David Pannick, Baron Pannick

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The Lord Pannick
Personal details
Born (1956-03-07) March 7, 1956 (age 59)
Nationality British
Education MA (Oxon), BCL (Oxon)
Occupation Barrister, Peer
Website http://www.blackstonechambers.com

David Philip Pannick, Baron Pannick QC (born 7 March 1956) is a leading barrister in the United Kingdom, and crossbencher in the House of Lords. He practises mainly in the areas of public law and human rights. He argued 100 cases before the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords before its replacement by the new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in October 2009, has argued more than 30 cases in the European Court of Justice, and more than 30 cases before the European Court of Human Rights.


Pannick was educated at Bancroft's School and Hertford College, Oxford, where he graduated as a MA and a BCL. He was called to the Bar at Gray's Inn in 1979, and was a Junior Counsel to the Crown in Common Law from 1988 to 1992. He became a Queen's Counsel in 1992,[1] a Recorder on the South Eastern Circuit in 1995,[2] and a deputy High Court judge in 1998. Pannick has appeared in the courts of Hong Kong, Brunei, Gibraltar, Trinidad, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. He appeared in 100 cases in the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords before its jurisdiction was transferred to the new Supreme Court in October 2009. In his first case, in 1980, in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (led by Anthony Lester QC), his client - a convicted drug trafficker - was hanged.

Noted cases[edit]

Pannick has acted in a wide range of high-profile cases. In the 1980s he appeared for the Sunday Times in the Spycatcher case. He acted for the gay servicemen who established in the European Court of Human Rights in 1999 that it was unlawful for the Ministry of Defence to dismiss them because of their sexual orientation; represented Camelot in the High Court in 2000 and established that the National Lottery Commission had treated it unfairly in rejecting its application to renew its licence to run the National Lottery; acted for the League Against Cruel Sports in defending a challenge to the validity of the Hunting Act 2004; represented a woman who established that she was entitled to be prescribed with the breast cancer drug Herceptin; and was briefed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its claim to state immunity against claims of torture.[citation needed] In 2007, he appeared for BBC director-general Mark Thompson when an attempt was made to prosecute the BBC for blasphemy for broadcasting Jerry Springer: The Opera.[3] In July 2008, he represented the British Olympic Committee in successfully resisting in the High Court the claim by athlete Dwain Chambers about the refusal to select him for the Beijing Olympics because of the earlier finding of doping.[4][5] Later that year he represented Debbie Purdy in the Appellate Committee of the Lords (the last judgment given in the House of Lords) to establish the duty of the DPP to publish guidelines on prosecuting for assisting a suicide.[6]

More recently he acted for AF, a man subject to a control order, establishing that the Home Secretary had a duty to inform him of the essence of the case against him. He represented the Crown in the Supreme Court in establishing in 2010 that MPs accused of dishonestly claiming expenses were not entitled to the benefit of parliamentary privilege. In January 2011, he represented Max Mosley before the European Court of Human Rights in his claim that the right to privacy obliged the United Kingdom to impose duties on newspapers to give prior notice of a publication invading privacy so the subject could seek an injunction. He appeared for a school (JFS) in the first hearing before the new Supreme Court on 2 October 2009.[citation needed] In 2011 and 2012, Pannick also represented the Hong Kong government in Vallejos v. Commissioner of Registration, a case in which a foreign domestic helper sought judicial review to determine whether it was constitutional for the government to deny her the right of abode in the territory.[7]

Academic career and publications[edit]

He has been a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford since 1978, and became an Honorary Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford in September 2004. He writes a fortnightly column on legal matters for The Times, and is co-author with Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC of Human Rights Law and Practice (1st edition 1999; 2nd edition 2004, 3rd edition 2009).


On 29 September 2008, it was announced by the House of Lords Appointments Commission that Pannick had been nominated for a life peerage as a Crossbencher.[8][9] His title was gazetted as Baron Pannick, of Radlett in the county of Hertfordshire, dated 3 November 2008.[10]


  • Judicial Review of the Death Penalty (1982, Duckworth),
  • Sex Discrimination Law (1985, Oxford University Press),
  • Judges (1987, Oxford University Press),
  • Advocates (1992, Oxford University Press)
  • Human Rights Law and Practice (general editor with Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC, Butterworths, October 1999, second edition March 2004)
  • I Have to Move My Car (2008, Hart Publishing).


External links[edit]