Stephen Cragg KC KC > Doughty Street Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

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Stephen Cragg KC is an experienced specialist in public law and human rights law in a range of areas.

Stephen’s public law practice includes human rights areas, data protection, regulatory, commercial and social welfare law.  He has a special interest in public law cases involving the criminal justice system, information rights, community care and health law, and coroners’ inquests. His other area of expertise is in civil actions involving public authorities, and he is as at home cross-examining witnesses as making detailed submissions in public law cases.


Chambers and Partners directory described him as “steeped in years and years of public law” and “formidable when handling judicial reviews“.  He has appeared in over 100 full judicial review hearings and appeals.

In the 2022 Chambers and Partners directory he is listed as a leader in his field as a Silk in five areas: Administrative and Public Law, Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Police Law (mainly claimants), Data Protection and Community Care.

He is team leader for Doughty Street’s Data Protection and Information Rights Team, and also sits as a judge in the Information Rights Tribunal, ruling on FOIA and DPA appeals.

He has been lead counsel in a number of landmark Supreme Court and Court of Appeal cases involving retention/disclosure of information by the police, following his success in the European Court of Human Rights DNA retention case of S and Marper v UK [2009] 48 EHRR 50.

Stephen has been a Special Advocate since 2008, appearing for appellants in many national security appeals before SIAC, as well as acting in control order and TPIM cases, judicial review applications, and cases before the Security Vetting Appeal Panel.

As well as acting for individual and commercial claimants in a series of important cases often testing the frontiers of public law and human rights, Stephen also provides advice and representation for a number of local authorities and NHS bodies in public law cases. He has acted for and advised a range of NGOs and other organisations over the last few years, including the Law Society, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Liberty, Amnesty International, and Big Brother Watch.

He is general editor of Police Misconduct: Legal Remedies, the fifth edition of which will be published in 2022, with contributions from a number of members of chambers.

Stephen is also the general editor of the Community Care Law Reports, and a regular contributor of articles to Legal Action and other journals.

Stephen is the incoming chair for 2022 for Bar Human Rights Committee and he has an ongoing involvement in international human rights law: carrying out training and trial observations in Albania, Palestine, Turkey, the Maldives and Nigeria.

He was the co-author of a July 2016 BHRC report into conditions at the Calais refugee camps. He was a member of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody (2014-2018), and in this role he was part of the Harris Review into the deaths of young people in prison, which reported in 2016.

Stephen was Chair of the Public Law Project between 2008-2015 during which time the charity won a number of prestigious awards, and he remained a trustee until 2018.

Stephen sits as a Recorder in the Crown Court on the South-Eastern Circuit.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Police law (claimant)

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Stephen Cragg KCDoughty Street Chambers ‘As a former solicitor, he has a keen understanding and empathy with solicitors and has great client care skills. He is very intelligent, exceptionally hard working, and takes on novel cases which push at the boundaries of the law.’     

London Bar > Court of Protection and community care

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Stephen Cragg KC – Doughty Street Chambers

London Bar > Administrative law and human rights

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Stephen Cragg KCDoughty Street Chambers ‘Steve is a safe pair of hands and tactically astute.’