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Bhatt Murphy Solicitors

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Shamik Dutta

Shamik Dutta specialises in pursuing civil claims and public law challenges against the police and in enforcing the rights of those subject to unlawful immigration detention and unlawful deportation. He also acts for the families of individuals who have died in police and prison service custody.

He has brought numerous successful claims against the police and Home Office for assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, misfeasance in a public office, negligence, race discrimination, breaches of the Data Protection Act and breaches of the Human Rights Act. He has a particular specialism in claims concerning breach of privacy and has pursued a number of successful judicial reviews in relation to the unlawful retention by the state of individuals’ personal data including DNA samples and police intelligence records.

Shamik regularly provides legal training on individual rights and police powers to lawyers and professional bodies such as the Association of Photographers and National Union of Journalists. He has also written extensively for legal journals and has been invited to give evidence to the Parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee on his areas of expertise.

Shamik is a former joint-chairperson of the Police Action Lawyers Group and is a member of Liberty. He is also an Executive Committee member of the London Anti-Racist Alliance.

Shamik's notable cases include:

Public Inquiry into Undercover Policing
Shamik represents nine individuals and organisations granted Core Participant status in the Public Inquiry into Undercover Policing.

Catt v Association of Chief Police Officers and Metropolitan Police Commissioner [2015] UKSC 9
This landmark Supreme Court judgment established that the retention of police intelligence reports about law-abiding activists on the National Domestic Extremism Database interferes with individuals’ privacy rights under Article 8 ECHR. The Court of Appeal ruled unanimously that data about the Claimant had been unlawfully retained in breach of Article 8(2) ECHR. The Supreme Court, by a majority, overturned the Court of Appeal judgment and Shamik is now instructed by Mr Catt in an ongoing application before the European Court. News report here.

Laporte and Christian v Metropolitan Police Commissioner [2015] EWHC 371 (QB
)
Claim concerning arrests at Haringey Civic Centre during an anti-austerity demonstration. The case provides helpful guidance on the duties upon police forces to engage in Alternative Dispute Resolution in civil claims of this nature. Gazette report here.

R (National Union of Journalists) v Metropolitan Police Commissioner
Ongoing legal challenge to the retention of information about journalists on the national domestic extremism database. Press reports here.

Kennedy-Macfoy v Metropolitan Police Commissioner
Shamik represents black fireman Edric Kennedy-Macfoy in his ongoing case concerning an incident in Harrow in September 2011 when Mr Kennedy-Macfoy was sworn at, shot with a taser, arrested and then prosecuted. The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has paid substantial damages to Mr Kennedy-Macfoy and offered a full apology in settlement of his civil claim for assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and race discrimination. There is an ongoing inquiry into the collapse of misconduct proceedings against the police officers involved. In the meantime Mr Kennedy-Macfoy has accepted an invitation from the Metropolitan Police to help them learn from his experience.

Andrew and Christopher Hilliard v Metropolitan Police Commissioner [2015]
The Claimants were brothers arrested at the student protests in 2011 and wrongfully accused by police officers and Prime Minister David Cameron of pulling a mounted police officer from his horse. They were prosecuted for the alleged offence of violent disorder and acquitted after two Crown Court trials. The Commissioner offered a full apology and paid £50,000 in damages in settlement of their civil claim for assault, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. News report here.

R (H and others) v Chief Constable Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council
Successful challenge to the Defendants’ decision to remove political stallholders from Market Street, Manchester in December 2011. Political stallholders continue to campaign in that area without interference since this threatened challenge.

Edmondson v Metropolitan Police Commissioner [2013]
The Claimant was arrested while driving in Colindale. During the arrest he was struck with police batons and subjected to CS spray. He was acquitted and pursued a claim for assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and race discrimination. The Commissioner agreed to pay £45,000 in damages in settlement of the civil claim and offered a full apology. Following settlement of the civil claim the officers have been subject to a police complaint investigation. News report here.

R (GC) v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2011] UKSC 21
This leading case involved a challenge to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) policy on the indefinite retention of DNA, photographs and fingerprint samples. The Supreme Court ruled that the ACPO policy was unlawful and that, unless Parliament changes the law within a reasonable period of time, police forces must alter their policies on the indefinite retention of DNA samples and other biometric data.

M v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2011]
The claimant was stopped and searched outside his home address before being arrested and detained. He was subsequently released without charge. He pursued a claim for assault, false imprisonment and race discrimination. He also applied for disclosure of previous complaints lodged against one of the officers who searched and arrested him. The Court ordered that the Commissioner must allow the claimant to inspect and rely, at trial, upon documents related to the officer’s previous disciplinary record. The Commissioner agreed to pay the claimant £19,500 in settlement of his claim.

John Bosco Nyombi v Home Office [2010]
A civil claim was brought in the High Court on behalf of John Bosco Nyombi, a gay man who was detained in the UK before being forcibly removed to Uganda. He was detained there by the Ugandan authorities before the Administrative Court ordered that the Secretary of State for the Home Department should return him to the UK. The Home Office admitted liability and paid £100,000 in damages to Mr Nyombi.

E v Home Office [2010]

E, a victim of torture, was detained unlawfully by the Home Office in breach of its own policies. The claimant brought an action for false imprisonment and was awarded £57,500 at court including £25,000 exemplary damages which the Court awarded to the claimant for “institutional failings” in the provision of adequate medical examinations and reports under rules 34 and 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001.

Mark Thomas v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2010]
The comedian and journalist Mark Thomas instructed Shamik to pursue a police complaint and civil claim for assault and false imprisonment after his stop and search at an anti-arms fair demonstration at the DSEi in Docklands. The police complaint was upheld and the Metropolitan Police awarded Mr Thomas damages after admitting trespass and false imprisonment.

R (A) v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2009]
The claimant, a Muslim man with no previous convictions, was detained under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. During the detention his DNA and biometric data was seized. He pursued a successful judicial review challenging the seizure and retention of his data.

M & ME v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2009]
M & ME, a father and his son, were arrested outside school gates in North London. ME was given a formal reprimand during his detention which he successfully challenged by way of a judicial review. He and his father then brought a claim alleging assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, misfeasance in a public office and race discrimination. The Commissioner offered a full apology and paid damages of £25,000.
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Shamik Dutta and Rosie Brighouse, in association with Editorial Photographers UK, have prepared the following guide on police powers for photographers and journalists: Police, photographers and the law.