judicial review of the regulators and will include a focus on the effect of Brexit on commercial JR as a topic of particular relevance.

Marie Demetriou QC, Brick Court Chambers

Andrew Lidbetter, Herbert Smith Freehills

13.00 – Lunch


Chair: Michael Spencer, One Crown Office Row

14.00 – Accountability in the digital state

Digitalisation is revolutionising Government, but along with greater efficiencies and insight comes the potential for abuse of power. Will public lawyers be applauding transparent, efficient and fair state decision-making or will technology subvert the Rule of Law?

Introduction: Dr Joe Tomlinson, Research Director, Public Law Project and Senior Lecturer in Public Law, University of York

Chair, Lord Anderson of Ipswich, KBE QC

Panel: Joanna Cavan OBE, Director Strategy, Policy and Engagement at GCHQ

Carly Kind, Director, The Ada Lovelace Institute

Catherine Miller, Director of Policy, Doteveryone

15.00 – Update on Public Law Project’s work 

15.10 – Refreshment break

15.30 – Afternoon breakout sessions

Please select one of four

5. Public law and online courts

It has been three years since the announcement of the Transforming our Justice System programme. Since then court closures have preceded the widescale arrival of digital, or ‘assisted digital’, courts and tribunals, and  while the potential for a digitally transformed system is undoubtedly vast, questions remain around operation, access and digital exclusion. This session looks at the current state of play with the online courts programme and what is at stake with regards to public law and access to justice.

Chair, Matt Ahluwalia, Public Law Project

Mary Clarke, Regional Judge of the First-tier Tribunal

Penelope Gibbs, Transform Justice

Professor Sue Prince, Law School, University of Exeter

6. Digitisation and immigration 

Digitisation in the immigration context has been with us for some time and is about to face its largest systems test yet with the Settled Status scheme. This session will look at issues such as digital exclusion, public law and rights issues with data sharing and automated decision-making flaws. It will also look at problems with individuals accessing, and potentially paying for, outsourced systems essential to making online applications.

Swee Leng Harris, The Legal Education Foundation

Bijan Hoshi, Public Law Project

Jonathan Kingham, LexisNexis

Adam Straw, Doughty Street Chambers

7. Compliance at all levels? Enforcing the Human Rights Act 

Following the cases of Carmichael and RR, what powers do tribunals have to interpret or disapply secondary legislation that violate a claimant’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights?

Chair, Nick O’Brien, Judge of the First-tier Tribunal
Rosie Brighouse, Liberty

Carla Clarke, Child Poverty Action Group

Jennifer MacLeod, Brick Court Chambers

8. The future of environmental judicial review

From fracking to pest control, climate change to air quality, environmental judicial review continues to be at the cutting edge of public law with new and experienced NGOs and campaign groups committed to enforcing environmental legislation and challenging Government decision making. Our panel looks at current and future trends and also asks whether, in a post-Brexit UK, environmental standards are at risk.

Chair, Nina Pindham, No5 Chambers

Carol Day, Leigh Day

Katie de Kauwe, Friends of the Earth

James Maurici QC, Landmark Chambers

David Wolfe QC, Matrix Chambers

16.30 – The public law to-do list

Mike Fordham QC, Blackstone Chambers

17.00 – Closing address: Public law and human rights: the challenges ahead

Kate O’Regan, Director, Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, University of Oxford

17.30 – Finish

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30 October 2019
9:30 am - 5:30 pm

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