5 Essex Court

Robert Talalay

Call 2010

Police Law

Bobby’s practice embraces all areas of civil, public and employment law relevant to policing. He acts in all types of case involving the police including judicial review, data protection claims, arrest, detention, misfeasance and malicious prosecution claims, claims for breaches of the ECHR (including claims concerning investigations (art.2 and 3), detention (art.5), and the right to privacy) freedom of information appeals, internal misconduct proceedings, inquests, discrimination, personal injury, employment, and police involvement in family cases.

Bobby also provides training on diverse matters including police misconduct, internal staff discipline and employment law.

Bobby regularly appears in fast-track and multi-track trials, judicial reviews, complex and high-profile misconduct proceedings, high-value personal injury claims, and inquests. His recent cases include:

R (QSA) v National Police Chiefs’ Council & Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 272 (Admin) – Junior Counsel for the NPCC (led by Jason Beer QC) in the Divisional Court. The case concerned the art.8 ECHR compatibility of the NPCC’s policy that all convictions of recordable offences be retained on the Police National Computer until the person reached 100 years of age. The Divisional Court held that it was lawful and proportionate for the NPCC to have drawn a bright line given the importance of retaining a comprehensive register of criminal convictions for policing, criminal justice and public safety purposes.

Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v (1) Information Commissioner & (2) Rosenbaum (GIA/2230/2019) – Counsel for the appellant police force in the Upper Tribunal. The case concerned whether the MPS could neither confirm nor deny whether or not it held information on whether the National Front had been investigated by Special Branch. The appeal revolved around the ambit of the exception in s.23(5) FOIA 2000, where there is no requirement to confirm or deny possession of information where doing so would involve the disclosure of information that ‘relates to’ a listed body dealing with national security matters. The case is highly significant in the area of information law as defining the scope of s.23(5) – see the detailed analysis on the Panopticon information law blog.

R (RD) v Secretary of State for Justice & The National Police Chiefs’ Council [2020] EWCA Civ 1346 – Junior Counsel for the NPCC (led by Jason Beer QC) in the Court of Appeal. The case concerned the compatibility of the Rehabilitation from Offenders (Exceptions) Order 1975 with art.8 ECHR and specifically whether it was lawful, necessary and proportionate for the legislation to require applicants to the office of constable (and other offices and professions of the utmost integrity) to disclose all cautions and convictions, including those spent or protected or given when the applicant was a child. The Court of Appeal held that it was lawful and proportionate for the legislation to have drawn a bright line (and to draw it where it did) given the nature of the offices in question, the quality of the legal framework, and the need to ensure the applicants’ utmost integrity.

Gray v Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset Constabulary – Counsel for the Avon & Somerset Police in the multitrack trial in a claim for false imprisonment, battery, and malicious prosecution

R (II) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2020] EWCA 2528 (Admin) – Counsel for the Commissioner in judicial review proceedings concerning the retention of data of a child referred to the police under the Prevent duty and whether continued retention breached the child’s art.8 ECHR rights and/or was a breach of the DPA or the public sector equality duty. 

Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset v Gray [2019] EWCA Civ 1675 – Counsel for the Chief Constable in the Court of Appeal. The case concerning the correct interpretation of the fees regime in the Civil Proceedings Fees Order 2008 for those subject to a civil restraint order seeking permission to issue a claim and the appropriate restrictions on vexatious litigants’ right to access to justice.

Schwaninger v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis – Counsel for the Metropolitan Police in a seven-day trial in a claim for false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and negligence

Inquests touching upon the death of Christine Lee and Lucy Lee – Junior Counsel for the Chief Constable of Surrey in an art.2 inquest. Following the murders by John Lowe of Christine and Lucy Lee in 2014, and after multiple investigations by the state into the actions of Surrey Police and a murder trial in which Lowe was convicted, the Senior Coroner for Surrey heard these inquests into the deaths of Christine and Lucy Lee over five weeks, focusing on an examination of the assessment by Surrey Police of the risk posed by Lowe, with particular scrutiny of firearms licensing systems and decisions.

Privacy International v (1) ICO and (2) the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (EA/2018/0164) – Counsel for the MPS, the lead Respondent, in a high-profile FOIA appeal where multiple police forces ‘Neither Confirmed Nor Denied’ possession of various types of information said to relate to Covert Communications Data Capture using International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) catchers , relying on s.23, s.24 and s.31 FOIA exemptions. The FTT refused the appeal and upheld the decision to neither confirm nor deny possession of the information in question.