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AMPERSAND, ADVOCATES LIBRARY, PARLIAMENT HOUSE, EDINBURGH, EH1 1RF, SCOTLAND
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Aidan O’neill QC

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Work 0131 226 5071
Email:
Ampersand ()

Position

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 [2013] UKSC, [2012] CSIH 67; 2011 SLT 633, OH (on EU law and prisoners’ voting rights); Scotch Whisky Association and others v Scottish Ministers [2013] CSOH nyr (on minimum alcohol pricing); Walton v Scottish Ministers [2012] UKSC 44. Notable civil liberties cases include: Animal Defenders International v United Kingdom [2013] ECHR (Grand Chamber); Greens v United Kingdom [2010] ECtHR 60041/08 (fourth section, 23 November 2010); Cadder v Her Majesty’s Advocate [2010] 1 WLR 2601 [2010] UKSC 43; R (JF and Thompson) v Minister of Justice [2010] 2 WLR 992, UKSC. Notable constitutional law cases include: AXA General insurance v Lord Advocate [2011] UKSC 46; Somerville v Scottish Ministers 2008 SC (HL) 45; Davidson v Scottish Ministers (No 1) [2005] UKHL 74; Davidson v Scottish Ministers (No 2) [2004] UKHL 34; Millar v Dickson [2002]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 [2013] 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 [2013] CSOH nyr (on rights of protest); NJ and EH v Lord Advocate and others [2013] 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 [2013] 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 [2012] 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 [2012] UKUT 286; Ferrie v CICA [2012] 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 [2012] 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 [2011] 1 AC 633, UKSC and Eba v Advocate General for Scotland [2012] 1 AC 710, [2012] 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 [2011] 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 [2010] 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 [2009] SC 575 IH, [2007] 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 [2012] UKSC 1, [2010] 1 RLP 1053 IH; University College Union v University of Stirling [2013] CSIH nyr; Cusick v Strathclyde Joint Police Board [2012] CSIH nyr; Russell and ors v Transocean plc (No 2) [2011] IRLR 24 IH; Archibald v Fife Council [2004] UKHL 32, [2004] 4 All ER 303 and MacDonald v Ministry of Defence [2003] UKHL 32, [2004] 1 all ER 339. He also practises at Matrix Chambers.

Career

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.

Languages

French, Italian.

Education

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).

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Legal Developments worldwide

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  • China Drug Registration Regulation - Public consultation on amendment closes - March 2014

    In February 2014, the China Food and Drug Administration (“CFDA”) invited second-round comments from the public regarding proposed amendments to the China Drug Registration Regulations (“DRR”). One of the proposed amendments touches upon patent protection for drugs in China.
  • Revised NDRC Measures for Approval and Filing of Outbound Investment Projects - April 2014

    The National Development and Reform Commission ( NDRC ) released a new set of Management Measures for Approval and Filing of Outbound Investment Projects ( 境外投资项目核准和备案管理办法) ( New Measures ) on 8 April 2014. The New Measures take effect on 8 May 2014 and will replace the Interim Management Measures for Approval of Outbound Investment Projects ( 境外投资项目核准暂行管理办法) ( Original Measures ) which have been in force since 9 October 2004.
  • Insurance Update - CIRC Issues Insurance M&A Measures: What are the impacts and applications?

    On 21 March 2014, CIRC issued the Administrative Measures on the Acquisition and Merger of Insurance Companies (the Insurance M&A Measures ) which will take effect from 1 June 2014. The Insurance M&A Measures apply to M&A activities whereby an insurance company is the target for a merger or acquisition. The target insurance company could be either a domestic or a foreign invested insurer. However, the Insurance M&A Measures will not apply to any equity investment by insurance companies in non-insurance companies in China or in overseas insurance companies.
  • China issues new rules to regulate medical devices - May 2014

    The Regulations on Supervision and Administration of Medical Devices (in Chinese《医疗器械监督管理条例》, State Council Order No. 650) (the Medical Device Regulations) were amended by China's State Council on 31 March 2014 and will come into effect on 1 June 2014. This is the first amendment in more than a decade since the Medical Device Regulations were first promulgated in 2000, even though the amendment was initiated eight years ago in 2006. The 2014 amendment unveils reforms on the regulatory regime for medical devices market in China from various aspects.
  • Walking a fine line in China:Distinguishing between legitimate commercial deals and commercial bribe

    China in the 21st century exemplifies an atmosphere of great opportunity and intense competition. Against this backdrop, it has become increasingly common for businesses to adopt a variety of practices in order to make their products and services competitive. Such practices may include paying middle-men to promote sales and giving incentives to buyers directly. However, whilst revenue spikes are undoubtedly welcome, businesses should bear in mind the potential backlash arising out of these commercial arrangements. The risk that such arrangements may not comply with anti-bribery and corruption laws and therefore cause business significant damage in the long term should not be underestimated.
  • Rise of the private healthcare sector - July 2014

    As of 2013, China had 9,800 private hospitals, representing almost half of the total number of hospitals in the country 1 . However, private hospitals still severely lag behind their public peers due to low utilisation, talent shortages and incomplete social insurance coverage. As part of China's ongoing healthcare reform initiatives, the Chinese government has set a goal to increase the share of patients treated by private hospitals to 20% by the end of 2015 2 .
  • Banking regulation in China: Proposed deposit insurance system - December 2014

    On 30 November 2014, the State Council of China released a draft Deposit Insurance Regulation (the Draft), to establish a deposit insurance system in order to "protect interests of depositors, prevent and mitigate financial risks and maintain a stabilised financial system". The public are invited to submit comments on the Draft by 30 December 2014.
  • Tackling bribery: China toughens criminal law - December 2014

    Following earlier reforms of the PRC's anti-corruption rules (for further information, please see our previous briefings published in January 2013 and March 2011 ), the National People's Congress (NPC) has recently published a proposed amendment to the PRC Criminal Law in draft form for public comments (the Draft). The Draft expands the reach of official bribery offences, gives more autonomy to judges to inflict severe punishments, and generally increases the level and type of punishments that can be imposed on individuals who commit bribery offences. It further demonstrates the government's determination to tackle corruption in China.
  • China banking restrictions relaxed: New rules further open banking sector to foreign investors

    The State Council of China recently released amendments to the Foreign Bank Administrative Regulations of China (the Amendments) with effect from 1 January 2015.
  • Walking a Tightrope in Singapore - July 2014

    The world has no borders and distance is negligible for the technologically savvy criminal. Individuals with illicit funds to launder or terrorist activities to finance can, with the latest technology, transfer high volumes of money around the globe almost instantaneously and seek to conceal the origin or the destination of the funds.