Case details

O'Connor (Appellant) v Bar Standards Board (Respondent)

Case ID: UKSC 2016/0174

Case summary

  1. Where a person claims that a prosecution has been brought in breach of her human rights, does the time limit for bringing proceedings under the Human Rights Act 1998 run from the date of her acquittal or conviction or the date on which any appeals are concluded?
  2. Whether the High Court judge was correct to conclude, for the purposes of the summary judgment application, that the appellant’s claim of indirect discrimination contrary to arts.6 and 14 ECHR had a real prospect of success. The appellant invites the Court to reject consideration of this issue on the basis that the High Court has already decided that summary judgment is inappropriate, and that is of itself a compelling reason for the case to go to trial. The respondent seeks permission to adduce fresh evidence on this issue.

The appellant is a black practising barrister. On 28 September 2009 the respondent, the Bar Standards Board, received a complaint that she had engaged in the unauthorised conduct of litigation contrary to the Bar Code of Conduct. As a result of the complaint, disciplinary proceedings were brought and charges were referred to the Disciplinary Tribunal. On 23 May 2011 five disciplinary charges were found proven by the Tribunal and the appellant was advised as to her future conduct. She appealed to the Visitors to the Inns of Court, which on 17 August 2012 allowed her appeal on all counts. On 21 February 2013, the appellant issued her current claim against the respondent. Deputy Master Eyre of the High Court struck out her claim, finding that they had no prospect of success and, in any case, her heads of claim under the Human Rights Act 1998 were brought outside of the one-year time limit in s.7 of the Act and no application had been made for an extension of time. The Deputy Master’s decision was appealed to the High Court. In the High Court, Warby J held that the appellant’s claim for indirect discrimination in terms of art.14 ECHR was adequately pleaded and sustainable for the purposes of a summary judgment but upheld the Deputy Master’s decision that the claim was time barred under s.7 of the Human Rights Act. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of Warby J on time bar and dismissed the appeal.

Judgment appealed

[2016] EWCA Civ 775



Daphne Evadne Portia O'Connor


Bar Standards Board



Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones

Hearing start date

04 Oct 2017

Hearing finish date

04 Oct 2017

Watch hearing
04 Oct 2017 Morning session Afternoon session