An exceptional lawyer with a brilliant mind.

Overview

Pete is a human rights barrister who practices domestically in public inquiries, inquests, criminal, public, prison and police law. He is a both a trial and appellate lawyer. Pete has appeared at all domestic court levels and before the European Court of Human Rights, including the Grand Chamber.  He specialises in cases involving miscarriages of justice, freedom of expression, extradition and ‘terrorism’, and he has a particular expertise in statutory interpretation. Pete represented Reggie Kray (parole), Robert Brown (conviction quashed after he had served 26 years of a life sentence for a murder he did not commit), and Michael Shields (the football fan wrongly convicted of attempted murder in Bulgaria, who is the only person ever pardoned with respect to a foreign conviction). Pete also practices internationally. He has appeared or advised in matters relating to Bulgaria, Japan, Spain, Mauritius, and the Maldives, and has pro bono international human rights experience in matters relating to the US, Kashmir, Bahrain, UAE, Turkey and elsewhere.

Pete led the team representing 22 of the bereaved Hillsborough families at the new inquests, and continues to act for them in a number of matters, including their campaign to get the Public Authorities (Accountability) Bill 2017 (Hillsborough Law) enacted. He was one of the drafters of the Bill which seeks to provide a lasting legacy and prevent what happened to the families happening again (see www.thehillsboroughlaw.com). Since the conclusion of the Hillsborough inquests, Pete has appeared for the partner of Anthony Grainger at the Public Inquiry into his death (a police shooting) and advised lawyers for the victims of the Grenfell disaster. He has appeared and advised in a number of criminal, prison and human rights cases in Mauritius, undertaken pro bono international human rights work for the Bar Human Rights Committee, particularly regarding Turkey and Bahrain, and he is currently instructed in a number of murder trials.

Pete is a regular commentator on legal and human rights issues in the media. Recent media comment has related to the Grenfell disaster and Inquiry, and show trials of journalists in Turkey. It includes:

http://thejusticegap.com/2017/09/grenfell-inquiry-opens-lesson-alienation/; and

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/turkey-erdogan-failed-coup-gulen-democracy-trials-human-rights-a7934171.html.

Pete was founding member of Garden Court North Chambers and, although he has always practised from Manchester, he is also a door tenant at Garden Court. Pete is a member of the Executive of the Bar Human Rights Committee.

Inquests and public inquiries

In addition to leading the team representing 22 of the bereaved Hillsborough families at the new inquests, Pete represented the family of Jessie James, a 15 year old brutally gunned down in Manchester in 2006, and has appeared for families at many inquests and public inquiries into custody deaths. Pete appeared in the Abergele cyclists inquest (2007) (four members of the North Wales Cycle Club killed by a skidding car). He is often instructed by Trade Unions in this area of work, particularly in work related deaths.

Pete undertakes judicial review of inquest decisions and rulings, and appeared for the family at the Public Inquiry into the death of Bernard “Sonny” Lodge (a prisoner who died at HMP Manchester in 1998), set up following a defective Inquest, and which reported in late 2009. Pete also appeared at all stages of the Middleton case; the landmark case relating to Article 2 and inquest jury verdicts.

Criminal defence and appeals

At first instance, Pete appears predominantly in murder, ‘gangland’, ‘terrorism’ and serious fraud trials.  Pete is particularly interested in cases involving civil liberties, human rights, political, prison law, extradition, mental health, and international issues.

Pete has a thriving appellate practice including cases involving miscarriages of justice, and cases involving the legality of sentences. He appeared in R v Robert Brown [2002] and represented Michael Shields. He has been involved in a number of Criminal Cases Review Commission referrals.  Pete has recently undertaken a number of ‘joint enterprise’ miscarriage cases and is shortly to appear in the Supreme Court in a case involving confiscation orders.

Pete also has a High Court criminal practice including appeals by way of case stated and judicial review.

Public law (judicial review)

Pete specialises in bringing judicial reviews in all of his practice areas, particularly prison law, inquests, public inquiries and crime.  He is shortly to appear in the Supreme Court in a judicial review appeal case relating to confiscation orders.

Civil actions against the police and public authorities

Pete has considerable experience in actions against the Ministry of Justice and the police for false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, misfeasance in public office assault, negligence and human rights torts. He has particular experience of cases involving civil liberties, prison, political, extradition, ‘terrorism’, mental health, disaster and human rights issues.

Pete has undertaken a series of judicial reviews and civil actions, instructed by Trade Unions, relating to the retention of DNA, fingerprints, photographs and PNC records of wrongly arrested suspects; often teachers and fire fighters against whom workplace allegations are made.

International law

Pete has appeared and advised in a number of criminal, prison and human rights cases in Mauritius, and is currently pursuing a case to the UN Human Rights Committee challenging the Mauritius biometric ID card system, under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).  Pete has worked in association with the Chambers of Sanjeev Teeluckdharry in Port Louis, Mauritius and in particular Erickson Mooneapillay of counsel.

Pete has also appeared or advised in matters relating to Bulgaria, Japan, Spain, and the Maldives.

Pete is on the Executive of the Bar Human Rights Committee, which undertakes international pro bono human rights work primarily with respect to the rule of law and the protection of judges, lawyers, human rights defenders and journalists.  Pete has been particularly involved with BHRC projects regarding Turkey and Bahrain and has published a number of reports through the BHRC website: http://www.barhumanrights.org.uk, and articles in the wider media. Pete has also undertaken pro bono work relating to the US, Kashmir, the UAE, and elsewhere.

Prison law

Pete regularly deals with judicial review and applications regarding release dates, parole, adjudications, and prison conditions. He has represented claimants in a number of leading release-date, false imprisonment, adjudication and IPP cases. He also undertakes civil actions against the Ministry of Justice, amongst other actions, for breach of Article 5, assault, negligence and misfeasance. Pete also does some first instance prison work including complex parole cases. He has appeared at all levels in prison law: Adjudications, parole panels, High Court, Court of Appeal, House of Lords and Supreme Court, and the European Court of Human Rights and Grand Chamber (GC).  Pete has appeared in three leading prison cases in Strasbourg: Ezeh and Connors v UK [2004] 39 EHRR 1 (GC held that having Governors as adjudication judges was a breach of A6 where additional detention was a possibility), James v UK [2013] 56 EHRR 12 (ruled that IPP sentences were a breach of A5 where prisoners could not progress), and Vinter, Bamber and Moore v UK [2016] 63 EHRR 1 (GC held that Whole Life tariffs breached A3 unless there was a possibility of release).

Notable cases

  • Hillsborough inquests: Instructed by 22 families;
  • R (Kaiyam) v SSJ [2015] 2 WLR 76: SC decision following James v UK re indeterminate sentence prisoners;
  • Vinter, Bamber and Moore v UK [2016] 63 EHRR 1: A3 – Whole Life tariffs;
  • James v UK [2013] 56 EHRR 12: Grand Chamber – IPP prisoners;
  • Mullings-Sewell: Inquest into the killing of two children by mother whilst in psychotic state;
  • Elam, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Justice [2012] 1 WLR 2722: Sentence calculation – licence expiry dates;
  • Richardson v The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police [2011] 2 CrAppR 1; Times Law Reports 11/4/11: Requirement of necessity for arrest;
  • R (Radislav Krstic) v Secretary of State for Justice [2010] EWHC 2125 (Admin): Refusal to re-categorise Category A prisoner convicted of crimes against humanity, quashed;
  • R (Noone) v (1) the Governor of HMP Drake Hall, (2) Secretary of State for Justice [2010] 1 WLR 1743: Prisoner release date calculations – statutory interpretation;
  • R (JF and Thompson) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] 1 AC 331: Declaration of Incompatibility – Sex Offender Notification and A8;
  • The Public Inquiry into the death of Bernard “Sonny” Lodge at HMP Manchester in 1998;
  • Inquest into the death of Jessie James;
  • Round and Dunn v R [2010] 2 CrAppR(S) 45: Consecutive sentences and HDC;
  • R (John O’Sullivan) v Parole Board [2009] EWHC 2730 (Admin): Parole Board decision quashed for lack of reasons and irrationality;
  • R (James) Secretary of State for Justice [2010] 1 AC 553: IPP appeals – HoL;
  • Shields, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Justice [2010] QB 150; The Times January 14, 2009: Power to pardon – Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons 1983;
  • R (on the application of Paul Lowe) v the Governor of HMP Liverpool [2008] EWHC 2167 (Admin): No re-categorisation without significant change in risk; PSO 0900;
  • Melissa Piggott v DPP [2008] RTR 16: “Reasonable excuse” for driver’s failure to provide specimen;
  • R v Caines and R v Roberts [2007] 1 WLR 1109, The Times 7/12/06: Reward for progress in prison;
  • R (Lunn) v Governor of HMP Moorland [2006] 1 WLR 2870, CLW 06/06/15, The Times 27/6/06: “Unlawfully at large” ruling overturned;
  • Rose v Director of Public Prosecution [2006] 1 WLR 2626, CLW06/15/08, The Times 12/04/2006: Outraging public decency, appeal against conviction quashed;
  • R (R) v Manchester City Youth Court (2006) CrimLR 849; CLW06/15/15: Mode of Trial – clarification of section 25 Magistrates Court Act 1980 – JR;
  • Sierny v DPP [2006] EWHC 716 (Admin) CLW 06/14/08: Appeal against conviction, ASBO, vague grounds;
  • Ezeh and Connors v UK [2004] 39 EHRR 1: Article 6 prison adjudications;
  • R (on the application of Middleton) v Sec of State Home Dept [2004] 2 AC 182: Leading case on application of Article 2 to Inquest proceedings and the ambit of conclusions;
  • R v Stocker [2003] 2 CrAppR(S) 54, CA, and R v Bingham [2004]: Cases on the relationship between remand time, administrative recall and Section 116 orders;
  • R v Shane Smith CA 24/03/03: CCRC referral case – appeal allowed, conviction quashed;
  • R v Robert Brown CA 13/11/02: Conviction quashed having served 26 years of a life sentence;
  • R v Brockhill Prison, ex parte Evans (No 2) [2001] 2 AC 19: Leading false imprisonment case; and
  • R v Gov of Brockhill Prison, ex parte Evans (No1) [1997] 2 WLR 236: Calculation of remand time.

Publications and media appearances

  • 28/06/17 Hillsborough (5 Live drive)29/06/17 Grenfell tower (The Justice Gap);
  • 30/06/17 Grenfell inquiry could be ‘too narrow’, Jeremy Corbyn warns (The Guardian);
  • 28/06/17 Grenfell tower inquiry (The Independent);
  • 28/06/17 Hillsborough (BBC news);
  • 28/06/17 Hillsborough (BBC Radio Merseyside);
  • 16/06/17 Grenfell tower disaster (BBC Radio Wales);
  • 16/06/17 Grenfell tower disaster (BBC Radio Scotland);
  • 16/06/17 Grenfell tower disaster (BBC Radio Five Live);
  • 16/06/17 Hillsborough Law needed (Liverpool Echo);
  • 16/06/17 Grenfell scandal (The Canary);
  • 08/09/16 Hillsborough Law launched (The Guardian);
  • 19/12/12 – New DPP guidelines on social media prosecutions (BBC Radio 5 Live);
  • 28/10/12 – Hillsborough: prospect of criminal prosecutions (BBC Sunday Politics Show);
  • 13/10/12 – Hillsborough IPCC inquiry (BBC Breakfast News);
  • 25/9/12 – Did the Queen breach convention by lobbying over Abu Hamza (quoted in The Guardian);
  • 18/9/12 – ECHR rules IPP sentences breach human rights Art 5(1) (BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 live);
  • 13/9/12 – Hillsborough report and “institutional defensiveness” (BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales);
  • 30/8/12 – Marikana South African miners murder charges – BBC Newsround;
  • 16/8/12 – Assange diplomatic standoff – BBC Radio Manchester;
  • 22/6/12 – Talha Ahsan extradition;
  • 18/4/12 – Brighton Conference on ECHR reform – BBC Radio 5 Live;
  • 18/4/12 – Abu Qatada deportation and “extraordinary rendition” – BBC News;
  • 10/4/12 – Abu Hamza extradition – BBC Breakfast News, BBC News 24, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Wales;
  • 18/1/12 – Partial defence to murder of “loss of control” – BBC Radio Manchester;
  • 21/11/11 – Will Assange decision open doors for extradition challenges? – Lexis Nexis Current Awareness;
  • 31/5/11 – Excessive Retention of DNA Profiles Violates Privacy – Lexis Nexis Current Awareness;
  • 3/5/11 – Prisoners Advice Service celebrates 20th anniversary – The Guardian (Pete Weatherby quoted in relation to the case of Manrai);
  • 3/2/11 – Right to Challenge Registration – Lexis Nexis Current Awareness;
  • 30/11/10 – Peter Sutcliffe case and “whole-life tariff” challenges – interview for Real Radio;
  • 25/11/10 – Prisoner voting – parameters of reform remain unclear – Lexis Nexis Current Awareness;
  • 9/9/10 – Compensation Scheme for Miscarriage Victims Should Be More Flexible – LexisWeb.co.uk;
  • 23/9/09 – Human rights issues surrounding assisted suicide – BBC Radio Manchester;
  • 9/9/09 – Interviews following release of Michael Shields – BBC Radio 5 live; BBC News at Ten; Channel 4 News;
  • 16/8/09 – Right to review of being enforced to remain on sex offenders register for life – Lexis Nexis Butterworths News;
  • 15/2/09 – Analysis of High Court ruling on definition of hunting – BBC Radio 4 Farming Today;
  • 14/11/08 – Hunting with dogs; is the act flawed – BBC Radio 4 Farming Today;
  • 8/7/08 – Criminal Evidence (Witness Anonymity) Bill – Century Radio;
  • 25/4/08 – Documentary on Michael Shields – BBC Inside Out;
  • 26/2/08 – Legal context on Levi Bellfield (double murderer refuses to appear in dock for sentencing) – BBC Radio 5 Live;
  • 3/2/08 – Criticism of inquest jury ban proposals and the use of secret evidence and ‘special’ judges – BBC Radio 4 World This Weekend;
  • 10/10/07 – Right to forcibly detain TB patients – BBC Radio Manchester;
  • 17/7/07 – Barristers modernising their dress; opinion on wigs – Lexis Nexis News; and
  • 27/9/06 – European Court of Human Rights ruling on motorists’ caught on speeding camera right to silence – BBC Radio Manchester.

Memberships

  • Member of the Executive of the Bar Human Rights Committee;
  • Liberty; and
  • Inquest Lawyers Group.

Privacy Notice

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Recommendations

Leading Silk Inquests and Public Inquiries (All circuits): Committed to representing bereaved families in high-profile inquests. He is particularly strong in inquests involving police conduct, including police shootings. He is also adept at judicial reviews involving coronial law. "He is tireless and will not be distracted from the case in hand. He's a very well-known figure in this area and a highly effective barrister." Recent work: Represented 73 victims in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.Chambers and Partners 2019
Leading Silk Civil Liberties & Human Rights - Northern (Bar): An accomplished human rights silk who routinely handles matters concerning protests, miscarriages of justice and complex elements of prison law. He is well versed in EU and international human rights issues, and regularly attracts instructions in high-profile, significant judicial reviews. He is an active participant in the human rights wing of the Bar Council. He has particular experience advising on human rights cases in Mauritius. "As a silk, he is a standout." "Utterly brilliant." Recent work: Appeared in the Mauritian Supreme Court in a criminal case involving drug trafficking that had civil liberties and human rights implications.Chambers and Partners 2019
Leading Silk Crime (Northern Bar): Leading expert in civil liberties and human rights law who has recently been engaged in the Hillsborough Inquiry on behalf of the families. He operates across public law, international law, inquests, prison law and criminal defence. He continues to maintain an active practice at the criminal Bar, particularly in the appellate courts. "Superb and fearless." Recent work: Defended Anthony Clarke, who was charged with the murder of his newborn baby.Chambers and Partners 2019
Leading Silk Administrative & Public Law - Northern/North Eastern (Bar): Particularly adept at utilising human rights arguments as grounds for challenging public body decision-making and policy. He typically acts for prisoners and other claimants in judicial reviews and also handles related proceedings before the ECHR. He has strong depth of experience in public inquiries. Led the team representing 73 victims at the Grenfell Tower inquiry.Chambers and Partners 2019
Public Law - Leading Silk (Northern Bar): He takes command of a court with the breadth of his legal knowledge. The UK Legal 500 2019
Inquests and Inquires – Leading Silk (Northern Bar): An excellent strategist, who approaches cases with the discipline of a military commander about to face the battlefield.The UK Legal 500 2019
Crime - Leading Silk (Northern Bar): A brilliant advocate with the human touch.The UK Legal 500 2019
Leading Silk Inquests and Public Inquiries (All circuits): Committed to representing bereaved families in high-profile inquests. He is particularly strong in inquests involving police conduct, including police shootings. He is also adept at judicial reviews involving coronial law. Strengths: "He prepares well and has an attractive style of questioning that both the coroner and jury like." "He is excellent. A very sophisticated advocate." Recent work: Represented the partner of Anthony Grainger in an inquiry into his shooting during a police operation in Warrington on 3 March 2012.Chambers and Partners 2018
Leading Silk Crime (Northern Bar): Leading expert in civil liberties and human rights law who has recently been engaged in the Hillsborough inquiry on behalf of the families. Additionally operates in public law, international law, inquests, prison law and criminal defence. He continues to maintain an active practice at the Criminal Bar, particularly in the appellate courts. Strengths: "He has a good way with clients and inspires confidence with his incisive intelligence." Recent work: Represented 22 of the families in matters following on from the Hillsborough inquests.Chambers and Partners 2018
Leading Silk Administrative and Public Law (Northern / North Eastern): His broad experience in the sector encompasses areas such as possession proceedings, mandatory and restraining injunctions, succession disputes and unlawful eviction cases. He also comes recommended for his experience in representing individuals who lack capacity. Strengths: "Has tremendous breadth of experience, and is thoroughly pleasant, realistic and knowledgeable." "Absolutely excellent. He's very good at thinking of novel ways to solve cases."Chambers and Partners 2018
Leading Silk Civil Liberties and Human Rights (Northern Bar): Accomplished human rights silk who routinely handles matters concerning protests, miscarriages of justice and complex elements of prison law. He is well versed in EU and international human rights issues, and regularly attracts instructions in high-profile, significant judicial reviews. He is an active participant in the Human Rights wing of the Bar Council. Strengths: "A standalone silk in the North with an unmatched reputation, he is a long-standing expert in the field." "His pleadings are forensically detailed." Recent work: Intervening in Harkins v UK, a whole-tariff case involving an alleged murderer's extradition to the USA. The case was heard at the Grand Chamber of the ECHR.Chambers and Partners 2018
An exceptional lawyer with a brilliant mind.The UK Legal 500 2017
Leading Silk Civil Liberties and Human Rights (Northern Bar): Accomplished human rights silk who routinely handles matters concerning protests, miscarriages of justice and complex elements of prison law. He is well versed in EU and international human rights issues, and regularly attracts instructions in high-profile, significant judicial reviews. Strengths: "He is thorough, efficient and effective." "His approach is very inclusive, which makes him a pleasure to work with. He's a wonderful team player." Chambers and Partners 2017
Leading Silk Crime (Northern Bar): Leading expert in civil liberties and human rights law who has recently been engaged on the Hillsborough Inquiry on behalf of the families. He continues to maintain an active practice at the Criminal Bar, particularly in the appellate courts. Strengths: "Thorough, efficient and effective." Chambers and Partners 2017
Leading Silk Inquests and Public Inquiries (All circuits): Committed to representing bereaved families in high-profile inquests. He is also adept at judicial reviews involving coronial law.  Strengths: "Measured as an advocate, which makes him popular with juries. He is a great leader and great lawyer." "Very good strategically." Recent work: Represented 22 families in the fresh inquests into the Hillsborough Stadium disaster. Chambers and Partners 2017
Leading Silk Administrative and Public Law (Northern / North Eastern): Particularly adept at utilising human rights arguments as grounds for challenging public body decision-making and policy. He is notably active in judicial reviews and inquests involving the criminal justice system. Strengths: "He's very clear and focused in arguments. He has an ability to work across a range of areas such as crime, damages and human rights, all of which require different styles of advocacy. He puts a lot of research and work into cases, which brings value."  Chambers and Partners 2017
An expert in a range of areas including human rights, prison law and international law.The UK Legal 500 2016
Leading Silk Administrative and Public Law (Northern / North Eastern): A human rights practitioner with specialisms in public law, inquests, international law and criminal defence. He has particular experience of matters concerning prison law and he frequently deals with judicial review applications on behalf of trade unions. Strengths:   "He's very well respected in prison law cases and inquests and good on the technical points." "He provides good, steady advocacy in emotive issues and gets the tone right in court." Recent work:  Represented 22 of the families in the Hillsborough inquests, dealing with civil claims and criminal and disciplinary charges relating to the disaster.Chambers and Partners 2016
Leading Silk Civil Liberties and Human Rights (Northern Bar): Has a wide-ranging human rights practice, with particularly strong expertise in cases where claimants are detained by the state. His wider practice has also seen him appear before the ECHR on the issue of prisoners' voting rights."Chambers and Partners 2016
Leading Silk Crime (Northern Bar): With experience covering human rights, public and criminal law, Pete Weatherby QC is instructed in a wide range of cases. He has a strong appellate practice. Recent work:  Represented a number of families in connection with the Hillsborough inquests.Chambers and Partners 2016
Leading Silk Inquests and Public Inquiries (All circuits): Has acted on inquests since being called to the Bar, and has notable expertise in cases concerning controversial deaths. He also undertakes judicial reviews of the coroner's decisions.  "Examines witnesses very skilfully." "He is concise in the points that he takes." Recent work:  Represented 22 of the bereaved families in the inquest into the Hillsborough stadium disaster.Chambers and Partners 2016
He provides extremely good guidance throughout cases.The UK Legal 500 2015
Leading Silk Administrative and Public Law (The Regions): "He is a real force and very knowledgeable in public law." "He is the standout silk in public law in the North. He is very well regarded."Chambers and Partners 2015
Leading Silk Civil Liberties and Human Rights (The Regions): "He's really very involved with the issues, and capable of good, steady advocacy when presenting emotive issues. He gets his tone just right in court."Chambers and Partners 2015
Leading Silk Crime (Northern): A criminal defence advocate acting on cases ranging from murder to fraud. He is noted for his strong appellate practice and for his expertise in miscarriage of justice cases. Expertise: "He has a good way with clients and inspires confidence with his incisive intelligence."Chambers and Partners 2015
Leading Silk Civil Liberties and Human Rights (The Regions): "He is very good. He has always had a fantastic reputation." "He is very committed and a good lawyer. One of your first choices if you are looking for a prison law silk outside London." Chambers and Partners 2014
New Silk Civil Liberties and Human Rights (Northern): Pete Weatherby QC is an acknowledged leader of the Northern Bar in the field of human rights, and has a practice that focuses on public law, prison law and inquest work. He acted for the claimants in Vinter and Others v United Kingdom, a case concerning the fate of prisoners with whole life tariffs. Sources describe him as "approachable, determined and level-headed". Chambers and Partners 2013
New Silk Administrative and Public Law (The Regions): New silk Pete Weatherby QC of Garden Court North has a broad claimant-based public law practice stemming from his leading criminal and human rights practices. One instructing solicitor remarks that "as a junior he was probably the best brain at the Bar, but the most easy to approach of any of the barristers we use." Chambers and Partners 2013
New Silk Crime (Northern): Also at this set is Pete Weatherby QC, a relatively recently appointed silk who has a thriving practice in the human rights, prison law and police law aspects of criminal litigation. He has recently appealed sentencing tariffs and prisoner categorisations. Chambers and Partners 2013

 

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