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Claire Mitchell

Work 0131 226 5071
Compass Chambers (Compass Chambers)


Claire Madison Mitchell joined the bar in 2003, after spending eight years in private practice as a criminal defence solicitor, and since then bas worked as a criminal defence advocate full time. Her area of expertise is criminal law and human rights work, at both first instance and on appeal. She attended the Privy Council in relation to devolution issues and , since the formation of the UK Supreme Court has represented the interests of a four of criminal clients in different criminal law constitutional appeals. She regularly appears in the Court of Criminal Appeal, and has conducted numerous complex legal arguments before benches of three and five judges, both in relation to conviction and sentence. At first instance, she specialises in the defence of regulatory criminal matters and has conducted many cases, both pleas and trials. She also regularly represents the interests of those convicted of regulatory criminal matters in the Appeal Court. list of recent cases is appendeed below. She has been instructed in over 100 reported cases. (Scottish Criminal Case Reports and High Court of Justiciary Appeal Court Cases). She has also been involved in providing training with the judicial studies board for judges, sheriffs and magistrates, as well as for solicitors in private practice. She tutors students in criminal law at Glasgow University, and is soon to teach on the LLM in human rights course too. Cases, Trials and inquiries include: Allison v HMA [2010] UK Supreme Court 6 – whether the status of outstanding cases fell to be disclosed in just the same way as previous convictions. Judges decided unanimously that it was; Miller v HMA [2010] UK Supreme Court 10 – whether increasing the sentencing power of Sheriffs by amending the Criminal Proceedings etc (Reform) Act s45 was within the Scottish Parliament’s legislative competence, judges decided 3/2 that it was; HMA v G [2011] UK Supreme Court 43 – whether when detained under s23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, the answers to questions during the course of a search were admissable in evidence, the court advised the Accused’s answers were not admissable; Gemmell & ors v HMA [2011] HCJAC 129 – the 5 bench Appeal Court agreed with the proposition that penalty points, being punitive in nature, can be subject to discount (para 70); Her Majesty’s Advocate v Woodlands Trust Unreported [2012] – health and safety prosecution on indictment before a jury in respect of a death of a member of the public, a legal submission of ‘no case to answer’ was upheld and clients were aquittcd; Kinloch v Her Majesty’s Advocate [2012] UK Supreme Court 62 – whether a breach of the article 8 right to privacy would automatically result in a breach of article 6 and rended the evidence inadmissible, court held that article 8 was not engaged but that leading evidence obtained in breach of article 8 would not automatically render a trial unfair; Her Majesty’s Advocate v David Brownie Unreported [2012] – health and safety prosecution in respect of death of employee at work’ objection taken to evidence on basis of human rights legislation upheld, which reduced the evidence led before the jury, the jury returned a unanmous verdict of not proven, and client was accordingly acquitted. Claire was the winner of the award for contribution to legal thinking in Scotland over the past decade at the Law Awards 2013.


President, Scottish Criminal Bar Association.

Scottish Bar

Health and safety, and regulatory

Within: Health and safety, and regulatory – Leading juniors

Claire Mitchell - Compass Chambers β€˜Specialises in health and safety cases.’

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