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Aidan O’Neill QC
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Aidan O’Neill is qualified to appear as counsel in Scotland, as well as in the courts of England and Wales. He practises in both jurisdictions, and has a civil/commercial practice involving a significant element of advice and court appearances on issues of European Union law and domestic constitutional law, particularly as engaged in public law, human rights and employment and discrimination law. He has appeared as senior counsel before the European Court of Human Rights, Court of Justice of the European Union, the UK Supreme Court, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and the House of Lords. Notable EU fundamental rights cases include: McGeoch v Lord President of the Council  UKSC,  CSIH 67; 2011 SLT 633, OH (on EU law and prisoners’ voting rights); Scotch Whisky Association and others v Scottish Ministers  CSOH nyr (on minimum alcohol pricing); Walton v Scottish Ministers  UKSC 44. Notable civil liberties cases include: Animal Defenders International v United Kingdom  ECHR (Grand Chamber); Greens v United Kingdom  ECtHR 60041/08 (fourth section, 23 November 2010); Cadder v Her Majesty’s Advocate  1 WLR 2601  UKSC 43; R (JF and Thompson) v Minister of Justice  2 WLR 992, UKSC. Notable constitutional law cases include: AXA General insurance v Lord Advocate  UKSC 46; Somerville v Scottish Ministers 2008 SC (HL) 45; Davidson v Scottish Ministers (No 1)  UKHL 74; Davidson v Scottish Ministers (No 2)  UKHL 34; Millar v Dickson 1 WLR 1615, JCPC; and Lord Advocate’s reference (No1 of 2000) re nuclear weapons 2001 JC 143, HCJ. Recent public law cases include R (Sandiford) v Foreign and Commonwealth Office  EWHC 168 (Adrnin) (whether the FCO had duties under the ECHR and EU Charter of Fundamental Rights to provide funding for legal representation of British nationals facing death penalty abroad); Caim Energy plc v Greenpeace lntemational  CSOH nyr (on rights of protest); NJ and EH v Lord Advocate and others  CSOH 27 (on the convention rights of mothers to participate and be legally represented in court hearings for emergency child protection orders); McGeoch v Scottish Legal Aid Board  CSOH 6 (duties of the legal aid board under to grant legal aid to allow vindication of an effective remedy in national court for claims relating to breach of substantive EU law rights); Khakh v Independent Safeguarding Authority  UKUT 424 (AAC) (scope of the jurisdiction of the Upper Tribunal in appeals against decision of the Independent Safeguarding Authority not to remove an individual automatically placed on barred lists after conviction of a relevant offence); Biggins v Criminal lnjuries Compensation Authonly  UKUT 286; Ferrie v CICA  UKUT 287 (private international law and scope of the jurisdiction of the Upper Tribunal in judicial reviews decision of the Criminal injuries Compensation Authority); M v Scottish Legal Aid Board  SL T 354, OH (on the interplay and distinction between ‘advice and assistance’ and ‘ABWOR – assistance by way of representation’); R (Cart) v Upper Tribunal  1 AC 633, UKSC and Eba v Advocate General for Scotland  1 AC 710,  SC (UKSC) 1 (on tile susceptibility of decisions of tile Upper Tribunal to judicial review in Scotland and England and Wales); N v City of Edinburgh Council  SC 513, IH (re the Additional Support Needs Tribunal for Scotland and the refusal by the local authority of a placing request made in respect of a severely autistic child); SK v Paterson  SC 186 IH (on the Convention compatibility of the failure of the Scottish Ministers to make provision for legal aid before Children’s Hearing in respect of adult ‘relevant persons’); Global Santa Fe Drilling Co (North Sea) Ltd v Lord Advocate  SC 575 IH,  SLT 849 OH (on the competency of tile Sheriff making an award of expenses against the Crown in a Fatal Accident Inquiry). Significant cases in employment/discrimination law include: Ravat v Haliburton Manufacturing & Services Ltd  UKSC 1,  1 RLP 1053 IH; University College Union v University of Stirling  CSIH nyr; Cusick v Strathclyde Joint Police Board  CSIH nyr; Russell and ors v Transocean plc (No 2)  IRLR 24 IH; Archibald v Fife Council  UKHL 32,  4 All ER 303 and MacDonald v Ministry of Defence  UKHL 32,  1 all ER 339. He also practises at Matrix Chambers.
Called 1987 (Scotland); called England and Wales Inner Temple 1996; Q.C. Scotland 1999; Standing Junior Counsel to the Scottish Office 1997-99; publications: ‘EU Law for UK Lawyers; the domestic impact of EU law within the UK’ (Hart 2nd ed 2011); ‘Judicial Review in Scotland: a practitioner’s guide’ (Butterworths 1999); ‘Decisions of the European Court of Justice and their Constitutional Implications’ (Butterworths 1994); contributing editor (Scotland) for Clayton & Tomlinson ‘Law of Human Rights’ (2nd ed 2009); contributor to a number of legal books and author of a number of articles in scholarly journals, particularly in the field of human rights and community/EU law.
University of Edinburgh (LLB (Hons) first class; Diploma in legal practice); University of Sydney (LLM (Hons) first class); European University Institute, Florence (LLM); University of Edinburgh (LLD (awarded on the basis of legal publications).