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Practice Areas

Police Law
Personal Injury Law

Other Specialisms:
Public/Administrative Law
Public Inquiries

John Bassett

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“Unfussy, focussed, professionally adroit and utterly dependable, Mr Bassett was agreed to be one of the very best Legal Assessors that these Panel colleagues had worked with” – feedback from a Chair of NMC Conduct and Competence Committee (September 2013)


John read Law at LeedsUniversity before studying for his Bar finals at the College of Law, London.  He was called to the Bar by InnerTemple in July 1975.

He joined 5 Essex Court in 1993, having previously been a member of a general common law set of Chambers in the Temple.  Since joining 5 Essex Court, he has specialised in Police Law and Personal Injury Law.  In addition, he regularly acts as a Legal Assessor at hearings of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Conduct and Competence Committee and Health Committee.

Police Law:

John advises and represents police forces across the country in most areas of civil law including judicial review, inquests and civil actions for false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, misfeasance in public office, negligence and assault.  He has a particular expertise in misconduct and unsatisfactory performance proceedings, frequently presenting at hearings on behalf of Appropriate Authorities or acting as Legal Advisor to panels.   He took a leading role in the training provided by 5 Essex Court to police forces when new misconduct and unsatisfactory performance regulations were introduced in 2008 and continues to provide training on the revised 2012 regulations.  John also has considerable experience in matters relating to police pensions and advises on policy.

Recent Police Law cases:

R (on the application of Baker) v Police Appeals Tribunal [2013] EWHC 718 (Admin) – whether the PAT has the power to correct mistakes in its decision once it is functus officio.

R (on the application of the Chief Constable of Derbyshire Constabulary) v Police Appeals Tribunal (Green and Stewart – Interested Parties) [2012] EWHC 2280(Admin) – ruling on the requirements of a Regulation 21 Notice and whether it is open to a panel to find there has been a breach of a Standard of Professional Behaviour not expressly referred to in the Notice.

R (on the application of Montgomery) v Police Appeals Tribunal [2012] EWHC 936 (Admin) – whether a panel was right to refuse an adjournment of misconduct proceedings when the appeal against conviction of the officer concerned was outstanding and the relevance of the subsequent outcome of that appeal.

R (on the application of the Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary) v Police Appeals Tribunal (McLean – Interested Party) [2012] EWHC 746 (Admin) – when it is necessary in the interests of justice for witnesses to give oral evidence at misconduct hearings.

R (on the application of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis) v Police Appeals Tribunal (Peart – Interested Party) [2011] EWHC 3421 (Admin) – whether the PAT has the power to determine there should be an appeal hearing on a ground not advanced by the Appellant in his Grounds of Appeal.

R (on the application of Merseyside Police Authority) v Police Medical Appeals Board (McGinty and Hudson – Interested Parties) [2009] EWHC 88 (Admin) – determination on what can properly be regarded as a “duty injury” for the purposes of police pensions.


As a consequence of his specialisation in police law and personal injury law, John frequently appears at Inquests.  He represents parties who are involved in related fatal accident claims and the police in cases of death in custody or where they are otherwise involved.  He represented Cheshire police at the Inquest into the death of Shafilea Ahmed where a verdict of unlawful killing was returned – her parents were subsequently convicted of murder for her so-called “honour killing”.

Recent Inquest cases:

R (on the application of Ahmed) v HM Coroner for South and East Cumbria (Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary – Interested Party) [2009] EWHC 1653 (Admin) – determination on pre-Inquest disclosure and whether verdict of unlawful killing properly made on the evidence.

Personal Injury:

John acts on behalf of Claimants and Defendants in personal injury and fatal accident claims arising from workplace, road traffic and holiday accidents, as well as claims under the Highways Act and the Occupiers Liability Acts.  His practice includes claims involving serious brain and other catastrophic injuries.


John provides CPD lectures in both police law and personal injury law.  He was heavily involved in the 5 Essex Court NPIA accredited training on the introduction of the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008 and the Police (Performance) Regulations 2008.  He continues to provide regular training on misconduct and unsatisfactory performance proceedings in the light of the changes brought about by the 2012 Regulations.


College of Law 1974 -1975

Leeds University 1971 – 1974

Leighton Park School, Reading 1966-1971


Travel, Opera and Ballet