Public Law, Judicial Review + Human Rights

We are regarded as one of the leading firms in Scotland in relation to public law, judicial review and human rights. Consistently, we are ranked highly by legal directories. We are the only law firm ranked Band 1 for Civil Liberties and Human Rights in Scotland by Chambers and Partners 2022.

Our team is "incredibly efficient, down-to-earth, practical and professional" Chambers and Partners 2018 (Administrative and Public Law).

Our experience

Our team has a wealth of experience and acts in proceedings in the Sheriff Court, Court of Session, UK Supreme Court, the Court of Justice of the European Union and other tribunals. We advise a range of clients, including individuals, those in public office, public sector bodies, companies and other organisations.

We can assist clients in relation to a range of matters, including:

Our team has been instructed in relation to many of the leading public law cases in recent years


Elaine Motion represents a group of MPs, MSPs and MEPs in a judicial review in which the Inner House of the Court of Session unanimously ruled in favour of referring the question of revocability of Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union to the Court of Justice of the European Union. This is the most significant legal development in relation to Brexit since the High Court ruled that the UK Parliament had to legislate before the UK Government could invoke Article 50.

Responding to judicial reviews of regulatory decisions

Sindi Mules acted for a non-ministerial UK Government department to successfully respond to a judicial review of the department’s decision not to grant accreditation in relation to a station for renewable energy.

Acting for interveners

Sindi Mules acted for an environmental organisation to intervene in Court of Session proceedings to review acts and decisions of the Scottish Government in relation to fracking. By intervening, the environmental organisation was able to make representations to the court in relation to the Scottish Government’s obligations under international, EU, UK and Scots law, as well as the environmental impacts of fracking.

Challenging legislation

We acted for a charity who successfully challenged the Scottish Government’s Named Person Scheme, part of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 in the UK Supreme Court. It was challenged on the basis that the scheme was not compatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to respect for private and family life). The judgment was highly significant as successful challenges to legislation are rare.

Employment tribunal fees

Sindi Mules acted for a Union to intervene in UK Supreme Court proceedings challenging the lawfulness of the introduction of fees payable by claimants in the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The Supreme Court ruled that in introducing the fees the UK Government acted unlawfully and unconstitutionally and it quashed the order bringing them into force.


We acted for an environmental group in a crowdfunded legal challenge to a raven-culling licence granted in Perthshire. The licence was voluntarily suspended after a review concluded that it was not scientifically robust.

Funding + costs

Balfour+Manson can advise on a range of funding options that can be tailored to your situation, including legal aid and crowd funding, as well as advising on applications for protective expenses orders. We can offer a fixed fee for an initial appointment.

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