Current legal cases

We challenge unjust laws, policies and practices by taking landmark legal cases on the most pressing human rights issues of our time.

Liberty has been providing legal advice and supporting groundbreaking cases since 1934.

We’re one of the only campaigning organisations in the UK that makes change by challenging injustice and defending our rights in the courts.

Our landmark cases help dismantle laws, policies and practices that violate people’s rights – and fight for justice for people who have been let down by those in power.

Current cases:

Investigatory Powers Act

We’re in the middle of a case against the Government because its Investigatory Powers Act (the Snoopers’ Charter) gives the police and security services powers to spy on everyone whether or not we’re suspected of wrongdoing.

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MI5 breaches of Investigatory Powers Act

During our case against the Investigatory Powers Act, it emerged that MI5 has unlawfully stored and mishandled people’s data for a decade, including not deleting it when it should have done. For a long time, MI5 didn’t report its lawbreaking to the surveillance watchdog, and provided false information to get warrants and spy on us. We’re arguing these breaches show the Investigatory Powers Act isn’t fit for purpose.

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Recent cases:

Ed Bridges v South Wales Police

We acted as solicitors for Ed Bridges, who challenged South Wales Police’s use of live facial recognition in public. In the world’s first legal challenge to police use of this tech, Ed argued the force was breaching rights to privacy, data protection laws, and equality laws.

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Privacy International v Investigatory Powers Tribunal

We intervened in Privacy International’s case about whether decisions made by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) can be reviewed by a High Court judge.

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 NHS hostile environment data-sharing

Liberty acted as lawyers for Migrants’ Rights Network (MRN) in a case against NHS data-sharing.

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Against Borders for Children vs Secretary of State for Education

Liberty acted as lawyers for Against Borders for Children (ABC) in their challenge against the collection of nationality and country of birth data in the school census.

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Against Borders for Children complaint to ICO

After Against Borders for Children’s victory against the school census, the Department for Education didn’t delete the nationality and country of birth data it had managed to collect prior to the case.

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Liberty v Director of Legal Aid Casework

When Liberty client Sarah Ward was refused legal aid to bring a case against a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in Poole, Liberty challenged the Legal Aid Agency’s decision.

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Sarah Ward v Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole

Liberty acted as lawyers for Sarah Ward in the first challenge against a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) that effectively criminalise homlessness.

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Right to rent scheme

Liberty intervened in the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants’ (JCWI’s) challenge to the right to rent scheme both in the High Court and later in the Court of Appeal.

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Data Protection Act “immigration exemption”

Liberty intervened in the challenge to the “immigration exemption” in the Data Protection Act brough by Open Rights Group and the 3 million.

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Liberty and Southall Black Sisters’ Super-Complaint on data-sharing between the police and Home Office regarding victims and witnesses to crime

In 2018, Liberty and Southall Black Sisters (SBS) launched the first ever police Super-Complaint – a new scheme which allowed designated bodies to raise issues on behalf of the public about harmful and systemic practices by the police.

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10 NGOs

After Edward Snowden revealed in 2013 that the UK Government was spying on ordinary people not suspected of wrongdoing, Liberty and nine other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) challenged the surveillance regime in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. The Grand Chamber ruled in May 2021 in our favour. Like the previous court, the Grand Chamber ruled that the surveillance regime had insufficient safeguards. However, it also ruled that bulk interception should in principle be allowed.

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