Duncan Ouseley

Sir Duncan Brian Walter Ouseley, styled The Hon. Mr Justice Ouseley,[1] is a High Court judge in England and Wales, Queen's Bench Division. He is notable for involvement in many legal cases reported in the British press.[2]

His judgments have included rejecting appeals by suspected international terrorists against indefinite detention;[3] a view overturned in 2004, when the House of Lords ruled that it violates the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.[4]

In 1992, as a Queen's Counsel, Ouseley represented the Chief Adjudication Officer for Social Security Administration.[5] From 2002 to 2005 he was President of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal.[6]

In 2002, in the case Theakston v Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd, the television presenter Jamie Theakston sought an injunction against The Sunday People claiming publication of details of his visit to a brothel infringed his right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Refusing to impose the injunction, Ouseley ruled "It is not inherent in the nature of a brothel that all or anything that transpires within is confidential.[7] [8]

In February 2012, an atheist councillor and the National Secular Society took Bideford Town Council to the English High Court to challenge the saying of prayers at council meetings. Ouseley ruled that the town council was acting unlawfully, citing the Local Government Act 1972, and ordered that prayers should stop. This decision affects all councils in England and Wales.[9] The ruling was welcomed by the British Humanist Association,[10] but was criticised by Christians, religious groups, and bishops, who felt Christianity was being "marginalised", or was "under attack" in the UK.[11][12][13][14]

In October 2015, Transport for London took Uber, the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association and the Licensed Private Car Hire Association to the English High Court to receive clarification about whether Uber fell within section 11 of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 and was therefore unlawful. Ouseley ruled that "A taximeter, for the purposes of Section 11 of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998, does not include a device that receives GPS signals in the course of a journey, and forwards GPS data to a server located outside of the vehicle, which server calculates a fare that is partially or wholly determined by reference to distance travelled and time taken, and sends the fare information back to the device." Thereby ruling that Uber did not fall foul of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 and was therefore lawful.[15]

Controversial cases

Dr Bawa Garba

Ouseley is the judge in the trial of Dr. Bawa Garba in 2017. Despite considerable failings of the hospital on the day Jack Adcock passed away, such as short staffing and computer system malfunction, Dr. Bawa Garba was charged with manslaughter by gross negligence and was erased from the medical register. [16] Dr. Bawa Garba is expected to make an appeal of the decision.


  1. "Debrett's". Debretts.com. 24 February 1950. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  2. Foley, Stephen. The Independent "Cost of mis-selling scandal will keep growing the longer that banks dig in" 21 April 2011
  3. Walker, Christopher. The Times 30 October 2003 "Ten terrorism suspects facing life in prison"
  4. "Human Rights Watch article". Hrw.org. 16 December 2004. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  5. Law report, The Times 18 June 1992: "Days of increment for wife's pension"
  6. Lord Chancellor's Department, Judicial Statistics, England and Wales, for the year 2003 (H. M. S. O., 2004), p. 81
  7. Joshua Rozenberg (15 February 2002). "Why judge let prostitutes tell on Theakston". London: The Telegraph.
  8. Mr Justice Ouseley (14 February 2011). "Judgment (in the case between Theakston and MGN Limited)" (PDF). Queen's Bench Division, High Court of Justice. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 August 2011.
  9. Sign Up:. "Council Prayers Unlawful, Rules High Court". Secularism.org.uk. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  10. "982". Humanism.org.uk. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  11. Rawlinson, Kevin (11 February 2012). "Christians outraged after court rulings 'push religion to margins'". The Independent. London.
  12. "Hear our prayer". The Daily Telegraph. London. 10 February 2012.
  13. Drury, Ian (10 February 2012). "Christianity under attack: Anger as major court rulings go against British worshippers". Daily Mail. London.
  14. Bryant, Chris (11 February 2012). "Chris Bryant: How sanctimonious and uptight do you have to be to object to these prayers?". The Independent. London.
  15. "Transport for London v Uber" (PDF). High Court of Justice. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  16. "GMC v Dr. Bawa Garba" (PDF). High Court of Justice. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
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