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

Doughty Street Chambers
Doughty Street Chambers

Work Department


He is team leader for Doughty Street’s Data Protection and Information Rights Team.


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.

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 also sits as a judge in the Information Rights Tribunal, ruling on FOIA and DPA appeals.

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 Equality and Human Rights Commission, Liberty and the Law Society. He is co-author of Police Misconduct: Legal Remedies, the fifth edition of which will be published in 2018. He is legal update editor for the Community Care Law Reports, and a regular contributor of articles to Legal Action and other journals.

Stephen is the Secretary of the 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.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Administrative and public law (including local government)

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 4

Stephen Cragg QCDoughty Street ChambersInstructed in various challenging public law cases.

London Bar > Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police)

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 4

Stephen Cragg QCDoughty Street ChambersVery well respected due to the innovative cases he take and his breadth of experience.

Doughty Street Chambers is known for its ‘excellence in bringing claims against the police and in the inquest field’ and has vast expertise in immigration, extradition, and claims against the state. Recent instructions of note for members include Heather Williams QC representing clients in McGlone & Others v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police and Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, which concerns the role of the police in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster. She has also been instrumental in the Undercover Police Inquiry, undertaking considerable advisory work for the core participants which include Neville Lawrence and six victims of deceptive sexual relationships initiated by undercover officers. Edward Fitzgerald QC is acting for Maha El Gizouli, the mother of one of the ‘IS Beatles’, El Shafee Elsheikh, in her application for a judicial review into the Home Secretary’s decision to cooperate with the US authorities and assurances that her son won’t be subject to the death penalty. Others members of note include Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, who acted for Just for Kids Law in a test case concerning the use of children as ‘covert human intelligence sources’ by the police in R (Just for Kids Law) v Secretary of State for the Home DepartmentStephen Cragg QC who acted in Miah v Independent Police Complaint Commission challenging the use of illegal stops at Heathrow airport under the Terrorism Act 2010; and ‘standout junior’ Adam Wagner who acted for the Equality and Human Rights Commission in AB, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for Justice regarding the prolonged detention of a minor in solitary confinement.